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Agrarianism and agrarian have two meanings. One refers to a social philosophy or political philosophy which stresses the moral superiority of a rural life based on farming, as opposed to the supposed corruption of city life, with its banks and factories. Thomas Jefferson was a famous representative agrarian[1].

The term "agrarianism" also means radical proposals for land redistribution, specifically the distribution of land from the rich to the poor or landless. This terminology is common in many countries, and originated from the "Lex Sempronia Agraria" or "agrarian laws" of Rome in 133 BC, imposed by Tiberius Gracchus, that seized the lands of the rich and distributed them to the poor, in "Robin Hood" fashion.[2]

In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England, the word identified any land reform movement that sought to redistribute cultivated lands equally. Today, the word has largely shed this radical political meaning. Instead, agrarianism points to a collection of political, philosophical, and literary ideas that together tend to describe farm life in ideal terms.


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