Late Nineteenth Century Farmers Essay

981 words - 4 pages

The late nineteenth century was a very difficult time for farmers to make a substantial living. Because of the economy, many farmers found themselves going into large amounts of debt that they were not able to pay, and as a result they were treated unfairly and being taken advantage of. There were many threats to farmers during the late nineteenth century, the most common were railroads, trusts, monopolies, banks, and a great deal of money problems, but not all of these were valid. In the belief that banks and railroad companies were threats to their way of life, the farmers were right about having discontent. Even so, the beliefs that money problems, trusts, and monopolies were threatening ...view middle of the document...

Monopolies and trusts were becoming more and more powerful as the nineteenth century was coming to an end. For almost every industry, when prices were falling, a business would take over the industries and control them, forming monopolies. The farmers believed that the monopolies would inflate prices, hurting the consumers. Weave believed that the monopolies were going to destroy competition and limit trade. Monopolies would control how much the producers were paid and how much the consumers would pay for the goods. Even so, many of the monopolies weren't out to hurt the producers and consumers. Rockefeller was a great example of this. Unlike what is believed, Rockefeller wanted to have the oil refiners join Standard Oil to share the business so that everyone would make even more money. Monopolies would never raise prices to become unmanageable, the prices during the late nineteenth century were actually on the lower side. This makes the complaints of the farmers about the monopolies not valid, the monopolies didn't try to hurt the farmers business.Money problems were the largest complaint by farmers in the late 1800's. During that time, prices had deflated a great deal. The Populist Party in the 1892 election demanded that silver be coined unlimitedly and that the money supply be increased. The money supply of the country wasn't enough, but the farmers used this as an excuse for many other problems. Laughlin said that farmers believed that the problem was a scarcity of gold, not that they were overproducing crops. The overproduction of the crops forced prices to lower. The battle of the gold and silver was unnecessary. Instead, they should have focused on how to fix the money deflation problems. In the acceptance speech of President McKinley, he...

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