Homestead Act in 1862

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Granger Laws, establishing maximum shipping rates. These state laws eventually helped influence the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887. The act was designed to regulate the railroad industry, particularly its monopolistic practices, requiring that railroad rates be "reasonable and just."

In addition to the problems with the Rail industry what did famers seem to have in common? The answer was simple: debt. Looking for solutions to this condition, farmers proposed inflation. Inflation actually helps debtors. If a farmer owes $3,000 and can earn $1 for every bushel of wheat sold at harvest, he needs to sell 3,000 bushels to pay off the debt. If inflation could push the price of a bushel of wheat up to $3, he needs to sell only 1,000 bushels. The economics are simple.

Inflation could be created by printing money that was backed by silver as well as gold. This idea was more popular because people were more confident in their money if they knew it was backed by something of value. Also, America had a tradition of coining silver money until 1873.


Passage 2: “The Birth of the Populists”

Many believe that The Wizard of Oz was written as an allegory of the age of Populism.

Out of the struggle of earlier farming associations grew the

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