Quickwrite
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Check your grades on the back wall.
Is your grade accurate?
How is the homework coming along?
Moodle Post due Sunday- What are
the effects of the populist’s political
programs and activities?
Populism
How Ya' Gonna' Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?: The
Rise of Populism
Beginning in the 1870s, worsening conditions in rural
America caused many people to abandon their farms. At
the same time, changes in farming practices and the
agricultural marketplace made farmers more dependent
on commercial decisions made by big-city businessmen. In
reaction to these trends, farmers began to take political
action that led to the emergence of the national Populist
movement in the 1890s. This lecture investigates
changing agricultural conditions in the United States
during the nineteenth century and explores how many
rural Americans mobilized to deal with their crushing
economic and political problems.
Things to keep in mind:
 How did agriculture change in the United
States between 1870 and 1900?
 How did farmers try and protect their
economic interests and way of life during this
period? Were they successful? Why or why
not?
 Who were the Populists? Why were they so
appealing to farmers? Did they change
American politics? If so, how?
Changes in Agriculture
1. Mechanization of agriculture
New machines benefitted many, but they also has
disadvantages.
 Cost a lot
 Need upkeep and repair
 Financial Risk
Changes in Agriculture
Opening of new lands
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Farmers began mortgaging their
property in order to farm more
land.
Theoretically, more land meant
more crops and more money.
Bankers charged high interest
rates to farmers.
By the mid-1880s, Midwestern
farmers had the highest per
capita debt in the United States.
Changes in Agriculture
Specialization in farm products
 Farmers prefered to stick to known crops.
 Lack of diversification made them vulnerable to
parasites (on the land and in the banks).
Changes in Agriculture
Changing character of
markets for agricultural
goods
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From 1860 to 1900,
agricultural products
comprised 75% of the United
States' total export trade.
Farmers, however, did not
understand this trade or
markets well.
Middlemen, especially railroad
agents and owners, profited
from the ignorance of the
farmers while farmers
struggled.
Factors farmers could NOT control
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Business Cycles- ups and downs
Credit- rates and terms
Transportation- Railroad
Labor Supply
Price Structure
Government policies
What should the farmers do about these problems??? Turn
to a classmate and explain.
They get political!!!
The Grange
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The Grange worked to pass
pro-farmer legislation.
Farmers could pool
resources- machinery,
supplies, and insurance.
By 1875, the membership had
passed 850,000.
Cooperatives- founded banks,
pushed through legislation
regulating railroads and grain
elevators, and campaigned
for political candidates
Populist Platform
 Unlimited Minting of Silver
 Workers wages and 8 hr. workday
 Government ownership of railroads
 Gov. Ownership of Communications
 Progressive Income Tax
 Increase the circulation of $- Inflation
Quickwrite- How would each of these
items help farmers?
1896- William Jennings Bryan
 Populist Candidate
 Cross of Gold Speech
(Coin silver and increase
Inflation)
 He lost, but issues were
important.
Contributions from:
 Stanley K. Schultz, Professor of History
William P. Tishler, Producer
Populism Simulation
Homestead Act- 1862
Congratulations!!!!
 The first 24 students
who get to the other
side of the room and
claim a piece of
“land” will become
owners of 160 acre
farms.
 Fold your paper into
¼ sections and draw
a farmhouse, garden
and corral on ¼.
Farm Life in America
1860 to 1900
As a farmer, you will
now experience farm life
in the 1870’s. As you
face challenges you will
tear pieces of your farm
off to represent the
farmers losing their land
to the different
challenges of the period.
Lack of Diversification
Farmland
Now choose whether
you are going to be a
wheat, corn or hay
farmer and draw fields
in the rest of your land.
-All fields must be the
same kind of crop to
represent the lack of
diversification.
Good News!!!
Bumper Crop
Your first crop is a
bumper crop and you
decide to use your profit
as a down payment on
another ¼ section of
land. You use your title
to the other land as
collateral for the loan.
New Technology
Bank Loans
 Wheat farmer buys
thresher.
 Corn farmer buys
cornhusker.
 Hay farmer buys hay
binder.
 You use your new
land as collateral for
the purchase.
Problems
Drought
In 1870 a severe
drought swept the
plains. The inability to
meet debt obligations
meant many farmers
had to sell part of their
land in order to survive.
Tear off ¼ of your land
to represent this sale.
Problems
Locusts
The drought led to
locust swarms that
consumed huge
quantities of your crops.
The inability to get your
product to market
means you fail to make
payments and must sell
more land- tear away
another ¼.
Good News/Bad News
Another Bumper Crop
This year you receive
perhaps your best crop
ever. . . . But you
harvested late to allow it
to grow to full size and
now the market is
flooded. No one will buy
your crop. You eat a lot
of corn (or wheat, or
hay) but you end up
losing another ¼!
More Good News (Really???)
Another Bumper
For the second year in a row
you have great success (you
are really getting this farming
thing down). You harvest
and prepare to ship your
product to market in the east.
. . but the railroad company
has doubled the cost to
transport your goods to
market. ¼ more is
repossessed.
Farm Simulation Debrief
Simulation
 Obtain land
 Lack of Diversification
 Good Crops
 New Equipment
(loans)
 More land (debt)
 Drought
 Locusts
 Flooded Markets
 Railroad Companies
Debrief
1. Write down three
ways the simulation was
similar to life for an
actual farmer in the 19th
century.
2. Write down one way
the simulation was
different.
Beginning in the 1870s, worsening conditions
in rural America caused many people to
abandon their farms. At the same time,
changes in farming practices and the
agricultural marketplace made farmers more
dependent on commercial decisions made by
big-city businessmen. In reaction to these
trends, farmers began to take political action
that led to the emergence of the national
Populist movement in the 1890s. This lecture
investigates changing agricultural conditions
in the United States during the nineteenth
century and explores how many rural
Americans mobilized to deal with their
crushing economic and political problems.
Things to keep in mind:
 How did agriculture change in the United
States between 1870 and 1900?
 How did farmers try and protect their
economic interests and way of life during this
period? Were they successful? Why or why
not?
 Who were the Populists? Why were they so
appealing to farmers? Did they change
American politics? If so, how?
Negotiations Simulation
Negotiation is a
dialogue between
two or more people
or parties, intended
to reach an
understanding,
resolve point of
difference, or gain
advantage in
outcome ...
Today, you will
assume the role of a
negotiator for either
the Populists
(supporting farmers
and workers) or for
a private company
(railroad,
communications,
etc.).
Issues for Negotiation
1.
2.
3.
Workers wages- populists
want to see the wages for
the average worker
increase.
Progressive Income TaxPopulists want the wealthy
to pay a larger amount of
the tax burden.
Government Control of
railroads. Railroads have a
monopoly on shipping and
farmers are in a bad
position.
1. Employers want
to keep wages
low.
2. Wealthy want to
keep money.
3. Railroads want to
keep control of
the railroads.
Negotiation Process
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
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Get together with your group and decide what
it is you want to achieve (see above and
brainstorm). Appoint a lead negotiator.
Come to the negotiating table and greet the
other side. Populist lead negotiator presents
their ideas.
Both sides should clarify if there is any
misunderstanding.
Caucus- teams leave the negotiating table
and go to a private area. The (employer,
wealthy, railroad owners) discuss whether to
accept the offer.
Both sides return to the table. The (employer,
wealthy, railroad owners) informs the other
lead negotiator whether the offer has been
accepted. They may propose a counter-offer.
If there is a counter offer, then the populists
leave and caucus to discuss.
If and when an agreement is made, then it is
written in specific language for all to see.
Everyone must agree that it is what he or she
understands.
Everyone shakes hands and goes home for
the evening.
Negotiation Process Continued
1.
2.
3.
Both sides return to the table.
The (employer, wealthy,
railroad owners) informs the
other lead negotiator whether
the offer has been accepted.
They may propose a counteroffer. If there is a counter
offer, then the populists leave
and caucus to discuss.
If and when an agreement is
made, then it is written in
specific language for all to see.
Everyone must agree that it is
what he or she understands.
Everyone shakes hands and
goes home for the evening.
Negotiation Debrief
Did you get
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Populism PowerPoint