chapter 14 Section 4

12/13/11 The Farmers’ Complaint Chapter 14 Sec0on 4 Populism Farmers and Tariffs •  The collapse of railroads led to panics in 1873 and 1893 •  Farmers suffered from falling crop prices and loans being called in by banks •  Farmers began to expect help from the government The Money Issue •  Tariffs raised the price of manufactured goods, such as farm machinery •  U.S. tariffs on goods caused na0ons in Europe to retaliate with tariffs against American crops •  This reduced the American marker for farm products •  The value of money is linked to the money supply •  If the government increased the money supply, the value of every dollar drops •  The drop in value shows up as infla0on, a rise in prices on goods of all kinds •  People who borrow money benefit from infla0on because the money they pay back is worth less than the money they borrowed •  Sellers benefit because it raises the prices on the goods they sell •  If the government reduces the money supply, the value of the dollar is greater. This causes defla0on, or a drop in prices. •  APer the Civil War, the government tried to take the greenbacks they had issued out of circula0on. •  This angered farmers who wanted inflated prices. 1 12/13/11 Review •  What issues did farmers face in the late 1800’s? •  What happened if the money supply is increased? Who benefits? •  What happens if the money supply is decreased? Gold Bugs •  Un0l 1873, the U.S. had been on a bimetallic standard •  In 1873, Congress put the na0on on a gold standard •  This reduced the amount of money in circula0on because the money supply was limited by the amount of gold held by the government Silverites •  Silverites claimed that ending silver as a monetary standard would depress farm prices •  The Greenback Party was founded in 1875 to push for the con0nued issuing of paper money •  The Bland‐Allison Act of 1878 required the government to purchase and coin more silver, increasing the money supply and causing infla0on •  It was originally vetoed by President Hayes, but Congress overrode the veto •  It had li[le effect because the Treasury Department refused to buy more than the minimum amount of silver and refused to circulate silver dollars Review •  In 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act which increased the amount of silver the government was required to purchase every month •  During the 1890’s, the government’s gold reserves dwindled, and the government nearly went bankrupt •  President Cleveland blamed the Silver Purchase Act and had it repealed in 1893 •  What is a bimetallic standard •  What happened when the na0on was put on a gold standard? •  What was the Bland‐Allison Act? •  What was the Sherman Silver Purchase Act? •  Why was the Silver Purchase Act repealed? 2 12/13/11 The Grange •  Formed by Oliver H. Kelley •  It helped farmers form coopera0ves through which they bought goods in large quan00es at lower prices •  It also pressured government to regulate businesses on which farmers depended Farmers’ Alliance •  In the 1880’s, many farmers joined a network of Framers’ Alliances •  Women oPen served as officers and won support for women’s poli0cal rights Government Responses •  In every elec0on from 1880‐1892, no presiden0al candidate won a majority of the popular vote •  Presidents oPen lacked the power to take bold ac0on Review •  What was the Grange? •  How did the government respond to the farmers problems? •  In 1887, Cleveland signed the Interstate Commerce Act which regulated the rates that railroads could charge to move freight between states •  It also set up the Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce the laws •  In 1890, President Harrison approved the Sherman An0trust Act The Populists •  In 1891, the Framers’ Alliance formed the People’s Party, known as the Populists, to demand radical changes in federal economic and social policies 3 12/13/11 Populist PlaBorm •  An increased circula0on of money •  The unlimited min0ng of silver •  A progressive income tax in which the percentage of taxes owed increased with a rise in income •  Government ownership of communica0ons and transporta0on systems •  An 8‐hour work day Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” •  In the 1896 Presiden0al elec0on, the Republicans ran Ohio governor William McKinley on a gold pladorm •  William Jennings Bryan was the Democra0c and Populist Party candidate running on a silver pladorm Populism’s Legacy •  At the Democra0c conven0on, Bryan gave a fiery speech known as the “Cross of Gold” speech •  He travelled all over the country making speeches and mee0ng voters, while McKinley campaigned from his home in Canton, Ohio •  Bryan lost the elec0on because he could not carry the urban and industrial areas of the country •  McKinley’s administra0on raised the tariff •  By 1900, Congress had put the country back on the gold standard •  The silver movement died •  Who were the Populists? What did they believe in? •  Who was William Jennings Bryan? •  What happened in the Elec0on of 1896? 4