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DBQ 13 The Farmers Revolt Farmers were once known for being able to do everything themselves They grew their own food and sewed their own clothes People often yearn for the old days and complain about so many people living in cities Many farmers had to give up their farms and move to the cities because of something that happened in the late nineteenth century High prices forced farmers to concentrate on one crop The large-scale farmers bought expensive machines increasing their crop yield This caused the smaller farmers to be left behind The small farmers could no longer compete and were forced give up their farms and look for jobs in the cities The smaller farmers who stayed blamed their troubles on banks and railroads In the 1890s western and southern farmers came together to make up the political party called the Populist Party Their plan was to take control of the White House then they could solve all their problems The increase in crop yield caused a change in the economy which the party set out to straighten out in 1892 On their party platform they demanded that the government take control of the railroad The railroad was charging extremely high prices to transport grain They asked the government to use the railroads for the benefit of the people They also wished to set the economy straight and asked for an unlimited coinage of gold and silver at a ratio of sixteen to one and a graduated income tax Since the increase in crop yield this caused overproduction which resulted in farmers having to lower their prices greatly In 1890 clergyman Washington Gladden wrote an article called The Embattled Farmers In it he blamed the ruin of the farmers on protective tariffs trustsspeculation in farm products over-greedy middlemen and exorbitant transportation rates James Laurence Laughlin wrote an article Causes of Agricultural Unrest that was published in the Atlantic Monthly
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