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Lecture

The Agrarian Project

10 Pages
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Department
History
Course Code
HIS271Y1
Professor
michaelwayne(springterm2009)

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Lec 3/4 Spring: The Agrarian Project
Jan 14.09
Problem with agriculture
farmers had suffered severely; proposals put forward to address problems most
touched upon today in their propsoals are first call for govt intervention in the
economy, about beginnings of new way of thinking in states and expectations of what
govt should be doing for ordinary situations
Problems farmers faced two-fold markets were shrinking, in competition with farmers
in other countries for selling goods,late 19th c land opened up in Australia, south
American and Canadian west growing crops other farmers sold in state, now have to
competite with others, as result price for goods in decline, at same time price for goods
declined, costs remained same or also rised (why the rise?)
Had to do with industrial state, railroads discriminated against small producers in
shipping good across country, if larger farmer then you COULD reduce rates for
shipment of wheat, since had no alternative then to deal with one railroad going
through neighbourhood had no choice had to pay one fee
Charges often very high, and second reason = national bank in u.s did not make loans
on farming property; could not put it up as collateral for loan designed to spur
industrial development in states, had to go to local state farms that charged higher
rates banks that do not make loans to you or charge interest rates
(protective care of help protected manufacturers) Tariff introduced to support farmers
infact hurt them, it raised price of goods imported from Britain, if british manufacturers
made hoe as good as one in Chicago, but tariff pushed price up high enough to allow
people in Chicago to make the money, those in Britain would have aloss of interest
Recall last class about trust companies; monopolies for those above reason (banking,
trust, tariff, railroads) farmers found prices going up and money they could get for it
going down
Farmers decided together must work together to do something about it formed
organization ( national farmers alliance and industrial union: )
Farmers alliance brought together farmers from South and West with initial hope
to create cooperatives (stores, mills ect) could reduce prices; wanted to set up
cooperatives to give weight to buying and selling but did not have enough money
even by pulling together all their sources, govt not interested initially and neither
were banks so decided had to become political
1
www.notesolution.com
Founded not as political nation but as group that simply collaborated cooperatively but
knew they needed support of govt so here is the heart of lecture;
Farmers go to govt and say they should be involved, to protect us from difficult time
were facing
Govt worked to help develop manufacturing sector, other than making land available,
govt did nothing in particular to help the farmers. So the people said we should conceive
of govt in diff way, should be a way to help farmers stay in business, make profit..so
they came up with # of proposals ashow govt should best do this:
Meeting in Ocala Florida in 1890 and we know alliance called for Ocala demands, saying
this is what we want....what we expect our politicians to do,to help us
The Sub Treasury Plan (something felt strongly about in this alliance)
it called for creation of warehouses around farming districts where every farmer who
produced non-parishbable goods (cotton, ect) would bring them to warehouse, stroe it
there and in return get certificate of deposit backed by govt (whats the point, youre not
selling...youre storing)
But if all terms come out on market at same time, price of goods will go down..if held out
for a bit until less cotton or wheat on market and the prices have gone up..you then can
sell it, banks were bound to loan money to farmers on basis of documented paper by
govt ; this was one part and technically most important aspect of Ocala Demands
Second argument want federal income tax, at this time no income tax...wanted tax to
tax wealthiest in society, providing govt with money to protect things like the sub
treasury plan...this demands a lot of govt who cannot necessarily do this....they called
for regulation and govt ownership of railroads (radical demand. There had been no govt
regulation of industry demands before) but they were saying if this does not work, to
gert railroad prices down lower enough- govt should just run down railroads
A very radical call for govt intervention, a call to restrain industrial sector, finally
there was question of money, in time most important section of govt debate: (example
get 5 $ bill off someone..pay them a little while later, and value of dollar goes down
youre giving back less than what you owe so farmers wanted this..to reduce level of
debt, called for free connage of silver (an element of Ocala demand**)
Demanded a new kind of commitment from govt that would protect those who are
vulnerable; they had to get political , not enough to simply ask of these things but here
western and eastern farmers had diff view of one another
2
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Westerners wanted to establish their own party; lets set up party to represent our
interests and nneds, a party based on Ocala demand but white informer s not inclined
to create a new party (you cqn see hwy they would worry)
Fear now, legitimate if farmers split vote, than republicans brought by blacks get into
office again
Members of alliance in south resisted idea of forming independent party, got ppl
running for office in democratic party got htem to sign paper saying you will bring in
what we want if they needed change
The Question of Silver
Piece of paper in itself not of value but could be used for value, redeemed for precious metal
take to banmk or u.s treasury, you could say okay I dont want the ten dollar bill, i want
real money 10$ in gold or silver, you were entitle to go to a bank and say i want gold or
silver
In 1873 govt for reasons of no concern, decided to go with gold standard so there was no
more silver coming out, atthis point okay, silver wasnt of much use then
Important to note in 1890s was farmerss unhappy with this, they want currency to go back
to metalism, want colonies to go back to both gold and silver - reason: if put back on both,
leads to more dollars released in system and wouldve created inflation why would
farmers be interested in inflations farmers were mainly debtors owing great deal of
money..
All governers, legislators nagged on agreement, southern farmers left with no benefit at
all to support measures they favoured
1892 southerners decide to join with westerners sinc had little choice otherwise
Come together, form new political party, created in 1892, also known as the populist:
Peoples Party popular in west, no dent northwest, 1892 do very well, the president
has carried 6 states; this is made during time when much competition occurred; they
captured state legislatures for their peoples party. Was felt could reduce democratic
party, democrats captured both houses of Congress an d White House,looks as if
republicans going into decline for first time after civil war
1893 bank panick, following this,economy crashes- within 6 months, unemployment rate on
rise
3
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Lec 34 Spring: The Agrarian Project Jan 14.09 Problem with agriculture farmers had suffered severely; proposals put forward to address problems most touched upon today in their propsoals are first call for govt intervention in the economy, about beginnings of new way of thinking in states and expectations of what govt should be doing for ordinary situations Problems farmers faced two-fold markets were shrinking, in competition with farmers in other countries for selling goods,late 19h c land opened up in Australia, south American and Canadian west growing crops other farmers sold in state, now have to competite with others, as result price for goods in decline, at same time price for goods declined, costs remained same or also rised (why the rise?) Had to do with industrial state, railroads discriminated against small producers in shipping good across country, if larger farmer then you COULD reduce rates for shipment of wheat, since had no alternative then to deal with one railroad going through neighbourhood had no choice had to pay one fee Charges often very high, and second reason = national bank in u.s did not make loans on farming property; could not put it up as collateral for loan designed to spur industrial development in states, had to go to local state farms that charged higher rates banks that do not make loans to you or charge interest rates (protective care of help protected manufacturers) Tariff introduced to support farmers infact hurt them, it raised price of goods imported from Britain, if british manufacturers made hoe as good as one in Chicago, but tariff pushed price up high enough to allow people in Chicago to make the money, those in Britain would have aloss of interest Recall last class about trust companies; monopolies for those above reason (banking, trust, tariff, railroads) farmers found prices going up and money they could get for it going down Farmers decided together must work together to do something about it formed organization ( national farmers alliance and industrial union: ) Farmers alliance brought together farmers from South and West with initial hope to create cooperatives (stores, mills ect) could reduce prices; wanted to set up cooperatives to give weight to buying and selling but did not have enough money even by pulling together all their sources, govt not interested initially and neither were banks so decided had to become political 1 www.notesolution.com
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