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

675 words - 3 pages

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. Cropsprices began falling and farmers were often forced into mortgaging their farms so theycould buy more land and produce more crops to break even. Good farming land wasbecoming scarce and the banks took over the mortgages of farmers who couldn't makepayments on their loans; the railroads, on the other end, took advantage of farmers bycharging them excessive prices for shipping and storage--both equally frustrating thetroubled farmer, who in a way resembled a larger economic problem that was affectingthe entire nation.Banks controlled the farmer by the neck, casting their shadow on the farmer'severy step and relentlessly taking over the mortgages of farmers who couldn't makepayments on their loans(doc d). Generally speaking, the average farmer struggled duringthe period in part to the enormous increase of agriculture worldwide. Due to varioustechnological improvements, which in effect boosted competition not only nationwide butalso worldwide, farmers came face to face with foreign competition, being forced toadjust the prices of their products to stay competitive. An increase of production repaidthe farmer's losses only temporarily, however, as many soon came to discover thelimitations of available adequate farming land as well as the doom of their own over-production with the increasing availability of products--rendering their value belowprofitable(doc e).The troubles of a farmer were part of a larger economic problem that was affectingthe entire nation. Deflation followed the Civil War, making the amount of money incirculation decreased and the value of the dollar therefore increased. The result was unfavorable for the farmer, as products took up a lower value. Loans to be repaid withdollars that were worth more than the ones they had borrowed, added great controversy asfarmers lost money. A solution in the eyes of many farmers became the push for...

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