Essay on Agrarian Woes in the Late 19th Century

853 Words 4 Pages
The end of the 19th century brought to farmers astringent policies enforced by railroad companies, once stable cash crops like cotton and wheat now selling at such low profit margins due to inflation that farmers continued to end up in the red, spikes in foreign competition due to leaps and bounds in transportation, and all of this in the wake of a devastating drought that brought with it the degradation of businesses throughout the west. This agricultural depression culminated into the Populist movement, founded on the premise of the politicalization of the farmers plight. However, much of the negative stigma put onto the precipitants of the industrial revolution by farmers was under false pretense, when the dry and arid conditions of the …show more content…
The end of the 19th century brought to farmers astringent policies enforced by railroad companies, once stable cash crops like cotton and wheat now selling at such low profit margins due to inflation that farmers continued to end up in the red, spikes in foreign competition due to leaps and bounds in transportation, and all of this in the wake of a devastating drought that brought with it the degradation of businesses throughout the west. This agricultural depression culminated into the Populist movement, founded on the premise of the politicalization of the farmers plight. However, much of the negative stigma put onto the precipitants of the industrial revolution by farmers was under false pretense, when the dry and arid conditions of the west, as well as the social isolation from the increase of farm size was to blame. The end of the nineteenth century brought with it a new age of monopolies and trusts, where competition evaporated while businesses centralized. Farmers felt threatened by monopolization, especially with railroads, because the lack of competition would leave profit driven corporations to raise rates, and put a strangle hold on farmers profits. As the presidential nominee of the Populist Party in the 1892 election, James B. Weaver spoke for the American farmer in his work, A Call to Action: An Interpretation of the Great Uprising [Document F]. His message may have been an accurate portrayal of the farmers woes, however, the fear that the monopolies would