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Left farmers in debt or with little profitHeavy Taxes and TariffsTaxes fall heavily on farmers since they own a large amount of landFalling Farm PricesCosts of goods varies dramaticallyIf prices are low, farmers want to produce moreoIf everyone produces more, supply increases while demand stays the sameoMarket price for goods fall even lower High Cost of CreditFarmers need to borrow money for land, equipment, etc o15% interest oThree to four times more than normalB. Farmer's Organizations:Businesses get tax breaks that aren’t available for farmers Leaves less people paying taxes, causes an increase in taxes, hurts farmersthat are payingSouthern AllianceWhite southern farmersNational Farmers' AllianceNorthern and midwesternColored Farmers' Alliance3million people involved in the AlliancesAllow farmers to chat about how to increase productivity, lobbying for bills, etcoBegin becoming more political Alliance members begin to get political positions in both partiesC. The People's Party:Basically a political party made up of the Southern, National, and Colored Farmers’ Alliances Sole purpose is to promote agrarian businessSilver Purchase Act (1890)Currency should be redeemable in gold in US reserves Silver purchase Act increases the amount of money circulating by including silver
oMore money available= lower interest ratesoMore money makes each bill less valuableGood for farmers, bad for businessAct repealed to fed govD. Election of 1896William Jennings BryanSupports the use of silveroDemocratPeople’s party doesn’t know if they should disband and support Bryan, or split the votes with democratsoDecide to remain their own party and nominate BryanUnable to get vote of urban workersE. McKinley ProsperityDingley Tariff (1897)Supports the gold standardoRepublicanWins election with over 50% of the votesPro Business manWins election of 1900Raises tariffs even furthersEconomy does recover under mckinley bc new gold is found in Alaska, south Africa, and australiaIII. The End of Agrarian AmericaReform and Progressivism, Part 1Progressive movement – people trying to reform government industry and economy that is going to benefit more peopleRather than wealth going to corporate owners, goes to workers, poor, immigrants, etc.Protect people from bad products and working environmentsIndustrial concerns **not rural concernsI. The Problems of Industrial SocietyMuckrakersoTeddy Roosevelt says that the people writing are exposing the bad parts of society to the worldoWriting exposés on corruption and businesses, exposing bad things happening/conditionsoFictional writersoUpton Sinclair – The Jungle, meat packing plantII. The Progressive SpiritHerbert Croly, The Promise of American Life(1909)
oThe way to deal with these problems is to increase the power to the state rather than giving the control to the businesses and enterpriseso