The Farms Issue

Sense Of The Times

FDR projected confidence. The nation sensed the new President had faithin the future and knew how to lead the nation out of hard times. As youlook at the cartoons of the first 100 days the sense that FDR was a strong,competent and confident leader is a common theme. Barrymansees the energetic FDR in Jus' Mindin' His Business And Goin' Along!exhausting Congress with needed policies for farm and forest. The techniqueof the New Deal was improvisation and experiment. "It is commonsense to take a method and try it," FDR said in the 1932 campaign:"If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, trysomething." Talburt in FarmRelief shows that, especially for the farmer, it was a relief to havesomeone trying!

The Farm Problem

Farmers had not shared in the economic prosperity of the 1920's. CartoonistCarlisle advocates the need for a NewDeal in agriculture in a March 20, 1933 cartoon entitled, The New TrendIn Easter Fashions.

In April of 1933 farmers in LeMars, Iowa took the law into their own handsto try to stop the foreclosure of farm mortgages. Farmers dragged JudgeCharles Bradley from his bench, took the judge out of town and stopped justshort of lynching him. Clubb in GoodNews captures the mood of many American farmers and their sense of hopefor the future.

Farm Strategy And The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1936

The Agricultural Act of May 1933 set up a program by which producers ofagricultural commodities such as wheat, cotton, hogs, corn, and dairy productsreceived payments, called subsidies. The goal was parity: a restorationof farmers' purchasing power to what it had been in 1909-1914, a time ofprosperity in rural America. In return for producing less a tax on foodprocessors financed price subsidies. Ultimately it was the consumer of cerealsmade from wheat, cloth made from cotton and cigarettes made from tobaccothat financed the New Deal's farm program by paying higher prices. A newfederal agency, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), administeredthe program. After the AAA American agriculture would never be the same.

Farm Credit Administration

The Farm Credit Administration was createdby executive order to bring under one umbrella the farm services of severalagencies. Congress passed legislation on June 16 completing the merger andproviding for easier refinancing of farm mortgages. The Farm Credit Actof June 16 addressed the heartbreak of mortgage foreclosure. It helped tokeep the sheriff and the mortgage company from the farmers' front door.Talburt's Foiled! demonstratesa cartoon is worth a thousand words.

Loss Of Independence

Thomas Jefferson might have questioned much of the New Deal. Jefferson envisioneda nation of small independent farmers. Now the farmer had traded his independencefor the security of price supports. And the need for farm reform was viewedin some quarters with a degree of suspicion. But at the time the farmers'mood was aptly summed up by Morris in"The Farmer: Sure, I'll Try Anything Once!"

The Supreme Court

In 1936, the Supreme Court would declare certain tax and production controlsun-constitutional. Perhaps an omen of things to come is seen as early asMarch 24, 1933 in Don't Crush Them. Halladayseems concerned that businessman, the federal economy, tested economic principals,the ultimate consumer and traditional American principles will be steamrolledby FDR and the U.S. farmer.

The 1937 Supreme Court

To view some of the cartoons portraying the 1937 Supreme Court issue clickhere.

Henry Agard Wallace

Henry Wallace, Iowa farm editor, geneticist know for his work with hybridcorn, an advocate of "reflation," farm belt Republican, Wallacewas chosen to be FDR's Secretary of Agriculture. Reflation was really aeuphemism for inflation. Wallace held the same cabinet post his father heldin the Harding and Coolidge administrations. In 1940 the ex-Republican wouldbecome FDR's running-mate. Several of the cartoons either featured or portrayedSecretary Wallace as a key character. A couple of Convincing Testimonials(Carlisle) portrays Wallace assisting"Dr. Roosevelt" in the care of a patient in a wheelchair labeledfarming. In" Two Pairs Of Pants And A Pair Of Suspenders"Wallace is the tailor assisting an impoverishedfarmer into a new set of clothes. In Some Folks Won't Follow LeadershipWhen They Have it Ding portraysWallace as trying to drag the mulish US Senate along with the help of agriculturebefore the arrival of spring planting.

The Farms Issue Cartoons
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Bolte Gibson in the Camden Post

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A Couple Of Convincing Testimonials
Carlisle in the Rome (NY) Sentinel

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Farm Relief
Talburt in the Washington News

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This Is The Toughest Puzzle ... If Possible.
C.D. Batchelor in the New York News

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The New Trend In Easter Fashions!
Cargill in the Cortland Standard

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Yer Next, Son
Unknown Cartonist in the New Orleans Item

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Don't Crush Them!
Halladay in the Providence Journal

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Jus' Mindin' His Business and Goin' Along!
Berryman in the Washington Star

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Let's Hope It Succeeds!
John Baer in an unknown Washington, DC paper.

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By Way Of Replacement
Unknown Cartonist in the Portland Journal

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Don't Worry, This Is The Best Thing I Do!
Berryman in the Washington Star

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Halladay in the Providence Journal

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Now For A Real Tought One
Unknown Cartonist in the Watertown Times

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Two Pairs Of Pants And A Pair Of Suspenders
Ding in the South Bend News Times

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The Big Hurdle
Elderman in the Washington Post

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Talburt in the Washington News

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Good News
Clubb in the Rochester Times Union

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Franklin Tell
Cargill in the Cortland Standard

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The Next Number On The Program
Fred O. Seibel in the Richmond Times Dispatch

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The fdr_farmer: "Sure I'll Try Anything Once!"
Morris in the Hoboken Observer

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Some Folks Won't Follow Leadership When They Have It
Ding in the New York Herald Tribune

Send mail to Paul Bachorz at paulbach@nycap.rr.com.

Copyright © 1996 Niskayuna High School E-mail: baciewj@wizvax.net

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