Farmers Road to Satisfaction

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Leading up to the end of the 1800’s, agricultural was losing its place as the largest economy in the United States. Farmers felt that they were under-appreciated and taken advantage of, even though they produced food to be distributed nationwide. Although agriculture was imperative to the survival of the nation, farmers faced devastating natural causes, outrageously high rates on land and transportation, and unsuccessful tries in politics. In 1849, agriculture was the leading economy in the United States. As time passed, other economies grew, while the agriculture economy diminished by half in just 50 years and was overtaken by the manufacturing industry. (Doc G) Farmers struggled for success and support, but instead received very little of either. According to the Agricultural Department, the summer of 1894 brought many hardships to the crops nationwide. Crops in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota all were damaged by droughts, while New Jersey crops suffered from an abundance of rain. Temperatures and insect also devastated the crops. Nebraska was the only state able to maintain stable crops that summer. (Doc H) Despite the occasional force of nature working against them, the farmers continued to struggle and preserved to grow and harvest their crops. In 1896, a supporter of agriculture, William Jennings Bryan, explained the importance of farms in his famous “Cross of Gold” speech. He stated that a ruined city could rise again, but all walks of life would be devastated if farms were destroyed. (Doc A) The people did not understand the importance agriculture had in their lives, and by taking it for granted they further aggravated the suffering farmers. Once the Civil War had ended,... ... middle of paper ... ...ted States, but his defeat confirmed that it be untrue. Once again, the Populists had appeal to the minority party of farmers, leaving the majority of business men to be appealed to the opposing candidate, William McKinley. (Doc I) This led to another Populists defeat, putting McKinley in the White House. For years, the farmers faced trial after trial from natural, social, and political foes. Natural causes and outrageous rates were waiting to strike at any moment, devastating all their hard work. In order to find success, farmers joined together as the Populist party to try and gain influence in the politics of the United States. While they did acquire supporters along the way, it was not enough to gain the victory of the Presidency. Despite all these hardships, the farmers continued to preserve so that one day they would gain the support and success they deserved.

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