NORTH DAKOTA: AGRARIAN RADICALISM, ETHNIC AND ECONOMIC
North Dakota has been more consistently radical than any other state in the union. In 1892, Weaver carried it for the Populists. From 1906 to the present, North Dakota has always had either a left-wing governor or a left-wing senator in office. Yet in 1954, both North Dakota senators voted against the censure of McCarthy. More than that, one of them, William Langer, had become prominent as a Non- Partisan Leaguer, had been a radical governor of North Dakota in the 1930's, and in the Senate had voted with the liberal Democrats on domestic issues.
Most of the agrarian radical leaders who evolved in a conservative and McCarthyite political direction had a Non- Partisan League background. Gerald Nye, sent by the League to the Senate in 1926, chaired the "merchants of death" inquiry which blamed munitions makers for American entry into World War I. A liberal hero as late as 1938, Nye had become an arch reactionary by 1944.* Lynn Frazier, first League governor of North Dakota, ended his career after World War II, calling the League "Communist," "anti-____________________