Great Plains, 1880-1920
the time North Dakota was first settled, farmers disliked having to
deal with out-of-state banks, grain companies, and railroad companies.
They also disliked the power these businesses held in North Dakota
politics. Farmers felt that they were not being treated fairly. In
1915 farmers formed the Nonpartisan League (NPL) in North Dakota.
NPL members thought that state ownership of grain elevators, flour
mills, and banks would solve many of their problems. They trusted
their own state more than they did outsiders.
North Dakota began a state-owned bank in 1919 and built a state-owned
mill and elevator in 1922, both of which are still in operation today.
Through the election of 1916 they took control of state government
but lost much of their power beginning in 1920. The NPL did not solve
as many farm problems as they had hoped. By 1925, because of internal
disagreements and the economic depression of the early 1920s, the
NPL had lost much of its power.
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Photographs from the Fred Hultstrand and F.A. Pazandak