The Granger Movement: A Study of Agricultural Organization and Its Political, Economic and Social Manifestations, 1870-1880

The Granger Movement: A Study of Agricultural Organization and Its Political, Economic and Social Manifestations, 1870-1880

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The Granger Movement: A Study of Agricultural Organization and Its Political, Economic and Social Manifestations, 1870-1880

The Granger Movement: A Study of Agricultural Organization and Its Political, Economic and Social Manifestations, 1870-1880

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Social unrest has been one of the most marked characteristics of the last half-century in the United States. During this period the country, and especially the western part of it, has been transformed from a comparatively simple agricultural community into a complex modern industrial state; and in the process of adjustment the agricultural class of the population, among others, has been inclined to feel aggrieved. The result has been a series of radical agitations on the part of the farmers for the improvement, by organized effort, of their relative condition. Of this general "farmers' movement," the first wave, which is the subject of this study, began with the establishment of the order of Patrons of Husbandry in 1867, slowly gathered headway for a few years, and then suddenly culminated in a series of startling manifestations, political and economic, during the years from 1873 to 1875. From then on to the end of the decade, this "Granger movement" gradually subsided, although many of its features were embodied in the programs of the more radical agricultural movements which took their rise in the early eighties.

It may be well to explain at the outset that this is not intended to be a history of the "Grange," as the order of Patrons of Husbandry is frequently called. The term "Granger movement," nevertheless, is used advisedly: in the first place, because the phrase has the sanction of considerable usage, both contemporary and later, in the sense in which it is here applied; and secondly, because the movement did seize upon the order of Patrons of Husbandry as an efficient means of organization and a convenient rallying point. The contentions of members of the order that it should not be held responsible for many of the features of the movement are doubtless sound, and it should be under-

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