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Agricultural Problems and Gilded
Age Politics
Problems of the American Farmer
During the Gilded Age
• Overproduction
• Tariff Policy
• Monetary Policy
Hard Money vs. Soft Money
Gold vs. Silver
Inflation vs. Deflation/Money
• Tax and Bank Policies
• Differential Freight Rates
• Tenant Farming and ShareCropping
• Loss of Status and Power
The Government
• Laissez-Faire: The Government was
unresponsive to agrarian needs.
The Agrarian Reaction
• The Grange Self-Help
Cooperatives (Patrons
of Husbandry)
• The Farmers’ Alliances
• The Populist Party
Populist Party Platform (1892)
• Australian (or Secret) Ballot
• Popular Election of U.S. Senators
– 17th Amendment
• Direct Democracy
– Initiative
– Referendum
– recall
• Banking Reform
– Federal Reserve System (1913)
• Government Ownership of the Railroads
• Graduated Income Tax
– 16th Amendment
• Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver
– Increase money supply=Inflation