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farming and populism

settlers on the great plains created new communities and unique political groups.

Michelle Scaperlanda McWay

on 26 January 2016

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Transcript of farming and populism

Settlers on the Great Plains created new communities and unique political groups.
Farming and Populism
New Lives on the Plains
Homestead Act - gave government-owned land to small farmers. (160 acres for five years)

Morrill Act - granted more than 17 million acres of federal land to the states. States must sell land and use money to build colleges.
Farmers' Political Groups
From 1860-1900 population doubled and farming tripled.

Overproduction - lower priced crops, decrease of income, farmers lost homes and farms.

The National Grange - social and educational organization for farmers.

Farmers' Alliances - political organizations formed by farmers to elect candidates that would help them.

Populist Party - Government ownership of railroads, telegraph and telephone systems; free silver coinage; eight hour work day; limits on immigration.
The End of the Frontier
March 1889 - Homesteaders could file claims on land in what is now Oklahoma (land previously given to Seminoles and Creek.)

Noon, April 22, 1889 - 50,000 people lined up to claim 11 million acres.

Oklahoma City and Guthrie established cities of around 10,000 people in literally half a day.

Sooners - people who participated in the run entered the unoccupied land early and hid there until the legal time of entry to lay quick claim to some of the most choice homesteads.
Reasons for Moving
New England farmers
Single Women
equal rights
economic opportunity
land grants
inexpensive land
Farming challenges - extreme weather, rough dirt, locusts (1874)

Dry farming and mechanical farming.

Breadbasket - shipped goods east by train, then overseas.
Farming communities:
- importance of women
- build church and school
- children helped with chores
Election of 1896 - William McKinley v William Jennings Bryan. End of Populist Party and the end of Farmers' Alliances.
Full transcript