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History Rural Distress

History Rural Distress - Jan 28 History Rural Distress A...

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Jan. 28 History: Rural Distress A lived experience of most American’s in the early 1900s, looming fact of life Most still lived in strictly rural areas or areas on the border of rural areas, still tied to an agrarian lifestyle Not until 1920 did census report more living in urban areas than rural areas Particularly 1880s and 1890s lived with acute distress and generated a long list of grievances, if polled for the most part would say were vulnerable to forces (political, economic: beyond their control) Fortunes declining and didn’t see a reason why they wouldn’t continue to decline in the future Looking for tools to try to defend their lives against the capitalists Transition of Agricultural Market in 1890s Political movement in 1890s – People’s Party/ Populist movement Subject to international agricultural markets Huge amount of tobacco consumed in the US Late 1890s competing with other international markets in various other crops that had typically been free of competition: wheat, corn, cotton staple crops that had once guaranteed American farmers a decent livelihood and for some great wealth o Canada became a huge producer of agricultural food, especially wheat o
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