Farmers and Populist Movement Notes: Chapter 5 Section 3 I.) Farmers Face Problems Crop Prices Fall Farmer Mortgage Farms to Buy More Land Good Farm Land Scarce Banks Begin to Foreclose Railroads Charge High Shipping Prices A.) Money Problems Cause: 1. During Civil War U.S. issue “Greenbacks” which cannot be exchanged for gold/silver 2. Greenbacks worth less than hard money 3. Govt. take them out of circulation Effect: 1. Farmers had to pay back loans in dollars worth more than the dollars they had borrowed 2. Foreclosures Increase & Farmers lose money B. Problems with the Railroads Cause: 1. Lack of competition for railroads 2. Secret agreements = railroads control grain prices Effect: 1. Farmers pay high prices to transport goods 2. Farmers mortgage farms & pay high interest Outcome: 1. Calls for Reform! II.) Reform Movements A. The Grange- organization for farmers whose purpose it was to provide a social outlet & educational opportunities for farm families 1. most time spent fighting to regulate railroads in 1870’s B. Farmers’ Alliances- organization of farmers with the goals to: - educate farmers about lower interest rates - urge govt. control of banks & railroads C. Populism- political movement of the late 1800’s demanding that people have a greater say in govt. 1. advocated for farmers & workers D. Populist Party Platform: 1. Economic reform: • -increase money supply -graduated income tax -federal loan program 2. Government reform: -senators elected by popular vote -single terms for president & vice -secret ballot to end vote fraud 3. Social reform: -eight hour work day -restrictions on immigration III.) The Populist Party & Issues A. Election of 1892- Populist presidential candidate won 10% of vote B. Panic of 1893Cause: -major railroads go bankrupt -gold supply limited = people trade paper money for gold - Wall Street stocks fall - silver price falls = mines close Effect: -15,000 businesses close - 500 banks collapse - wages, investments, prices fall - 3 million lost jobs C. Gold or Silver? 1. Bimetallism- monetary system in which govt. give citizens gold or silver in exchange for paper currency (Silverites) 2. Gold Standard- monetary system in which dollars are backed solely by gold (Gold Bugs) D. Election of 18961. Republican candidate William McKinley (Gold Bug) 2. Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan (Sliverite) 3. Populist candidate Thomas Watson Outcome: -McKinley wins election - Populist Party collapses Legacy: -people could organize and make reforms - leaves only two major political parties!!!!!