Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. William C. Pratt


While reading Studs Terkel's Hard Times, for a seminar in 1974, I first encountered information about a farm rebellion in northwestern Iowa during the Great Depression. As a native of that part of Iowa, my curiosity about this topic provoked further inquiry. In general, the farmer uprising of the 1930s was eventful for northwest Iowa and the surrounding upper midwestern states. Specifically, the rebellion achieved considerable attention for events in Plymouth County, Iowa. Having grown up only twenty miles from LeMars, the county seat of Plymouth County, I became intrigued with the rebellion, its causes, and the people involved in this episode of farmer activism. As the result of an idea sparked by a seminar reading, the topic of the Plymouth County farm revolt grew into this thesis project. In two contexts the Plymouth County farm revolt seems significant. On the one hand, the county's uprising provides an interesting study of local farmer activism. Studied in the restricted limits of a single county, special insights into the events, characters, and ideology of rural rebellion can be gained. But, there is also a broader Importance in the Plymouth County farm revolt. The local rebellion seems to be linked to a long heritage of agricultural unrest in America. Viewed in this second context, there is more than Just a local importance to the events of 1932-33 in the LeMars area. Within the story of this local farmer uprising are interesting lessons relative to America's agrariantradition.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of History and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1980, Rodney D. Karr

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