Fall/automne 2004
Articles

“BETTER AND HAPPIER MEN AND WOMEN”: THE AGRICULTURAL INSTRUCTION ACT, 1913-1924

Linda M. Ambrose
Professor of History at Laurentian University
Bio
Published October 1, 2004

Abstract

In 1913, the Canadian government introduced The Agricultural Instruction Act, a measure which granted ten million dollars to the provinces over ten years to aid agriculture. The Conservatives predicted that the Act would help in “aiding and advancing the farming industry by instruction in agriculture” but this paper argues that, ironically, the funding actually served to heighten rural discontent, not assuage it. By examining public documents and the rural press, the paper explores the rationale, rhetoric, and politics of this initiative. The funding designated for women’s groups is closely examined to determine its impact on the growth of groups like the Women’s Institutes.