Grange Insurance Quotes

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Farmers in the South, West, and Midwest, however, were still building a major movement to escape from the control of banks and merchants lending them supplies at usurious rates; agricultural cooperatives—cooperative buying of supplies and machinery and marketing of produce—as well as cooperative stores, were the remedy to these conditions of virtual serfdom. While the movement was not dedicated to the formation of worker co-ops, in its own way it was at least as ambitious as the Knights of Labor had been. In the late 1880s and early 1890s it swept through southern and western states like a brushfire, even, in some places, bringing black and white farmers together in a unity of interest. Eventually this Farmers’ Alliance decided it had to enter politics in order to break the power of the banks; it formed a third party, the People’s Party, in 1892. The great depression of 1893 only spurred the movement on, and it won governorships in Kansas and Colorado. But in 1896 its leaders made a terrible strategic blunder in allying themselves with William Jennings Bryan of the Democratic party in his campaign for president. Bryan lost the election, and Populism lost its independent identity. The party fell apart; the Farmers’ Alliance collapsed; the movement died, and many of its cooperative associations disappeared. Thus, once again, the capitalists had managed to stomp out a threat to their rule.171 They were unable to get rid of all agricultural cooperatives, however, even with the help of the Sherman “Anti-Trust” Act of 1890.172 Nor, in fact, did big business desire to combat many of them, for instance the independent co-ops that coordinated buying and selling. Small farmers needed cooperatives in order to survive, whether their co-ops were independent or were affiliated with a movement like the Farmers’ Alliance or the Grange. The independent co-ops, moreover, were not necessarily opposed to the capitalist system, fitting into it quite well by cooperatively buying and selling, marketing, and reducing production costs. By 1921 there were 7374 agricultural co-ops, most of them in regional federations. According to the census of 1919, over 600,000 farmers were engaged in cooperative marketing or purchasing—and these figures did not include the many farmers who obtained insurance, irrigation, telephone, or other business services from cooperatives.173
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Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
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188 National Farmers Union (NFU) 176 , 183–4 , 188 National Front 163 National Grange (USA) 183 National Health Insurance Act (1924) 187 National Health
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Philip Norton (The British Polity)