AGRARIAN DISCONTENT DBQ

Topics: Economics, Silver, Currency Pages: 2 (643 words) Published: March 10, 2014
Between 1880-1900, farmers believed that the railroad companies were swindling away their profits and that the government favored big business. The farmers had every reason to feel some sort of discontent because of their predicament as well as the fact that the government saw a need for reform which created the notion that problems existed. Farmers were correct in arguing that the United States’ money supply was not what it should be; over 30 years the population nearly double while the money circulation rose by only 60 %( Doc C). Railroads had a monopoly on shipping which raised costs and affected profit, the value of crops deflated, and big business was a strong opponent to the much needed 'Free Silver Movement' that farmers were relying on.

The first major topic regarding farmers discontent with their economic situation involves the shipping monopolies controlled by the railroad companies. The cost of transportation was spiraling out of control, there was never any certainty when it came to exactly what it would cost for a farmer to ship his crop. Profit became a scarcity with the cost of shipping amounting to much more than the worth of the crop (Doc H). The ridiculous demands of railroad companies can also be compared to the crop deflation that made it that much more difficult to provide for one’s family, the companies claimed that the operating expense of the railroads demanded such intimidating shipping costs (Doc G). Farmer’s were left exasperated and often had no choice but to foreclose on their farms because no profit was to be made, this can also be seen within the fact that the United States’ money supply was not what it should have been, over 30 years the population nearly doubled while the money circulation rose by only 60 %( Doc C). “All his calculations as to a profit on his little investment he had based on freight rate of two cents a pound. Good money never made times hard (Doc B). Secondly, Farmer's also struggled economically due to the...
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