Yeomen, Sharecroppers, and Socialists: Plain Folk Protest in Texas, 1870-1914

Yeomen, Sharecroppers, and Socialists: Plain Folk Protest in Texas, 1870-1914

by Kyle G. Wilkison
     
 

As the nineteenth century ended in Hunt County, Texas, a way of life was dying. The tightly knit, fiercely independent society of the yeomen farmers—”plain folk,” as historians have often dubbed them—was being swallowed up by the rising tide of a rapidly changing, cotton-based economy. A social network based on family, religion, and

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Overview

As the nineteenth century ended in Hunt County, Texas, a way of life was dying. The tightly knit, fiercely independent society of the yeomen farmers—”plain folk,” as historians have often dubbed them—was being swallowed up by the rising tide of a rapidly changing, cotton-based economy. A social network based on family, religion, and community was falling prey to crippling debt and resulting loss of land ownership. For many of the rural people of Hunt County and similar places, it seemed like the end of the world.

In Yeomen, Sharecroppers, and Socialists historian Kyle G. Wilkison analyzes the patterns of plain-folk life and the changes that occurred during the critical four decades spanning the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. Political protest evolved in the wake of the devastating losses experienced by the poor rural majority, and Wilkison carefully explores the interplay of religion and politics as Greenbackers, Populists, and Socialists vied for the support of the dispossessed tenant farmers and sharecroppers.

With its richly drawn contextualization and analysis of the causes and effects of the epochal shifts in plain-folk society, Kyle G. Wilkison’s Yeomen, Sharecroppers, and Socialists will reward students and scholars in economic, regional, and agricultural history.
 

 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603440653
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
10/27/2008
Series:
Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest, #30
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
313
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 From Homeplace to No Place: The Changing Texas Economy, 1870-1910 11

3 Farmers and Wealth Distribution in Hunt County, Texas, 1870-1910 30

4 "A Legitimate and Useful Life": Family, Work, and Community 46

5 "The Same Class of People": Cohesion and Conflict 81

6 "The Land Shall Not Be Sold Forever": Land and God in 1910s Texas 125

7 "Whose Planet Is This Anyway?": Land and the Politics of Dissent 161

8 Conclusion 207

App. A Tables for Chapter 2 215

App. B Tables for Chapter 3 221

App. C Methods for Chapter 3 229

Notes 235

Bibliography 271

Index 289

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