Problems by Farmers and Immigrants in 1800's

Topics: Inflation, Economics, Money supply Pages: 3 (861 words) Published: March 21, 2011
History Essay

There were many problems faced by both farmers and immigrants in the late 1800’s. The economy was very shaky, the government was not stepping up to help, and the immigrants faced harsh times in their coming to America. Eventually many groups were formed to help with these issues.

Farmers faced many issues in the 1800’s. First off, debt was a huge issue for farmers. Falling crop prices, unpaid loans, and crashing banks all led to the huge debt of farmers. Because the crop prices were falling in the horrible economy loans could not be paid back, unemployment soared, and businesses went under. There was also the tariff issue. Tariffs on imported goods were discouraging people to buy these products. They raised the prices of manufactured goods, and tariffs were also placed on U.S. goods in other countries, which led to a reduced world market for American crops. Thirdly the money supply was a huge issue. The money supply is the amount of money in the economy. If the money supply is increased, inflation occurs, and the value of every dollar drops. With inflation, farmers are helped because the crop prices are raised. But, if the money supply is decreases, and deflation occurs, the prices of crops are lowered and farmers’ profits are affected. Farmers also called for free silver, rather than a bimetallic standard. They said that ending silver would lower farm prices. The Bland-Allison Act was a help for farmers, calling for the government to coin more silver, increase the money supply, and cause inflation. Lastly, natural disasters played a big role for farmers. Natural disasters such as blizzards and droughts led to destroyed crops and a drop in the profit of farmers.

Immigrants also faced many problems in their coming to America. First off, on the trip over to America, immigrants traveled in steerage, with very limited toilet facilities, no privacy, and poor food. Then as they arrived, it was either on Ellis or Angel Island that they...
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