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Some of the problems that many farmers in the late nineteenth century(1880-1900)saw as threats to their way of life(a)explain reasons for discontent(b)evaluate the validity of the farmers' complaints

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Documents A-H reveal some of the problems that many farmers in the late nineteenth century(1880-1900)saw as threats to their way of life.(a)explain the reasons for agrarian discontent and(b)evaluate the validity of the farmers' complaints.

In the late 1800s, many farmers were trapped in a vicious economic cycle. Crops

prices began falling and farmers were often forced into mortgaging their farms so they

could buy more land and produce more crops to break even. Good farming land was

becoming scarce and the banks took over the mortgages of farmers who couldn't make

payments on their loans; the railroads, on the other end, took advantage of farmers by

charging them excessive prices for shipping and storage--both equally frustrating the

troubled farmer, who in a way resembled a larger economic problem that was affecting

the entire nation.

Banks controlled the farmer by the neck, casting their shadow on the farmer's

every step and relentlessly taking over the mortgages of farmers who couldn't make

payments on their loans(doc d). Generally speaking, the average farmer struggled during

the period in part to the enormous increase of agriculture worldwide. Due to various

technological improvements, which in effect boosted competition not only nationwide but

also worldwide, farmers came face to face with foreign competition, being forced to

adjust the prices of their products to stay competitive. An increase of production repaid

the farmer's losses only temporarily, however, as many soon came to discover the

limitations of available adequate farming land as well as the doom of their own over-

production with the increasing availability of products--rendering their value below

profitable(doc e).

The troubles of a farmer were part of a larger economic problem that was affecting

the entire nation. Deflation followed the Civil War, making the amount of money in

circulation decreased and the value of the dollar...