Farming and Populism

Homestead Act
Passed in 1862, it gave 160 acres of public land to any settler who would farm the land for five years. The settler would only have to pay a registration fee of $25.
an African American who migrated to the West after the Civil War
the nickname given to farmers on the Great Plains because they used plows to break up the thick grass (sod) and reach the soil below.
organization of farmers whose goal was to improve the lives of farmers
organization owned and run by its members
Populist Party
U.S. political party formed in 1892 representing mainly farmers, favoring free coinage of silver and government control of railroads and other monopolies
gold standard
every dollar is backed by a certain amount of gold
William Jennings Bryan
Democratic Congressman who championed the cause of free silver. Cross of Gold speech
Describe some of the challenges the farmers of the Great Plains faced.
High fees from the Railroads, sod, dust storms, and scarce water
Why did the grange favor regulation of the railroads?
They wanted the railroads to be limited in what they could charge farmers for shipping.
Why had farming become unprofitable?
They were producing a surplus of grain and it caused prices to drop.
Why dd farmers support Free silver?
They thought that more money in circulation might cause inflation. They wanted higher prices.
How did the federal government aid the farmers?
What reforms did the populist party call for?
Government ownership of railroads, shorter working hours, and other political and social reforms.
What economic plan did Bryan support and who voted for him?
free Silver. Farmers and Democrats voted for him.
What economic plan do McKinley support and who voted for him?
Gold standard. Republicans, bankers and businessmen voted for him.