Farmer’s discontent during the period 1870 – 1900 had an impact on their attitudes and actions towards national politics. During this time period manufacturing had a huge growth spurt and agricultural began to decline. This made it harder for farmers to make a living. Document G shows how much manufacturing increased between the years 1849 – 1899. America could no longer aspire to be a nation of small freehold farms. Manufacturers and people living in big cities depended on farmers to pretty much keep them alive. Many people didn’t realize how much of an affect farmers had on their everyday lives. If you took farms away from the United States during this period of time, everything would have completely crashed.
Farmer’s had difficulties making a living because the rates of being a farmer were so high. “Nothing has done more to injure the western region than these freight rates.” (Document F) The high rates of being a farmer made it difficult to pay payments on the lands and the rate of interest was rapidly rising. Some farmers couldn’t even sell their produce at a reasonable profit. These farmers worked long, hard hours and the government wasn’t on their side about paying them with a decent income yet they wanted so much from the farmers. Along with farm prices failing, railroad prices were increasing. Railroads were important to farmers because they took farmers out to their lands, carried their produce of hard work to markets, and brought them the manufactured goods that they needed. Many farm settlements were established around railroads because of this reason. Railroad managers were forced to charge very high rates and because of it, that means farmers would have to pay more money to use railroads when they already used enough money keeping their crops alive.
Document B talks about how it was also hard for colored farmers to make a living especially after the Civil War. “They had to get the local merchant or someone else to supply the food for the family...
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