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How did government policty, technology, and economic conditions a...

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How did government policty, technology, and economic conditions affect agriculture.

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  • March 25, 2008
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The period of 1865-1900 was classified as an era of Republicans, where laissez-fare governments favored big businesses. Technology was significantly evolving, focusing mainly on urban manufacturing. New technological advancements in farming were sold to the farmers at high prices and shipped at high freight rates. Also, the prices of cash crops dropped during this period, causing many farmers to live in poor conditions. In government, the power of urban industry and big businesses overcame that of the pro-farming politicians. Technology, government policy, and economic conditions effectively declined agriculture politically, industrially, and economically. Impediments such as industrial issues, poor representation in government, and waning agricultural prices that the farmers were forced to face, made agriculture suffer greatly during the late 19th century.

During this period, the U.S. was technologically evolving at a rapid rate. New inventions and advancements made life easier for the working class. Railroads, after spreading all over the nation, made any part of the country accessible and expanded the national market. Document B displays that the years 1870-1890, the number of railroads in the nations increased massively. Also, the number of railroads with major land grants grew as well. At first glance, this change seems to have benefited the farmers, but actually did the opposite. It is true that railroads allowed the farmers to expand and have a way to ship their harvest and cattle a lot faster to more markets. However, greedy men like Cornelius Vanderbilt controlled the railroads. Extremely high freight rates made the farmers lose more than they expected. Likewise, the cost of shipping, taxes, low buying prices, overproduction, and cost of equipment, the farmer gained a mere profit. The technological advancements did make farming easier, but often were too expensive for the farmer to afford. In document D, a farmer during a wheat harvest preferred to...