Life in the Roaring Twenties

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Explain why farmers did not participate in the prosperity of the 1920s.

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There are a few reasons why farmers did not share in the prosperity of the 1920s. One factor that hurt farmers was overproduction. Farmers produced too many crops. As a result of new technology, farm production was increasing. This created an oversupply of crops that led to falling farm prices. As farm prices fell, income levels of farmers dropped. As a result, some farmers were not able to pay their mortgages, and they lost their farms.

Another issue hurting farmers was a lower demand worldwide for American farm products. After World War I ended, Americans sold a lot of crops to Europeans because European farmland was damaged by the fighting in World War I. Eventually, the European farmland recovered, and European farmers were able to grow more of their own crops. As a result, demand for American crops dropped. This lower foreign demand for crops coupled with the overproduction of crops from American farms led to an even greater drop in crop prices. This put farmers in a very difficult situation economically.

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The main reason why farmers did not prosper in the 1920s had to do with the international economy.  In the 1910s, WWI caused declines in farm production around the world, but not in the US.  This meant that American farmers were able to sell lots of their produce at good prices.  Many farmers borrowed money to buy land to produce more crops.  But after WWI ended, European farms were able to produce again.  Crop prices dropped and farmers went into debt.  Because of this, American farmers were hurting even as the country as a whole was in boom times.

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