Businesspeople, money issues, and the increase in population were all factors that made farmers’ living conditions even worse. Railroad owners were the major source of this severe problem because they charged ridiculous rates for their service. While businesspeople like railroad owners profited, farmers’ condition dropped even lower.
Money issues that played a big part of farmers’ problems included debt, credit, and low crop prices. In 1873, US passed the gold standard that only allowed gold back into the US currency. Due to the slow growth of the money supply, prices dropped and led to a deflation. Farmers opposed this and instead favored an inflation in prices to pay off their debts. With higher crop prices, they could increase their yearly income.
After Oliver Kelly investigated how farmers’ were suffering from the surge in the US population, he and several other members of the government formed the National Grange. These granges bought goods at lower prices for the farmers to make their lives less miserable. [continues]
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