Essay by easture November 2014

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Joseph Palazzo

American History

Mr. DiRissio

22 September 2014

Agrarian Political Movement

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, there was a movement in the government formed by the farmers of the United States. Right around the end of the civil war, prices in agriculture dropped significantly and at the same time cost of freight and storage of farmer's goods stayed steady or were increased by companies. Often companies would take advantage of farmer's they knew were desperate for business and would tell them a fee to pay daily and raise the fee on other days to profit off them. Obviously farmers were furious about this and formed groups that earned themselves a lobby in the government where they could spread their political ideas. There were three main groups at hand during the farmer's movement of America: the Grange, the Farmers' Alliance, and the Populist Party. All sought reform and regulation from the government concerning railroad prices and banking in the east.

The Grange was a very important start to regulation within the government regarding railroad freight rates and the unconstitutional pricing of said rates. In the early 1870's, laws, starting with Illinois, were passed after the Grange had brought the issue to supreme court allowing the government to control freight rates and storage under a branch appointed by the president. After this victory the Grange slowly faded into obscurity only to be replaced by the Farmer's Alliance which consisted of the Southern, Northern, and Northwestern Farmers' alliances combined into one. However, the problem of race came into the picture when the Northern Alliances started to allow black farmers into the combined Alliance which the Southern Alliance did not approve of. As you can clearly tell by the still racist south The Agrarian Movement purely consisted farming regulation...