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Joe Seaman

A1 Moore
12/13/14
DBQ 4D (07): Analyze the ways in which technology, government policy, and economic
conditions changed American agriculture in the period 1865-1900.
Thesis: From 1865 to 1900, technology elevated American agricultural success while economic
conditions and government policy proved difficult to endure.

BP1:
B: Railroad growth: allowed many people to move goods quickly, but was very, very expensive
(wabash vs pacific, Pacific Railway Act 1862, Stanford/Hill/Vanderbilt/Gould, cattle trails, cow
towns)

D: Reaper: allowed farmers to harvest quickly and did not break easily in the unique western
soil (unlike wooden plows), but often took dozens of horses to pull, and used partly because
farmers couldnt afford mechanical harvesters (Bonanza farming, dust bowls)

F: Chicago was slowly evolving into a meat-packing center, the the technology of the railroads.
This same technology would rob farmers of any economic success due to the increased
distances the cows were transported (Cow towns, Cattle trails)

BP2:
C: Many farmers sought for the government to limit freight rates and make railroad usage more
affordable, but Illinois was the only state to do so. (Munn v. Illinois, Farmers Alliances,
Greenback party)

G: Politicians encouraged farmers to produce large yields of crops, but this led to
overproduction, and thus miniscule farm prices and famine. (Overproduction, Populist party,
Greenback party)

I: Some farmers were upset that vast Indian reserves diminished the amount of available land
for settlers to farm (Dawes act, Indian reservations, Oklahoma Land Rush)

J: Settlers(/William Jennings Bryan) argued that it was farms, not cities, that were the heart of
the nations success and that therefore, outrage against the gold standard showed that it should
be withdrawn (Cross of Gold speech, Gold standard, Populist party)

BP3:
A: Overproduction,commercial farming, and falling prices eventually proved to be detrimental to
the economic success of farmers. (boom bust cycles, commercial farming, panics of 1873/1893,
crop surplus)
E: As landowners controlled the contracts, most sharecroppers experienced poverty and
had limited economic opportunity. (debt peonage, sharecropping, farmers alliances)
H: As many settlers moved into the Great Plains as a result of the Homestead Act, they faced
multiple hardships as hail killed their crops and universal unemployment ruined hope of other
job opportunites. (Homestead Act 1862, reverse migration, In God we trusted, in Kansas we
busted)

Conclusion:
Thesis: