Farmer Movements
  • After Civil War, farmers move to plains states
  • Many challenges
    • Hailstorms, strong, hot winds devastate crops
      • Precipitation changes, 98* line
      • Isolation and loneliness
  • 1880’s, prices go down for cotton and wheat because of worldwide competition
  • Deflation
    • Definition: a decrease in price of goods as “real value” of money increases
    • In 1880’s, 1890’s, caused by a reduced amount of “green backs”
      • Treasury took them out of circulation to bring them back to the value of gold
  • Public Credit Act, 1869
    • Required payment of war bonds from the Civil War in gold
  • “The Crime of 1873” demonetizes silver
  • Specie Resumption Act,1875
    • Set greenbacks= to gold
    • Helped economy grow overall, hurt South and West farmers
  • Bland-Allison Act, 1879
    • Required treasury to make not less than $2 million nor more than $4 million of sliver
  • “Free Silver”
    • before war, U.S. minted silver and gold at a 16 to 1 ratio
    • After, the value of silver fell to 20 to 1
  • Sherman Silver Purchase Act, 1890
    • Required silver be minted, again, not at 16 to 1
    • caused a run on U.S. gold reserves
    • 1893 it was repealed
  • Farmer’s Alliance
    • Lead by Leonidas L. Polk
    • Marketing groups to eliminate the middleman
    • Ocala, Florida demands, 1890
      1. Graduated income tax (constitutional amendment in 1913)
      2. Direct election of Senators (constitutional amendment in 1913)
      3. Free silver
      4. Government control, when needed, of railroads, telegraph, and telephone companies (laws in 20th century)
      5. Subtreasury plan (law in the 1930’s)
        • Storage of crops in government facilities
        • Government loans at 2% interest
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