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Grade 8: Ch. 19, Sec. 4




In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, hundreds of
thousands of immigrants came to America in
search of land and oppor...








America wanted to expand out west, so
settlers were enticed with free land
Homestead Act (1862): offered 160 a...


Life was not easy, as each season brought on
extreme weather
◦ Winter: freezing temperatures and snow
◦ Summer: harsh w...


Women had more freedoms out west

◦ Instead of being housewives, they were allowed to own
land
◦ Were not confined to t...


Necessity the mother of all invention
◦ In 1837, John Deere invented the first steel plow
◦ It was improved in 1868 by ...


The number of farmers out west had
increased
◦
◦
◦
◦

More farmers = more product
More product = less demand
Less deman...






Farmers were making less money selling
crops, but had to spend more to run their
farms and buy equipment
Farming ...




1877: members of the Grange ask the federal
government to regulate (or control) the high
prices being charged by rai...




In the 1890’s, several farm groups joined
together and created their own political party
called the Populist Party, ...




At the time, every dollar was worth a certain
amount in gold, known as the Gold Standard
Populist opponents wanted t...


Populist Party joined the Democratic Party
◦ Supported William Jennings Bryan, who ran for
president against William Mc...


According to William Jennings Bryan, one of
the great public speakers of the time:
◦ “Burn down your cities and leave o...
McKinley: 271

Bryan: 176





No longer are the prairies open, wild, and
untamed
Farms and fenced in lands began to take over
the once open land...
American Farm Economics and Populism (1862-1896)
American Farm Economics and Populism (1862-1896)
American Farm Economics and Populism (1862-1896)
American Farm Economics and Populism (1862-1896)
American Farm Economics and Populism (1862-1896)
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American Farm Economics and Populism (1862-1896)

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A brief overview of farm economics in America during the second half of the 19th century, including politics and changing technology. Also include: the rise of the political ideology Populism and the election of 1896.

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American Farm Economics and Populism (1862-1896)

  1. 1. Grade 8: Ch. 19, Sec. 4
  2. 2.   In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, hundreds of thousands of immigrants came to America in search of land and opportunity “We do not dig gold with pocket knives, we do not expect to become rich in a few days or in a few years, but what we aim at is to own our own homes. The advantage which America offers is not to make everyone rich at once, without toil and trouble, but that the poor can work up little by little.”- Swedish Immigrant Olaf Olsson
  3. 3.     America wanted to expand out west, so settlers were enticed with free land Homestead Act (1862): offered 160 acres of free land to anyone who agreed to live on it and farm or improve it for five years Many jumped at the opportunity, especially escaped slaves Nicknamed Exodusters because they were compared to the Hebrews fleeing Egypt in the Bible
  4. 4.  Life was not easy, as each season brought on extreme weather ◦ Winter: freezing temperatures and snow ◦ Summer: harsh winds and high temperatures ◦ Spring: severe flooding caused by melting snow   Wood was in a short supply (lack of trees) and water was hard to come by Houses had to be built out of sod blocks, which was a layer of thick prairie soil ◦ Farmers who built with this method were called sodbusters
  5. 5.  Women had more freedoms out west ◦ Instead of being housewives, they were allowed to own land ◦ Were not confined to the inside of the home, but worked alongside their husbands in the fields   Many single women, including older widows, and some younger who never married, were attracted to the large open spaces of the west, and a chance at a new life New political rights ◦ Women could vote in Wyoming as early as 1869 ◦ By the 1890’s, women could also vote in Colorado, Utah, and Idaho
  6. 6.  Necessity the mother of all invention ◦ In 1837, John Deere invented the first steel plow ◦ It was improved in 1868 by James Oliver, who made it bigger and stronger ◦ Windmills invented to pump water out from deep in the earth ◦ Barbed wire invented to keep cattle from roaming off a farmer’s property ◦ Reapers invented to harvest crops  Between 1860 and 1890, crop production doubles
  7. 7.  The number of farmers out west had increased ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ More farmers = more product More product = less demand Less demand = cheaper prices Cheaper prices = economic crisis ◦ What do we call the term used to describe the above financial problem?
  8. 8.    Farmers were making less money selling crops, but had to spend more to run their farms and buy equipment Farming machinery was becoming more expensive, and railroads were charging more money to ship crops to the east In 1867, a group of farmers organized and called themselves the Grange, and helped poor farmers meet their needs by buying equipment and selling it at lower rates, and also selling the crops directly to merchants
  9. 9.   1877: members of the Grange ask the federal government to regulate (or control) the high prices being charged by railroads to ship crops A law eventually passed to do just that, because it was seen as something helping the American people
  10. 10.   In the 1890’s, several farm groups joined together and created their own political party called the Populist Party, or “People’s Party” Ideas: ◦ Make coins out of silver ◦ No limit on the amount produced ◦ Silver was plentiful, so they figured it would cause inflation, meaning the money would not be worth as much, therefore, farmers could charge more money for crops
  11. 11.   At the time, every dollar was worth a certain amount in gold, known as the Gold Standard Populist opponents wanted to stay on the Gold Standard, because the supply is limited and there could be no inflation. Gold was also worth more
  12. 12.  Populist Party joined the Democratic Party ◦ Supported William Jennings Bryan, who ran for president against William McKinley. Bryan was very much in support of the farmers  They debated which would be more beneficial, gold or silver ◦ Bryan supported Silver, but McKinley warned that a silver standard would mean higher prices for food  Just three years earlier, in 1893, America was in an economic crisis, and agreed with McKinley
  13. 13.  According to William Jennings Bryan, one of the great public speakers of the time: ◦ “Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the street of every city in the country. We answer their demand for the gold standard by saying you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”
  14. 14. McKinley: 271 Bryan: 176
  15. 15.    No longer are the prairies open, wild, and untamed Farms and fenced in lands began to take over the once open land In 1889, there was only one unclaimed area of land, located in Oklahoma. It was Indian territory, reserved for Indians ◦ By 1890, it was gone, changed from Indian Territory to Oklahoma Territory  The frontier was officially declared gone later that year. 17 million people lived between Mississippi and California

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