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American BondsHow Credit Markets Shaped a Nation$
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Sarah L. Quinn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691156750

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691156750.001.0001

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Credit as a Tool of Statecraft

Credit as a Tool of Statecraft

Chapter:
(p.69) 4 Credit as a Tool of Statecraft
Source:
American Bonds
Author(s):

Sarah L. Quinn

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691156750.003.0004

This chapter shows how Progressives returned to the issue of farm credit distribution in the early 1900s and drew on European precedents to reframe credit allocation as a way for the central government to help people help themselves. American Progressives thus replaced their earlier, more radical farm credit politics with a more moderate vision of government-supported credit as an inexpensive way of supporting self-help. The chapter then considers the Federal Farm Loan Act (FFLA). Compared with other hallmarks of Progressive Era state building, the FFLA seems relatively unimportant. Nevertheless, it was a turning point in the use of selective credit as a tool of federal statecraft in the United States. The FFLA provided federal credit on a national level that was administered through public–private partnerships and bolstered by tax expenditures. By tracing the lead-up to this policy, one can see how Progressives forged a new array of cultural and organizational approaches to federal credit that would later proliferate across policy arenas.

Keywords:   American Progressives, farm credit distribution, credit allocation, central government, government-supported credit, Federal Farm Loan Act, state building, selective credit, federal statecraft, federal credit

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