The Grange in Maine and New Hampshire, 1870-1940
Sherman, Rexford Booth
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Historically speaking, the Grange has been treated as an essentially Midwestern phenomenon that flourished and died during the depression decade of the 1870's. The Grangers themselves are remembered chiefly for their crusades against the railroads and other corporate oppressors of the rural classes and as forerunners of the Populists and the Progressives of a later era. This interpretation is based largely on Solon Justus Buck's well-known work, The Granger Movement. This dissertation develops a revisionist view, suggested by Dennis S. Nordin, which distinguishes between the Granger movement described by Buck and a later one, concentrated in New England, New York, Pennsylvania and the eastern Midwest during the period 1880-1920. Furthermore it deals specifically with the Grange, or Patrons of Husbandry, rather than that class of agrarian protesters loosely labeled "Grangers" by Buck. The Grange proper was primarily a fraternal order whose chief mission was the social and intellectual advancement of farmers and their families, not attacks on business. The present study examines the Grange in the two New England states where it was strongest and probably most influential [TRUNCATED]
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