Ch 8 Age Of Agrarian Discontent


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Ch 8 Age Of Agrarian Discontent

  1. 1. Chapter Eight<br />Age of Agrarian Discontent<br />
  2. 2. 1870 – Texas had only 583 miles of railroad tracks<br />High freight rates and slow land service prevented the growth of commerce in Texas<br />Economic growth depended on a large rail network<br />Land Grant Law of 1876<br />Texas Constitution of 1876 defined railroads as public carriers<br />Land Grant Law authorized 16 sections of land for every mile of rail track<br />Results<br />Forty railroads received 32 million acres for roughly 3000 miles of track<br />Railroads and Economic Development<br />
  3. 3. Railroad speculators promised instant prosperity to communities that subsidized routes through their town<br />Many ghost towns result from over speculation<br />Money for rail expansion<br />Eastern investors<br />Foreign investors<br />Public aid from communities/towns that could afford it<br />Results<br />Some areas of the state were overbuilt<br />Other areas lacked any rail facilities<br />Railroads and Economic Development<br />
  4. 4. Old Perry (Falls County)<br />Otto (Falls County)<br />Osage (Colorado County)<br />Anson (Jones County)<br />Named after Anson Jones<br />Ghost Towns Resulting from Railroad Speculation<br />Otto, Texas<br />
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  6. 6. Perry, Texas (Falls Co.)<br />Osage, Texas<br />
  7. 7. Anson, Texas<br />Jones County Courthouse <br />
  8. 8. Transportation company issues<br />Most did not prosper from the sale of granted land<br />Land was awarded in alternating sections<br />Most wanted to buy land in contiguous sections<br />However, the Texas Pacific Land Trust (est. 1888) is still the state’s largest landowner<br />Amassed the holdings of the Texas and Pacific Railroad<br />Results of rail expansion in Texas<br />1872- Texas ranked 28th in the U.S. for rail mileage<br />1904 – Texas led the nation in rail mileage (10,000)<br />Population growth corresponded with the growth of the rail network <br />Railroads and Economic Development<br />
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  10. 10. Major Lines<br />Missouri, Kansas, and Texas (Katy)<br />Texas and Pacific Railroad (T&P)<br />Southern Pacific<br />Great Northern<br />Rail influence on other industries<br />Lumbar<br />Need for ties, bridges, stations, etc.<br />Cotton Gins<br />Railroads and Economic Development<br />
  11. 11. Patterns of trade<br />The rail network broke up old patterns of trade<br />Farmers and businessmen were forced to deal with markets far removed from their region<br />Trade agents were impersonal and impartial to local concerns<br />Criticisms of the rail industry<br />Shipper discrimination<br />Secret agreements between monopolistic lines<br />Price discrimination<br />The Texas Traffic Association (1885) attempted to regulate rates<br />Atty. Gen. James Hogg won a court order to dissolve the association<br />Numerous successors would attempt to regulate rates for the next 40 years<br />Railroads and Economic Development<br />
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  13. 13. 1876- Texas had 61 million acres of public land<br />Two categories for land<br />Permanent School Fund<br />Roughly 42 million acres<br />Unappropriated Public Domain<br />Could be sold for numerous purposes; retire public debt, railroad allocation, economic development<br />Fifty-Cent Law<br />Permitted the sale of all unappropriated public domain for 50 cents an acre; no quantity limitations<br />Texas sold less than 2 million acres during the law’s tenure<br />However, it depressed the cost of land drastically<br />Public Land<br />
  14. 14. Fifty-Cent Law<br />Railroads and land-holders were forced into recievership<br />Land speculators bought land at deflated values<br />Critics argued that Gov. Oran Roberts sold Texas to corporations and syndicates<br />Revision<br />Public domain land reclassified<br />Agricultural, timber, or pastoral values<br />No more land could be sold to railroads<br />Texas legislature creates the State Land Board<br />Oversee the reclassification of public domain<br />Ensure settlers received priority over speculators<br />General Land Office administered public land after the State Land Board was abolished in 1887<br />Public Land<br />
  15. 15. Overall, land legislation’s success was debatable<br />Public opinion ran against the state’s early choices<br />Too many believed that farmers and small businesses fell victim to the state’s overzealous sale of land to railroads and corporations<br />Public Land<br />
  16. 16. Railroads led to the expansion of barbed wire and windmills in Texas<br />Cattlemen began fencing their surface water sites, pastures, ranches, and sometimes public domain in around 1883<br />Disputes began to occur over fencing and “fence-cutting wars” began<br />Occurred in more than ½ of the counties in the state<br />1884 Fencing Law<br />It was a felony for fence cutting<br />Every three miles of fence required a gate<br />Prohibited the enclosure of public land<br />Fence-Cutting Wars<br />
  17. 17. Secret organizations were formed against fencing in general<br />Saw it as a threat to republicanism (land use and democracy)<br />Developed into a class consciousness that worked its way into Populism<br />Were very popular in the Cross Timbers region<br />Also responsible for fence cutting in the area<br />Law enforcement and public opinion against fence cutting quelled the wars by 1890<br />One Texas Ranger placed dynamite at a fencing location<br /> and rigged it to explode if the fence was cut<br />Fence-Cutting Wars<br />
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  19. 19. East Texas yellow pine grew on roughly 20 million acres<br />The mild climate and cheap labor made it an ideal location for a lumber industry in Texas<br />Most farmers considered pine trees a nuisance<br />Overcutting in the Midwest<br />White pine forests in the Upper Midwest led to depletion in the mid 1880s<br />Most consumers did not prefer the yellow pine of Texas, but short supply quickly ended that preference<br />Texas’ lumber industry grew from a cottage industry to one of the nation’s largest <br />The Lumber Industry in Texas<br />
  20. 20. Fowlerton Lumber Yard, Fowlerton (La Salle County)<br />
  21. 21. By 1900, Texas produced more than 1 billion board feet of lumber in 637 establishments<br />John H. Kirby organized the Kirby Lumber Firm<br />First multi-million dollar firm in Texas<br />Acquired timberlands at less than $2 an acre<br />Company Towns<br />Lumber entrepreneurs built company towns with churches, schools, housing, and stores<br />Camden, Texas<br />Over 75 of the workforce was unskilled labor that earned $1.50 to $2 a day until the early 1920s<br />Companies frequently paid in merchandise checks redeemable only at the company store<br />Prices were almost always inflated<br />Essentially, workers who lived in company towns were at the mercy of lumber mill owners for almost all aspects of their lives<br />The Lumber Industry in Texas<br />
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  23. 23. Texas and Industrialization<br />National per capita value of manufactures was $171 (1900)<br />Texas’ value was $39.99<br />Texas was far from being a profitable industrial state<br />Cottonseed Mills<br />4,514 cotton gins in the state (1 was in Osage)<br />Produced roughly 34 percent of the nation’s total cotton crop<br />Flour Milling<br />Other Industries in Texas<br />
  24. 24. Oil<br />Becomes the mineral that makes Texas rich during the early 20th century<br />Coal<br />Industry worth over $5 million in 1900<br />Most profitable mineral before the oil explosion<br />Salt<br />Second to Coal<br />Van Zandt County had the Grand Saline plant<br />Iron<br />Some iron ores discovered in East Texas<br />Cherokee County produced 50,000 tons of pig iron annually<br />Minerals in Texas<br />
  25. 25. Cotton Processing, Galveston, Texas<br />
  26. 26. Dallas was the leading industrial center<br />Flour and grist milling, printing, publishing<br />Houston (2nd)<br />Railcar construction, cottonseed processing<br />San Antonio (3rd)<br />Distilling of malt liquors<br />Fort Worth (4th)<br />Meat-packing, flour and grist milling<br />Galveston (5th)<br />Once the leading city in Texas, now exporting cotton<br />Waco, Sherman, and Beaumont represented other significant cities<br />Agricultural wealth’s concentration in major cities irritated farmers<br />Cities became rich at the farmer’s expense<br />This sentiment paves the way for political movements such as Populism<br />Manufacturing in Texas<br />
  27. 27. Working Conditions<br />12 hour work days, 6 days a week<br />$12 per month for unskilled labor<br />Up to $100 for skilled labor<br />Works accepted terms of employment or found other jobs; no negotiation<br />Texan Views of Organized Labor<br />Strikes led to violence, thus, threatened stability and order<br />Organized labor akin to radicalism, thus, un-American<br />Organized labor was primarily a foreign influence<br />Unions in Texas<br />
  28. 28. Why Unions Fail in Texas<br />Majority of the workforce was unskilled<br />Little reason to demand better wages when you could easily be replaced<br />State government endorsed anti-unionism<br />Part of the New South creed<br />Need to attract industry to the region<br />Had to guarantee an inexpensive and stable labor force<br />Unions only complicated the matter<br />Industries came in and were allowed to bust unions<br />Blacklisting<br />Hiring of strike-breakers<br />Government force used to break strikes<br />Unions in Texas<br />
  29. 29. Knights of Labor<br />“reform unionism” (very political in nature)<br />Claimed 30,000 Texan members in 1885<br />Led numerous strikes, but public support went against them when violence resulted<br />Government power used to break strikes and the union declined in Texas<br />American Federation of Labor (AFL)<br />“business unionism” (apolitical)<br />Numerous branches of the AFL form in Texas, but overall, they do not do well<br />Unions in Texas<br />
  30. 30. New South mentality<br />Diversification of crops would lead to self-sufficient farms<br />Wheat, corn, oats, and cotton<br />Scientific farming and crop rotation would preserve the family farm and prevent sharecropping<br />Political Influence<br />Democrats blamed Republicans and Reconstruction for the Panic of 1873 and the subsequent agricultural instability<br />If Democrats were allowed, they would restore economic stability to Texas<br />Problem with these ideas<br />Technology led to overproduction<br />It was now too easy to get crops to market<br />Everyone wanted a stake in cash crops like cotton<br />Prices suffer as a result<br />Agricultural Issues<br />
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  32. 32. Tenant farming and sharecropping increase despite the grand rhetoric of agricultural advisors and the Democratic party<br />Sharecropping and Cotton<br />The only way for sharecropping to fail miserably was for cotton prices to increase<br />As most speculated it would<br />However, cotton prices did not increase at the rate needed to keep sharecroppers out of chronic indebtedness <br />These issues lead to the rise of Populist sentiment during the mid-1890s<br />Agricultural Issues<br />
  33. 33. Problems<br />Overcrowding and inadequate correctional facilities<br />Result of population growth and lawlessness in West Texas<br />Self-sufficiency<br />Prison labor force to essentially run the prison<br />Gov. Oran Roberts believed pardoning and self-reliance in the prison system would help<br />Convict Leasing<br />Private individuals could lease convicts from the prison system to work whatever economic necessity the renter desired <br />The system is overhauled numerous times with little success<br />It became a bigger issue around 1920<br />Prison Reform<br />
  34. 34. Convicts working at a quarry, Marble Falls, 1880<br />
  35. 35. Law of 1884<br />Completed reorganized the public school system<br />Mandated a partial return to a centralized system<br />State superintendants, record keeping, teacher certification, etc.<br />Local districts were allowed to tax themselves (with the county’s help) to support common schools<br />Beginning of “independent school districts”<br />Regular attendance mandated<br />Ages eight to sixteen<br />Success of the law was somewhat limited<br />Scattered settlement patterns<br />Education in the city was better than in rural areas<br />Common Education<br />
  36. 36. Texas A&M<br />First public college in Texas opened in 1876<br />Located near Bryan<br />It was originally designed to be a part of the University of Texas system<br />The Morrill Act required that the all male school provide military training<br />Lawrence “Sul” Ross, former Confederate hero and Waco local became president in 1891<br />Blacks could not attend Texas A&M per state law<br />Higher Education<br />
  37. 37. University of Texas<br />Chartered in 1839, but did not begin classes until 1883<br />Austin was picked for the main campus<br />Galveston was selected for the medical school<br />Former Texas Gov. Oran Roberts served as the first dean of the law school<br />University was financed through general revenues and the permanent fund (from the sale/lease of UT’s 2 million acres of land)<br />Higher Education<br />
  38. 38. Prairie View Normal Institute<br />Opened in 1879<br />Provided an agricultural education for black students<br />Also became a college to train teachers<br />Sam Houston State Normal School<br />Opened in 1879 in Huntsville<br />Became the institutional model for other normal schools throughout the state<br />Later becomes Sam Houston State University<br />Higher Education<br />
  39. 39. Democrats became the de facto party of choice after Reconstruction<br />Welded to the “Lost Cause” mentality<br />The party almost became a homage to the Confederate dead and their cause<br />Whites Voting against the Democratic party meant dishonoring the party of their fathers<br />This mentality lingers well into the 1940s<br />Major achievements from 1876-1886<br />Building the new state capitol<br />Overall, Democrats strove to maintain the status quo and did little to help the poor and dispossessed<br />Prohibition becomes a key issue during the 1880s, yet they do nothing<br />Conservative Democratic Control<br />
  40. 40. Norris Wright Cuney (Galveston) becomes head of the Republican party in Texas due to his influence with black voters<br />Strength of the party was in East Texas and the Gulf Coast<br />White Republicans formed “lily-white factions” in protest of blacks controlling the party<br />They wanted to become more influential with the national Republican party<br />They decline due to their refusal to merge with any other third parties<br />Republicans in the 1880s<br />
  41. 41. First third-party to challenge Democratic control of Texas<br />Organized in response to deflation of the national money supply<br />U.S. gov’t took the country off the gold standard during the Civil War<br />Gov’t issued “greenback” paper money that was not backed by gold during the war<br />Greenbacks caused inflation, but allowed for economic expansion<br />The problem with greenbacks<br />Financiers and Wall Street brokers wanted to redeem their greenbacks for gold<br />In response, the U.S. gov’t goes back to the gold standard in 1875 (Specie Resumption Act)<br />The Greenback Party<br />
  42. 42. The problem with greenbacks<br />As a result, the amount of money in circulation declines<br />Interest rates increase<br />Farmers are hit especially hard<br />They are already fighting a recession (1873)<br />Greenback party’s goal<br />Reverse the policies that were leading farmers to financial ruin<br />Especially the Specie Resumption Act<br />Railroad regulation, better school system, elimination of convict leasing, reduction of useless offices in state gov’t<br />The Greenback Party<br />
  43. 43. Constituency<br />Radical farmers<br />Courted white Republicans from lily-white factions<br />Talk of fusion with these factions produced nothing<br />Had most of their strength in East Texas, the Cross Timbers, and other poor, farming counties<br />Decline<br />Peaked during 1882-1883 as George “Wash” Jones runs for Texas Governor<br />However, they remain a distant third with voters<br />Their party declines, but their issues get raised again with the Populist party<br />The Greenback Party<br />
  44. 44. Governor James “Jim” S. Hogg<br />
  45. 45. Attorney General (1887-1891) and Governor of Texas (1891-1895)<br />Ushered in a new era of Progressive Democrats<br />Had not fought in the Civil War<br />Less bound by tradition than conservative Democrats<br />Identified with the common man and sympathized with their issues<br />Progressive agenda<br />Use state powers to regulate railroads and trusts<br />Railroad Commission (1891) – appointive body that could set rates and fares<br />Prevent foreign ownership of Texas public land<br />Farmers and agriculturalists loved his stance towards big business <br />James S. Hogg: Progressive Democrat<br />
  46. 46. “Hogg laws”<br />1 – establishing the Railroad Commission<br />Supreme Court upheld the commission after 7 railroads sued<br />2 – railroad stock and bond law<br />Allowed the Railroad Commission to regulate railroad stock<br />3 – law forcing land corporations to sell off holdings in 15 years<br />4 – Alien Land Law<br />Forbid further land grants to foreign corporations<br />Attempted to put land back in the hands of Texans<br />5 – Restriction on the amount of bond debt that county and municipalities could legally undertake<br />James S. Hogg: Progressive Democrat<br />
  47. 47. Agrarian Groups<br />Patrons of Husbandry “The Grange”<br />Secret, fraternal organization comprised mostly of family farmers<br />Offered educational and social benefits to its membership; later focused on economic issues affecting farmers<br />While the organization was apolitical, it encouraged members to take political action<br />Catered primarily to higher middle-class farmers<br />Texas Farmers’ Alliance<br />Takes the place of the Grange in the mid 1880s<br />Grass-roots organization originating from the Cross Timbers region<br />Based on voluntary associations<br />Never denied that it was a political organization<br />By 1886, it claimed 100,000 members, making it a viable potential for a third party<br />As depression set in the early 1890s, members readily joined the Populist party<br />Populism “The People’s Party”<br />
  48. 48. The Subtreasury Plan<br />National legislation that would have allowed farmers to store staple crops in gov’t storage<br />Farmers could receive loans against the market value of crops<br />Gov’t notes could be used as currency<br />Conservative Democrats saw this as an excess of federal gov’t control<br />The plan was also a direct attack on national banks<br />However, this plan fell in line with Greenback ideology<br />Democrats and members of the Texas Farmers’ Alliance split primarily over this issue<br />The Subtreasury Plan becomes a symbol for the Populist Party<br />Populism “The People’s Party”<br />
  49. 49. Populist Concepts<br />Crusade of rural Americans attempting to raise awareness of economic failure for the rural class<br />Believed they were being true to Jacksonian ideals<br />Promoting the “common man”<br />Fit well with Texas republicanism<br />Denounced monopolistic corporations and banks<br />Essentially a reaction to the Gilded Age<br />Was Populism a liberal or conservative movement?<br />Populism “The People’s Party”<br />
  50. 50. Conservatism<br />Jeffersonian and Jacksonian ideals of democracy<br />Denouncing large banks, railroads, and corporations<br />Conservative Protestantism used in stump speeches and organization of camp-style meetings<br />Changing hymns to fit their political cause<br />Liberalism<br />Big business grew so fast that the common man could not fight back by himself<br />The federal government was needed to help<br />Create credit<br />Inflate the currency<br />Stave off abuses of big business on the common man<br />Populism “The People’s Party”<br />
  51. 51. A bi-racial party<br />For Populism to succeed in Texas, the party had to appeal to both whites and blacks<br />John B. Rayner was the most prominent black Texan to support Populism<br />Democrats were forced to appeal to black voters to keep control of the state<br />They often used violence and intimidation to keep blacks from voting for the Populist party<br />By 1894, the Texas Farmers’ Alliance had recruited close to 200,000 members<br />Populism “The People’s Party”<br />
  52. 52. William Jennings Bryan<br />
  53. 53. The Campaign of 1896<br />Very bitter election on the state level<br />Democrats readily used violence to intimidate Populist voters<br />Also charged racial betrayal and attempting to reinstate Reconstruction against the Populists<br />National level<br />William Jennings Bryan is selected to run for president<br />Did not endorse the Subtreasury Plan<br />More focused on free silver and low tariffs<br />Populists and Democrats fuse to endorse him<br />Texan Populists did not care for the fusion<br />Bryan loses to William McKinley <br />The Populist movement quickly loses momentum with Bryan’s failed campaign<br />Populism “The People’s Party”<br />
  54. 54. Populists are temporarily alienated from politics after the Campaign of 1896<br />Many Populists return to the Democratic party as “reform Democrats” at the turn of the century<br />Populists on the state level that refused to join the Democratic party later join the Socialist movement<br />This unique fusion of Populist and reform agendas pave the way for the Progressive era of the early 20th century<br />Legacy of the Populist Party<br />
  55. 55. White Populists sided with black Populists under an alliance of convenience for the party<br />After the Campaign of 1896, racial discrimination in Texas politics become more entrenched<br />Democrats resolve to remove black voters from local and county elections<br />Populists had the most success on these levels<br />Terrell Election Laws<br />The Democratic party institutes a white primary<br />Blacks could still vote in the general election though<br />Meaningless in a one-party state<br />Poll Taxes<br />Another means to disenfranchise blacks and poor whites<br />Democrats believed this would end future third-party challenges<br />The Dark Side of Populism<br />