Affect Of The Civil War Essay Research

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Affect Of The Civil War Essay, Research Paper Northern and Western farmers experienced heavy demand for foodstuffs for the Union armed forces and for the thriving industrial cities. Farmers brought increased acreage under cultivation, employed more machines, and enjoyed relatively high agricultural prices. There were a number of complaints that followed after the Civil War. After the Civil War the demand for agricultural produce declined and prices fell. Also, American farmers faced increased competition in world markets from newly plowed lands in Argentina, Australia, and Canada. Nevertheless, American farmers continued to expand their output. Wheat farmers, who in 1866 received more than $1.50 per bushel of wheat, and in 1894 received less than $.70. Corn and cotton farmers

suffered similar sharp declines in prices. With such low prices, farmers had great difficulty earning a living. Another complaint was the insufficient and expensive credit farmers had driven up. Since farmers were considered poor credit risks, banks were reluctant to grant them loans. Despite state laws prohibiting usury, farmers often had to pay excessive interest rates, as high as 25 percent per year. Farmers unable to meet their mortgage payments, thus lost their homes and farms in the process. This was followed by high rates charged by Middlemen. Farmers complained that they received only about half the price that city consumers paid for agricultural produce. Farmers blamed this situation on the high rates charged by middlemen. Once they secure control of a given line of

business, they are master of the situation and can dictate to the two great classes with which they deal–the producer of the raw material and the consumer of the finished product. …Doc.F. For example, grain storage elevators, packinghouses, insurance companies, wholesale distributors, and especially the railroads. Since each railroad had a virtual monopoly over the transportation of crops from the small farm towns along its tracks, farmers endured poor service and exorbitant rates. Railroads manipulated shipping costs, the new rates ruined many farmers. Ironically, the rule that guided the railroad companies in determining their rates was what the traffic will bear. The rate is five cents. Why, what do you mean? You promised me a rate of two cents and I went ahead with my

business with that understanding…. Doc. H and Doc. G. Lastly, high industrial prices also contributed to the complaints of farmers. While farmers received low agricultural prices, they paid dearly for manufactured goods. The farmers blamed high industrial prices upon the high tariff rates, which kept out many foreign goods and thus protected American manufacturers from foreign competition, and the growth of business monopoly, which curtailed domestic competition. To see to the improvement of their economic conditions, farmers joined in organizations such as, the Grange, the Greenback-Labor party, and the Populist party. The origin of the Populist party had came from farmers who had believed that Eastern industrialists and bankers controlled both the Democratic and Republican

parties. This was illustrated in the political cartoon in Doc. D. One of their most prized speakers was William Jennings Bryan. farmers and silver interests gained control of Democratic nominating convention and in turn, was nominated under both the Democratic and Populist ballot. In order to arrest the downward trend in agricultural prices after the Civil War, farmers demanded cheap money, or otherwise known as inflation. Cheapening the value of money would in crease and ease the repayment of debts. True, the farmer would have to pay more for his manufactured goods, but he would benefit in the end. In document C, it shows a graph of the United States population and money in circulation between, 1865-1895. As the population doubled between 1865 and 95, but the money in