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Enlistment for the Farm
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Enlistment for the Farm
Work Type
Ink on paper
10 p. ; 20 cm.
This pamphlet was written by John Dewey, for the Columbia War Papers Series in 1917. It was #1 in the 4-part series of pamphlets on “the problems and duties of Americans in meeting national needs during this international conflict.” The series was published by the Division of Intelligence and Publicity at Columbia University in New York City. Dewey’s message informed teachers, principals and school boards on how school children could “aid the nation,” by working the land. Dewey believed farmers were equally important to the military in a successful wartime mobilization. Dewey believed increasing the food supply outweighed the importance of increasing the number of troops, for “It is food that will win our battles.” And during the war this food shortage was an international problem. There was also a shortage in available farm labor, as factories, railroads and munitions plants had taken the men from the countryside into the city in search of manufacturing jobs. Moreover, there had been a drop in immigration since the war began which had further depleted the American labor supply. This was where students came in: don’t train the young boys to fight; train them to farm. Dewey saw many virtues in employing students as farm labor, from utilizing an untapped labor source to providing good exercise, and instilling the young children with a sense of purpose and civic duty. Dewey believed this plan had to be organized on a city-wide, statewide, even nationwide scale for it be successful. He even proposed taking children out of the city and into to the countryside to work the land in camps and tent colonies. Dewey believed the training should start immediately, and that it required the full support of teachers and parents to be successful. He felt this work would be worthwhile even in peacetime, but because of that war it was made all the more important. This work was for the good of the whole community, and therefore needed the full support of the entire community to work.
Accession Number
D525.U6 D49 1917
ID Number
Boatwright Special Collections
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