The 1880s were a very difficult period for the farmers in the Great Plains and the West. The United States was going through many changes economically and socially. The farmers suffered most through these changes. Farmers faced droughts, insect plagues, and living in sod houses because of the climate in the Great Plains. Many of the farmers also had debts to pay but didn't have any money to pay them with because of the lack of silver in circulation and over-production of cash crops. Because of the farmers over producing mostly cash crops it lowers the prices in that type of crop, this is not convenient at all because farmers lose money. Farmers complaints were valid because they did not have the means to pay of their debts and other finances. In the 1890s the Farmers Alliance was created, it served the needs for education and farming methods, organized economic and political action, and later developed into the populist party. One of the populist party goals was to have more silver in circulation for the use if the people.
Initially people moved westward because of the Homestead Act, that gave 160 acres of free land to anyone that can farm in it for 5 years, there was an abundance of people leaving their homes to start a new life with their families. Farmers lived a pretty lonely life only living with their families they had a lot of farms and their neighbors were miles away form each other, all the farmers could do was farm. There were also gold and silver discoveries in the West, because of this many African Americans moved to the West were mining was booming. Big businesses supported the miners leaving the farmers on their own and isolated. When the government got rid of the greenbacks farmers and debtors demanded the expansion of money supply with silver to repay loans, but the nobody helped them. In fact big business accused the farmers that the debts was their own fault because of over production as showed in a cartoon by a Chicago newspaper in late 1800,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document