The Advance of Communication and Transportation in the Late Nineteenth Century
In the time of the late nineteenth century, the telecommunication revolution, or globalization, was beginning to make its start in American history. Communication and transportation was becoming faster with the new advances in the technological world. This made large businesses grow, creating large fortunes from the new railroad business However, the farmers if America took a hard hit ti these advances. Food prices were decreasing, and farmers were producing more crops than the economy could consume.
Because if the changes in economy, the farmers had grown in discontent with the government, and the fingers were being pointed at the large scale business leaders. In the late nineteenth century, the farmers had a valid reason that big businesses were decreasing away the profits of their work, and into the railroad companies and that banks were taking advantage of the farmers, causing the great agrarian discontent. As the conclusion of the nineteenth century rolled in to the twentieth, deflation was becoming a greater issue to deal with for farmers throughout America.
Money supply was one of the problems farmers believed were the reason to their discontent. As the years went by, houses were being foreclosed due to the high mortgage rate the government put on the farmers, which they couldn’t keep up with. The people party, or otherwise known as the populist party, saw that is the American government would begin coining and using silver as currency, the foreclosures and discontent would cease. However politicians felt differently. They believe that in would make matters much worse than it already was.
The fact was, that the government wanted the railroad business to stay strong and in order to do that, rates had to be raised. An example of a scam, the farmers were told that they would get a two cent shipping rate on their cropped goods. Instead, the rate was raised to five cents, making it impossible for many farmers to afford. Industrialization was very successful in American at the time, and the farmers had new tools they could use, such as the reaper or the thrasher. However, these tools were incredibly expensive, so the farmers would go to the bank and borrow loans.
In return, the banks increased the interest rates, causing the farmers into debt. The currency was still on a gold base, the railroad business was booming, the rich became wealthier, and the poor remained poor. The gap between the rich Americans and the poor Americans had never been so much more spaced out. The businessmen of America were making it large in America due to the growing railroads. The railroads were promising, and money was defiantly being made. The world was only moving forward at this point and big monopolies forward as well.
The railroad, after all contributed to American growth, especially economically. the improved transportation system made other foreign competitions rise up. By doing so, this made the disposal of extra crops from the farmers much more difficult to achieve. All the farmers would do was blame the discontent on the businesses and government economy. In response, the economists and government leaders along with the businesses believed that it was the farmers own misfortunes, and the “debasement of the currency means destruction of values. the did however believe that the farmers were the firs to feel its effect, and the last to recover from them as well (document B).
The farmers validity of their discontent was more than reasonable. The banks and railroad companies more than unfairly took advantage of the poor farmers, causing them to go into debt and lose everything. The railroad companies would often use rebates and drawbacks to gain the support of large shipper businesses. The businesses even tried to justify their actions by stating that if the shippers do not get charged the same amount, then the company will go bankrupt.
Even though it was a possibility, the loss would have been a little bit of money, while many American farmers were already to that point and that no matter what, it was not right to scam the money out of the farmers in the way that they did, or just in general. The farmers were scammed and cheated, and had every reason to be discontent with the American economy. Their complaints and pleas were in most ways valid. railroad companies lied about the shipping rate, and raised it to an unfordable rate which most farmers couldn’t afford.
The economy wouldn’t use silver as a way of currency. Food prices were increasingly being lowered to the point that almost no profit was being made. The banks ripped off the farmers by offering them loans, and then raising th interest rates, while the farmers were in the hopes of making good profit from their crops, when in fact they didn’t due to the economies deflation. Overall, the farmers were poorly treated, and took action by making themselves heard in the economy. They made their points valid enough for the government to knowledge.