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The Rise of the Public AuthorityStatebuilding and Economic Development in Twentieth-Century America$
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Gail Radford

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226037691

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226037868.001.0001

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The Creation of the Federal Land Banks

The Creation of the Federal Land Banks

(p.41) TWO The Creation of the Federal Land Banks
The Rise of the Public Authority

Gail Radford

University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes the origins of the Federal Land Banks, established by Congress in 1916 to provide a national agricultural credit system. The land banks pioneered, at the federal level, an organizational model for fiscal freedom. As with the fleet corporation, the aspirations of the program's designers do not correspond with the imperious motives generally ascribed to the Progressive Era state-builders who pioneered the public authority template. In fact, the intentions of the sponsors were quite the opposite. The land banks as proposed, and even as originally established by Congress, had large elements of local self-governance, akin to co-ops, but this democratic component evaporated in the course of implementation and revision.

Keywords:   agricultural credit system, land banks, fiscal freedom, public authorities

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