Electricity, the New Deal, and America’s urban-rural divide

But the New Deal’s electrical reformers aimed for something even bigger than an economic stimulus to relieve farmers and put workers back in business. They hoped to use this program to heal a cultural rift between urban and rural America that had been widening for decades, as city populations boomed, rural villages dwindled, and many farmers felt increasingly alienated from the economic and social mainstream. By the 1920s, the center of cultural authority had shifted in America; public opinion was now dominated by cosmopolitans who lampooned country “hayseeds” and dismissed parochial thinking as “small town stuff.” Once proud to think of themselves as belonging to a nation of farmers, many Americans now faced an identity crisis.

Page 301 of Age of Edison which I have now finished. My previous posts on it are here, here, and here.

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