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.
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