Ap Dbq 2007

1446 WordsSep 8, 20126 Pages
American agriculture greatly changed during 1865 to 1900 through technological advances and railroads spreading across the nation, both modernizing agriculture. New technological advances made farming easier with new inventions such as barbed wire and reapers. However, new technology advancements became too expensive for average American farmers to afford. Economic conditions became intolerable for farmers as railroad companies charged high shipping rates. In the government, policies were made that favored big corporations, such as railroad companies over the small farmers that made agriculture suffer in the end. Technology, government policies, and economic conditions, effectively declined agriculture due to overproduction and deflation,…show more content…
Other than overproduction, another economic issue that drastically effected farmers was the Panic of 1893 that left millions of Americans unemployed, hungry, and homeless. In Susan Orcutt’s leter to Lorenzo D. Lewelling, she states, “I had the prettiest garden that you ever seen and the hail ruined it and I have nothing to look at my husband went a way to find work and came home last night and told me that would have to Starve he has bin in ten countys and did not get no work.” (Document H). Economic conditions such as overproduction, the Panic of 1893, and sharecropping systems that developed from it only led to the downfall of farmers. The booming industry also changed agriculture by creating monopolies where they only gained substantial wealth leaving farmers with nothing. This shows how government policies usually favored policies that supported large corporations consequently leaving farmers to suffer. For example the expansion of railroads would not have been possible without huge subsidies and land grants from the government. The Pacific Railroad Way Act of 1862 may have contributed the most to the expansion of railroads, as the act had provided huge land grants and subsidies to help build railroads. As mentioned earlier with the invention of the railroad came the invention of shipping costs which farmers were very dissatisfied with. To explain further, it states in the Prairie Farmer of 1877, “Some time ago they carried a law through the Illinois

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