The Agrarian Project

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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
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