APUSH Agrarian Discontent DBQ Essay

485 Words2 Pages
Agrarian discontent took a sharp increase in the late nineteenth century due to various aids. Railroad managements cheated on inventory shippers, through pricing. With deflation, farmers became buried with debt trouble. Growing production of farm products in the cities, created emptiness in the farmers’ pockets. During the period between 1880 and 1900, agrarian discontent increased as a result of the rise of cities, deflation of the American money, and problems with railroads and freight shipping. Farmers also complained about unfair railroads policies towards shippers. Railroad companies discriminated, by charging bigger businesses lower priced shipping rates and charging individual shippers highly overpriced shipping rates. In the Octopus, by Frank Norris, the con of the practice is displayed as the main character, farmer Dyke, discovers that the shipping rate being charged will put him at a loss rather than profit. Congress believed that farmers were right and passed the Interstate Commerce Act, in order to regulate railroads and ensure fair rates to all people. Overall, farmers were fully justified in their claim against railroads. The deflation of American currency was yet another blow directed directly at the farmers’ pockets. Representing farmers, the People’s party petitioned for the coinage of silver, in order to stop deflation. The farmers’ anger was further deepened at the government when the crisis remained unresolved. The farmers’ had reached boiling point when Congress passed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which allowed a limited amount of silver coinage, but did not solve the problem. The United States population and money in circulation between 1865 and 1895, demonstrates that between the time periods the population had almost double however the amount of money in circulation had grown only half as much. Farmer’s discontent came with the rise
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