Explain the situation of the Farmers' Revolt and explain what happened and why it is important to the development of the U.S. and how it set the stage for the Progressive Movement.
During the latter part of the Gilded Age, a series of events and actions has been described as the Farmers' Revolt.
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The American prairie farmer found that 'homesteading' was a difficult task. The land was not easy to plow, and there was little tree lumber for shelter. In addition, weather conditions went from extreme droughts to flooding without much notice, still the American farmer stuck it out. By 1862, the Morrill Land Grant Act provided funding for agricultural colleges to promote innovation and scientific research with regard to farming in America. However, the farmer's benefit was limited at best. As a result, in 1867 farmers organized the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry demanding that the government intervene on their behalf. The Grange Movement gave the farmer political power. They elected candidates that had their interests at hand. For example, their representatives enacted state laws that regulated the mighty railroad industry from the hold they had on the American farmer. In addition, these laws were challenged in the U.S Supreme Court among them Munn v. Illinois 1877 and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul R.R. Co. v. Minn 1889. Moreover, the decisions of the high court led to the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act creating the Interstate Commerce Commission regulating the railroads in the best interest of commerce, not the railroads. This was a victory of sorts for the American farmer and led to the birth of the Populist Party. Referred to as the People's Party, its roots are firmly grounded in the idea that government intervention and or regulation is necessary to ensure fairplay. The backbone of the Progressive Movement was similar in that it believed that government legislation and regulation were essential for all Americans to benefit from the fruits of their labors.
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