There seems to be a lot of push back as the US employment markets move toward knowledge work and away from more traditional industrial roles.

I'm sure there was a similar time in history when moving from focusing on agriculture to industry. My question is, was there a political movement around this as well?

  • 2
    Startups used to say, "We're John Deere but for shovels".
    – balpha
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 21:16
  • 3
    Closest I can think of is William Jennings Byran and his Cross of Gold campaign. The language used to modern eyes is arcana about monetary standards, but the dispute was roughly about making the economy easier to deal with for laborers (mostly farmers) vs. making it easier for large businesses. Of course he lost. 3 times. Bryan was the Jim Kelly of Presidential candidates.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 21:42
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    ...this exact issue was however a big deal in English history.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 21:48
  • Ned Ludd of Luddite fame stood for a return to cottage industry from industrialization. Also England.
    – user22111
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


I don't know about "make America farm again" since it happened so early in American history, however Thomas Jefferson was a fan of having a primarily agrarian economy, seeing urbanization as a threat to his ideal democracy. From this source:

Jefferson's thinking, however, was not merely celebratory, for he saw two dangerous threats to his ideal AGRARIAN DEMOCRACY. To him, financial speculation and the development of urban industry both threatened to rob men of the independence that they maintained as farmers. Debt, on the one hand, and factory work, on the other, could rob men of the economic autonomy essential for republican citizens.


For Jefferson, western expansion provided an escape from the British model. As long as hard working farmers could acquire land at reasonable prices, then America could prosper as a republic of equal and independent citizens. Jefferson's ideas helped to inspire a mass political movement that achieved many key aspects of his plan.


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