1865 to 1900 American Farmers Essay

532 WordsApr 18, 20143 Pages
From 1865 to 1900, American farmers experienced a wide list of problems in their way of life and abilities to thrive. The potential to survive significantly decreased to almost none, the profits earned by Farmers were insufficient. Two major influences that played a part in these problems was big business and government policy, also the decisions of the farmers themselves. All factors played an equal, but significant, role in the depression and misery of the farmers. Big business had the greatest impact on the ability farmers had access to make a living. After industrialization and many inventions, farmers who could afford them used these tools to speed up the process of cultivating, harvesting and other tiresome tasks. Consequently, a small number of wealthy farmers were able to produce and distribute crops at a much higher rate than their competitors who did not have the machinery they possessed. With an abundance of money gained, farmers were able to expand by purchasing more land, in some cases, farmers purchased the lands near the railroads and relied on railroad companies, merchants, and also bankers to distribute their, products from the west to both Midwest and northeast markets. These farmers complained that these railroad companies were charging a high rate to have the goods shipped and that they would only offer favorable rates to wealthy northeastern industrialists at the farmers’ expense. These railroad companies had a tight hold on the Transportation of crops shipped from small farm towns; subsequently farmers were forced to suffer with below average service and sky high shipping tariffs. The smaller farmers were unable to carry on due to, the bigger companies and consequently were put out of business. The government’s decisions and their policies made it extremely difficult for the American farmer to profit and grow; the Homestead Act was a prime

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