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American Populism: Social History 1877 - 1989 - Essay Example

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American Populism, Success Or Failure? Name: _ Date: October 4, 2011 Class Period: 6:00PM American Populism should not be regarded as irrelevant chapter of history. The forerunners of the movement made their genuine objectives in creating social reforms for the majority of the less-fortunate groups in the society brought by the kind of social system with flaws intended to benefit the few elite groups…
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American Populism: Social History 1877 - 1989
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Download file to see previous pages How does “producerism” play into this? Did these same reasons also spur farmers’ desires for economic cooperation as well? Why or why not? During the 1880s, monopoly capitalists emerged as the few affluent groups in the society. Farmers with little lands or just plainly tenants at all were faced with the falling prices of their agricultural produce. They were contained in their predicaments with this economic set back affecting them while seeing the monopolists seemed to be not affected or even became richer. They had the perspective that their negative conditions were caused by the opportunistic actions by big business owners and bankers. Another thing that added to predicaments of the farmers was the high freight charges of railroads that had cut bigger portion of their revenue. Also, capitalists often financed farmers to grow their crops and eventually bought the harvest from those farmers at an agreed price which was lower than the normal price for agricultural products. The ideology of “producerism” spurred the desire of those farmers to take actions for the inequalities in the economy. From this ideology come the farmers’ demands for reforms on federal income tax, abolition of national banks, the creation of sub-treasuries, the issue of all money directly by the federal government, and government ownership of railroads (McMath 1993). If the government owned the railroads, freight charges could be regulated and be made affordable for small farmers. These are same reasons rooted from social inequalities that had encouraged farmers to go for economic cooperation. As the farmers joined the Alliance, they supported the concept of rural capitalism. This was done by making the shipment of farm goods to market cheaper. Also, the Alliance financed the farmers in growing their crops. They believed that this would be enough to increase profits of crop producers as they wanted that producers shall enjoy the whole benefits of the things they had produced. 2. What were the major factors that drove farmers to join the Alliance/Populist movements in the late 1880s and early 1890s? Examine economic, social, and political factors which influenced farmers’ decision. Farmers were encouraged to join the Alliance primarily because of its promises for reforms in their economic activities. They were promised on the adaptation of a cooperative scheme on dealing their produce. Part of this was that the Alliance will provide farms inputs to farmers at lower prices (McMath 1993). Eventually, farmers could avoid the high prices of farm inputs and the high interest rates on credits from the capitalists. They realized the good prospects of the cooperative scheme. These were part of the social reforms they had demanded. As they went on their cooperative movement, they had created a great impact in the economic system. Capitalists had seen this impact on their usual course of business. Their revenues were affected negatively. Farmers no longer asked capitalists to finance their farms in growing crops. The farmers’ ultimate goal was to put an end to the capitalist and monopolistic system that was enjoyed only by the few rich people. They found hope for the realization of this goal by joining the Alliance. As they joined the Allian ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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