Farmers were struggling during the Gilded Age. Many farmers were in debt and in danger of losing their farms. Prices of crops were also low. Loans were expensive, and railroad companies didn’t offer farmers benefits that other businesses received.
Farmers wanted the government to change our monetary policy. They wanted the government to put more money into circulation. This would lead to higher prices and make it easier for farmers to pay their debts. The farmers wanted to have a bi-metallic money supply. They wanted the government to have both gold and silver coins used to back on money. Instead, the government followed a monometallic money supply. Only gold was used to back our money.
Farmers also blamed the banks and the railroad companies for their problems. Farmers believed the banks charged them higher interest rates than other businesses were charged. Farmers wanted to end the national banking system, which they believed worked against farmers. They also wanted tighter control of the railroad companies. They were upset that the railroad companies wouldn’t offer them rebates, as they did to other businesses.
Farmers were upset with our financial policies, our banks, and the railroad companies. They wanted several changes to occur, but for the most part, those changes didn’t occur during the Gilded Age.