How did the following problems affect farmers during the Gilded Age?
1.Debt 2.New machines such as improved plows
3. overproduction of crops 4. rebates
5. short haul vs. long haul 6. cheap money (silver) vs. hard money (gold)
We ask that you only ask one question in each post, not six. Because there are so many questions here, my answer to each question will be short.
- Debt was a problem because it farmers had too much of it. This meant that they could easily lose their land to banks and it meant they had to pay a lot of money in interest.
- New machines were relatively expensive. This meant they were harder for small farmers to afford, which helped big farms prosper at the expense of small. They also contributed to overproduction.
- Overproduction leads to lower prices for farmers because excessive supply causes prices to drop.
- Rebates were problems for farmers because farmers did not get them. Large companies could demand rebates from railroads but small farmers couldn’t. Therefore, they ended up paying higher fees.
- When railroads charged high prices for short haul freight and low prices for long haul, it hurt farmers since they often had to send their crops over short distances.
- The cheap money vs. hard money debate hurt farmers because they lost the debate and the government generally supported hard money. A hard money policy meant that there was less money available to be loaned. This makes loans more expensive. It also meant money was worth more (low inflation). Farmers were usually debtors so they wanted cheaper loans. They also wanted inflation so that they could pay their debts off more easily.
Thus, we can say that all of these factors hurt farmers in the Gilded Age.