reason for agrarian discontent

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First of all, over-production was the main factor for causing the agrarian discontent. Industrial revolution entered the second stage in 19 century. The railroads development and the displacement of the Plains Indians opened up new land for western settlement. In addition, the mechanical advancement greatly increased production. For example, the invention of reaper replaced stickles, turning two weeks’ harvesting into a day’s work . The yield of per hectare was sharply increased. As a result, according to Document E, “Farmer overtraded and expanded his operation beyond his means”. However, “the sudden enlargement of the supply without any corresponding increase of demand produced that alarming fall in the price of wheat”. Moreover, rapid mechanical agriculture development resulted in over-cultivation, so that the soil was exhausted. Furthermore, the keen world market completion aggravated the problem. J. Laurence Laughlin said that “the price of the whole crop is determined, not by the markets within this country, but by the world-market”. In fact, most of the US agriculture crop was exported. However, the advancement of agriculture technology also benefited other countries, such as Canada, Argentina and Australia. Therefore, the demand for US crop was decreased. As a result, the US crop price went a step further dropping. Another reason of the agrarian discontents was that the farmer fell in heavy debt. As agriculture mechanized, the production cost was raised correspondingly, in addition of the shrinking of marker, the farmer thus was forced to borrow money from the trusts for survive. However, According to Document F, because majority farmer relied on loan, so that the trust took the control of the business line, therefore, they could “limit the price of the raw material so as to impoverish the producer”, that meant the farmer was fell in hopeless debt.
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