Theocratic Stabilization of Agricultural Commodity Markets
Thesis/Dissertation Embargo Procedures
During the second half of the nineteenth century, the economy of the Great Basin region of the western United States was subject to two competing forces. From one side came the centripetal policies of the Mormon theocracy--policies designed to promote group self-sufficiency, cooperation, and orderly economic development. From the other side came the centrifugal forces of individualistic, laissez-faire American capitalism. Much of the Great Basin's economic history revolves around the theocracy's attempt to maintain control over the economy in the face of increasing market pressures. One important part of Mormon economic policy was the stabilization of prices for agricultural commodities and the stockpiling of adequate supplies of food staples as a hedge against crop failure. This study examines the policy instruments used by Monnon leaders to stabilize agricultural comnodity markets, and analyzes the relative success of the stabilization program over time.