Learn More About Agrarian Distress And The Rise Of Populism

In today’s article, we will we talking a lot more about agrarian distress and the rise of populism that took place in the late 19th century America. This historical topic is incredibly important to understand, and we will take our time to explain it in such a way that everyone can understand its essence and importance.

What Happened?

At this time, even though late 19th century America went through remarkable progress, the then society still experienced periods of hardship. First of all, many of the agrarians experienced mechanical improvements that increased the yield per hectare greatly, but the rapid growth of the cultivation cane with the price. The gradual displacement of agricultural lands proved to be a problem in the international market when the supplies pushed the prices down. This makes it increasingly difficult for Midwestern farmers to sell their goods and make a solid profit.

South And Slavery


At the same time, in addition to agricultural problems that were pestering the market and the farmers, in the South some drastic social changes took place. Slavery was finally abolished, and this meant that the sharecroppers and tenants would have to give the half of their crop to a landowner. The cycle of debt was only narrowly escaped with increased planting, but in return, this took the market to overproduction of commodities such as cotton and tobacco, which in return decreased their price.

How Was This Problem Solved?


This problem was first addressed by the Patrons of Husbandry, a farmer’s group that is also known as the Grange movement. It helped raise social activities and encourage woman’s participation. The Grangers helped by establishing new marketing systems, stores, and factories, but most of those ultimately failed. What did not fail however was the passing for Granger laws that helped regulate railroad and warehouse fees? The agrarian distress was fueled in years to come as well, but the years of hardship and hostility made it also possible for people to organize state organizations and associations, such as Farmers’ Alliances and push for political power.

Louise Wyatt