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Conceiving the FuturePronatalism, Reproduction, and the Family in the United States, 1890-1938$
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Laura L. Lovett

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831076

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807868102_lovett

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American Pronatalism

American Pronatalism

(p.163) 7 American Pronatalism
Conceiving the Future

Laura L. Lovett

University of North Carolina Press

From Mary Elizabeth Lease's maternalist agenda and George H. Maxwell's homecroft movement, to Edward Alsworth Ross's sociological theory of race suicide and social control, Florence Sherbon's eugenics campaign for “fitter families” and Theodore Roosevelt's advocacy of country life and the conservation of race, American pronatalism appealed to the nostalgic ideal of the farmer and the redemptive value of the rural family. This chapter explores the ideological and cultural ideals that shaped pronatalism in the United States between the 1890s and the 1930s. It also discusses the articulation of the mother and the home in the campaign for agrarianism, and in invoking the modernist promise of reform, racism, and reproduction.

Keywords:   pronatalism, United States, fitter families, eugenics, rural family, agrarianism, homecroft, race suicide, conservation of race, country life

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