Term Paper: New Deal Regulation and Revolution

Pages: 3 (812 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Agriculture  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Historical reports by life insurance firms show evidence of debt burdens, and the proportion of farmers affected by these. Furthermore statistical data is used to show not only misperceptions about the era investigated, but also contrasting evidence in support of the thesis.

The bulletins that Clarke mentions relating to the cash-flow strategies employed by farmers supports the point that economic factors served as a deterrent for buying tractors at this time. These reports showed that, rather than using a large cash outlay to invest in tractors, farmers invested smaller amounts for the sake of safety, though at the cost of efficiency.

The evidence provided by life insurance companies shows how debt was a barrier to buying large assets such as tractors during 1929. Although the debtors are in the minority, the number is still a sufficiently significant demonstrator of financial burden.

The way in which the argument is structured is of importance to the study of history. It is important to note that Clarke recognizes the logic of the popular views regarding the topic she is investigating. When she raises her own argument, it is not to discard existing views, but to supplement them. This is evident in the construction of her opening statements. Her conclusion shows that she adheres to this principle. She acknowledges the shortcomings of the New Deal regulations, but suggests that another view is possible. In this way she identifies new ways of perception and study of history and the economy.

The article is well written, and Clarke presents her points with clarity, providing documented evidence for her arguments. History can only properly serve as a teacher when it is viewed from all possible angles. Clarke suggests a new angle of looking at the economic conditions and burdens when New Deal regulations were in effect. By pointing out both positive and negative factors, she shows the reader that history and its lessons should not be judged either lightly or hastily.

In terms of history then the article shows that to move forward in a significant way, the past needs to be taken into account for both its successes and its failures. The successes can then be celebrated without forgetting the failures.


Clarke, Sally. "New Deal Regulation and the Revolution in American Farm Productivity: A Case Study of the Diffusion of the Tractor in the Corn Belt, 1920-1940." The Journal of Economic History,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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