In one of the classrooms at the University of Wisconsin, a room frequently used by Professors Hibbard and Commons, hangs a large, black, depressing picture of a man and a woman, poor, poverty stricken, carrying a few bundles. Beneath the picture in bold letters there is inscribed the word, “Landless.” This picture reminds one of historical accounts of the plight of the exploited and evicted Irish farmers. It is hard in these days of surpluses, overproduction, and areas once suitable for agriculture now distinctly marginal, to understand why land was so important to these people. Or why the virtual monopoly of land by absentee owners became so oppressive?



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