The Bank of North Dakota: Economic Independence

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

The frustration of farmers at the stranglehold Twin Cities and corporate business had on transportation, finance, and milling led to the rise of the Non-Partisan League.  The NPL-controlled legislature pass several bills providing support to farmers, including creation of the only state-owned bank in the country.

Farmers were able to make a living in North Dakota, but much of their income was determined by the decisions of business interests from the Twin Cities. Farmers wanted more influence over the price of grain and the interest on farm loans. The co-op movement, Populism and Progressivism failed in North Dakota. A. C. Townley’s Non-Partisan League appealed to many farmers seeking a way to take control of their economic futures.


Kim Stenehjem (Producer); Lee Westad (Editor); R. Cadwell, D. Geck, T. Jensen, L. Westad (Videlgaphers); Bob Dambach (Executive Producer).


The Bank of North Dakota [Documentary]. USA: Prairie Public Broadcasting (2005).

Grade Level

3 - 12

Subject Matter

Social Studies

Related Media

  1. The Bank of North Dakota: The NPL and the Bank
    Video: The Nonpartisan League's rise to power was fast and had a lasting impact on North Dakota.
  2. The Bank of North Dakota: The Bank Today
    Video: An overview of the Bank of North Dakota's function in modern-day North Dakota.
  3. Dakota Datebook: Bank of North Dakota
    Audio: The Bank of North Dakota is the only state-owned bank in the United States.