Alternate Author Name(s)

Melvyn Dubofsky

Document Type


Date of Award



Agricultural laws and legislation, United States, 20th century

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Richard M. Dalfiume

Second Advisor

Albert V. House


This dissertation traces agricultural policy—making during the Eisenhower Administration. Four specific goals are involved. First, by providing a general review of the Eisenhower farm programs, this work continues the efforts of many scholars to provide a collection of monographs tracing American agricultural policy. Since several of the programs put into operation during the Eisenhower Administration differed substantially from those of previous years, a somewhat detailed examination of these new programs is justified. Second, this study investigates the procedures followed by the Eisenhower Administration in developing its farm policy: these reveal a good deal about the operations of the Administration, as well as its values and priorities. Third, the splintering of the old farm bloc during the 1950's makes the politics of the Eisenhower farm programs interesting. Of special interest was the question of whether the breakup of the farm bloc or the rise of a large number of urban constituencies in Congress was most influential on farm legislation. Finally, this research seemed a good occasion to test the thesis on interest groups and their role in American government that has been developed by Theodore Lowi, Henry S. Kariel and others.