Dbq - Farmers

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During the period 1876-1900, there were many different changes to American agriculture. Prior to the American Civil War, the United States started a systematic policy of territorial expansion across the continental United States. During this process of expansion, land was gained from the Native Americans and the Mexicans through different wars and treaties. However, the changes that technology, government policy, and economic conditions caused shall be explained. The Industrial Age accentuated class divisions because of different government policies. In 1860, 50% of all American workers were self-employed; by 1900, two out of three workers depended upon wages. Nonetheless, there was a problem with this: the workers were at the mercy of their bosses. In Doc. E, the sharecroppers are robbed of their fair deserved earnings. Their boss takes more than half of the money they earn for him, and as the document states, he pays them “their half of the net proceeds”, indicating that they barely get any of their earnings for the rigorous work they do. The Industrial Age was a booming and exciting time for America, but it was also a devastating time for the Native Americans and the farmers. The Native Americans were hurt the most by the railroads because the railroads could bring people, diseases, and troops. The Dawes Severalty Act of 1887 was an attempt by the government at forcer assimilation to “civilize” Indians, and also to give each head of the family 160 acres of land to farm, but sadly this dissolved many tribes as legal entities. The Dawes Severalty Act ruined Indian culture and way of life. The farmers in Nevada, Colorado, Montana, and Idaho, likewise, were having a tough time while silver and gold were being discovered. The rain-scarce Great Plains brought them little to no farming. Therefore, change can be a good and positive thing to one group of people, but it can also be a negative thing to another.
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