This chapter is a view of the development of the notion of parity and methods to achieve a more robust agricultural economy. The history of the McNary-Hagen farm bill and the attempt to rationalize the agricultural economy sets the ideological stage for the bold experimentation that would later be manifest in the creation of the American Goshens. The notions of Rexford G. Tugwell and M.L. Wilson and their relationship to the Tupelo Homesteads and Dyess Colony comprise much of this chapter. The competing theories—the confidence thesis held by conservatives and the “purchasing power” thesis of progressives are compared, as well as the power of “back to the land” ideology. The terms “tenant farmer” and “sharecropper” are compared and distinctions drawn.
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