Many of the financial troubles faced by farmers portrayed them to be not the indispensible feeding hand of America, but perhaps just the opposite, as stated by Mary E. Lease: The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master. The West and South are bound and prostrate before the manufacturing East. (Document C) Lease provides a vital historical aspect of farming, comparing farmers to common people, rather than the agricultural giants that they are today. It thus becomes apparent why a worker putting so much effort into his business but getting so little out would wish to revolt. Railroad companies that charged four times as much as on the East gave farmers incentive to band together in order to combat outrages rates politically (Document D). Freight rates especially hurt farmers, who were far from both buying and selling markets, a clever extortion trick by the railroad companies to force farmers into paying at every occasion (Document F).
With over a twenty percent decline in agriculture economy over fifty years, the farming community grew smaller and less organized by the day an easy target for abusive monopolies to pick on (Document G). The national political scene was impacted by the farmers movements; however the