Why Did Farmers Express Discontent During 1870-1900 and What Impact Did Their Attitudes and Actions Have on National Politics.

Topics: Money, Gold standard, Coinage Act of 1873 Pages: 6 (2488 words) Published: November 20, 2011
Why did farmers express discontent during 1870-1900 and what impact did their attitudes and actions have on national politics. Manufacturing hit a huge growth rate during this period which cause agriculture to decline, and cause farmers to struggle to make a living. The farmers were now being abused by the railroad companies and banks. The documents in DBQ 8 show rationality for the farmer’s protests, exclusively on bank mortgage tariffs and the gold standard. Two particular groups became popular during this period and that would be the Grangers and the Populist Party. Farmers fought against the Gold Standard, railroads, and industrialist during this period causing lots of confrontation. Document G displays how much manufacturing amplified between the years 1849-1899. The United States could no longer wish to be a country of small estate farms. Industrialists and the people living in immense cities depended on farmers to basically keep them alive throughout the years. However, back then numerous people didn’t comprehend just how much of an impact farmers had on their everyday lives. If you took farms away from the United States during this period of time, everything would have entirely crashed. Farmer’s had complications with making a living because the rates of being a farmer were so high. The first farmers' organization of the post-war period was the National Grange of Patrons of Husbandry, better known as the Grange. Founded in 1867 by Oliver H. Kelley, it was established as a social club that allowed farmers and their families to improve their lives through mutual aid. By 1875 the Grange claimed a membership of 800,000, mostly in the Midwest and South. By this time also, the organization had shifted its focus from social to political and financial matters and had become a lobby. The Grangers advocated railroad regulation by the states and they wanted the federal government to leave in circulation large amounts of paper money that had been issued during the Civil War. The Grange and other groups that wanted to inflate the currency had no success because the government brought paper money to a par with gold in 1875 through the Specie Resumption Act. However, their efforts aimed at railroad regulation were more promising. Beginning in 1871, several states led by Illinois passed laws controlling railroad freight rates and grain elevator charges. The railroads fought these measures, which they called "Granger Laws," in federal court, where they were ruled unconstitutional. Though the Granger Laws were declared unconstitutional, they marked the beginning of a new era in which government would assume more responsibility for regulating the actions of common carriers and their associated businesses. The Populist Party cultivated from agrarian uprising that rose after the downfall of agriculture prices succeeding the Panic of 1873. The Farmers' Alliance, promoted collective economic action by farmers and achieved widespread popularity in the South and Great Plains. Document A describe the complaints of the Populist Party and their views. The document supports the fact that the party was formed to voice the complaints of the farmers against gold standard, the industrialists, and the corruption. The Populist Party was ultimately incapable of accomplishing its broader economic objective of clustered action in contradiction of bankers, railroads, and merchants. Document A shows a representation of how farmers were feeling during this time. You can clearly see by the illustration that they are angry and upset about how everyone is treating them. They feel as if their job is the most important because they are feeding everyone and keeping them alive, but no one seems to appreciate their job well enough. The document expresses one of the agrarian radicals’ premises that all other jobs were not as deserving of the money they made because they do nothing that actually helps people. Some farmers couldn’t even sell their produce at...
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