The Rural American Vote’s Disproportionate Slice of Power

In 1920, for the first time, the Census Bureau counted more people living in urbanized America than in the countryside. This hasn’t been a rural nation ever since.

Yet the idea of Thomas Jefferson’s agrarian America has receded slowly despite demographic change. We still romanticize the family farm, though few of them exist anymore. We view even suburbia in pastoral terms — the “crabgrass frontier,” as the historian Kenneth T. Jackson put it.

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