Question 9 a correct answer the safety valve theory

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Question 9 a. Correct answer. The safety valve theory of frontier westward migration asserts that the availability of free western land and the prospect of gold and silver riches prompted many immigrants to settle in the West, when otherwise they would have clogged urban eastern job markets and depressed the wages of
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eastern city dwellers. According to the safety valve theory, if these two adverse economic developments had come to fruition, the unemployed and low-wage workers living in festering and overpopulated urban slums would have become more receptive to political appeals to class conflict engaged in by radical political parties and organizations, such as the Socialist party. b. Western farmers tended to be more politically radical than their eastern counterparts, as evidenced by their disproportionate involvement in the Grange movement, the Farmers’ Alliance, and the People’s Party (the Populists). Western farmers were experiencing more serious economic difficulties, particularly in managing their excessive debts, than their more established eastern counterparts. Consequently, western farmers were more apt to embrace more radical economic ideas, such as free coinage of silver, to ease their crushing debts and inflate the currency to raise agricultural prices. c. Shortly after establishing their farms along the Western frontier, many western farmers became burdened by excessive debts, falling prices for their crops, a deflationary currency, and exorbitant railroad rates and storage charges. They were not in an economic position to hire large numbers of unemployed laborers from eastern cities to reduced unemployment in the East. d. Economic depressions and recessions during this era accelerated the downward pressure on agricultural crop prices and made it even more difficult for western farmers to sustain their economic viability. Free homesteads were not a sufficient economic incentive for eastern city dwellers to head to the West to become farmers during a depression or a severe recession. e. Western cities experienced significant episodes of class conflict, such as the violently suppressed Pullman strike that paralyzed railway traffic from Chicago to the Pacific coast and the vocal protests of unemployed western Coxeyites against the railroads. The western Coxeyites brought their economic demand for an inflationary public works program, supported by $500 million in legal tender notes issued by the Treasury, to Washington, D.C. in 1894. Question 10 a. Farmers were facing difficulties from high protective tariff rates in the United States and not low tariff rates. High protective tariffs in the United States benefited manufacturers who produced high-priced manufactured goods, such as farm equipment in a protected home market, which farmers had to purchase to operate their farms. Moreover, high American tariffs encouraged foreign countries to impose retaliatory tariffs on American farmers’ products, which made it more difficult for farmers to sell their products on the world market.
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