Farmer, Political Boss, and Immigrant

960 Words 4 Pages
Farmer, Political Boss, and Immigrant

Various people from the late nineteenth century held diverse opinions on political issues of the day. The source of this diversity was often due to varying backgrounds these people experienced. Three distinct groups of people are the farming class, the political bosses, and the immigrants, who poured into the country like an unstoppable flood. These groups of people also represented the social stratification of the new society, which had just emerged from rapid industrialization. These three groups had large differences in many aspects such as power, amount of money, and influence in political events of the day. The political boss dominated local city governments and pretended to be Robin Hoods
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The prices of staple goods dropped dramatically from the1860s to the 1890s. The farmers were losing large amounts of money that they desperately needed. The tariff on manufactured goods vexed the farmers because even though their own profits were decreasing, the prices of important manufactured goods were not due to absence of foreign competition. The farmers were further bothered by the domestic marketing system which allowed numerous middlemen to take large shares of the profit of agriculture. There was a shortage of credit, which made it difficult to finance the construction of necessary improvements. The farmers were plagued by numerous natural disasters including tornadoes, floods, and droughts. These conditions, which could destroy property and crops, also provided a difficult environment to grow crops. If the crops could not be grown, the farmer had no means of supporting him and his family. After a boom in the mid-1880s, the population of western farm states increased enormously. This large influx of people contributed to the destruction of open-range cattle raising. A prolonged drought following these boom years devastated the farmers and many soon returned East with no money and low morale. Thus, farmers were dissatisfied with government policy and politicians began to discuss resolutions to their problems. Many farmers began to…

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