How did the Populist movement try to help farmers?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Populist movement tried to help farmers. When farmers were unable to resolve the problems they faced with groups such as the Grange and Farmers’ Alliances, they created a political party to try to achieve their goals.

Farmers faced many financial problems. One of the problems they faced was the money supply. Farmers wanted a money supply based on both gold and silver. This would increase the money supply and lead to higher prices for farm crops. Also, since farmers were in debt, a period of inflation helped those who are in debt. Another financial problem farmers faced was interest rates. Banks were charging farmers interest rates that were really high. If the money supply increased, interest rates should drop. The Populist Party worked to increase the money supply and get lower interest rates for farmers.

Farmers were also upset with the railroad companies. Railroad companies gave rebates to some businesses that did a lot of shipping. However, the railroad companies wouldn’t do this for the farmers.  The Populist Party supporting the idea of having tighter control over the railroad companies. 

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