The Granger Movement us history/Napp Name: Do Now

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The Granger Movement

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The transition of the American farmers from self-sufficiency to the market economy brought hardships that eventually caused them to form political organizations. During the 19th century, farmers found themselves at the mercy of forces – commodity prices, grain storage charges, interest rates, and shipping costs – that were beyond their control.

The National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry was founded in 1867 to organize farmers into local chapters dedicated to education, culture, and socialization. However, in the 1870s its aims became less social and more political, with membership reaching 1.5 million by 1874. The Grange accused the railroads of discriminatory practices (long haul compared to short haul, rebates, monopolizing practices), the grain-elevator operators of monopoly practices, charging ‘all that the traffic would bear,’ and manufacturers of raising prices and the cost of credit so that farmers were unable to make a profit.
By the middle of the 1870s the Grangers held the political balance in several of the Midwestern states. In four states Granger laws were passed to regulate railroad rates and the practices of the owners of grain elevators. The Supreme Court, in a series of landmark decisions, upheld the principle that government could regulate all those industries ‘affected with a public interest.’”

~ U.S. History and Government

  1. What concerns did farmers have in the 19th century? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. Why was National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry founded in 1867? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  3. What did the Grange accuse railroads and grain-elevator operators of? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  4. What were the accomplishments of the Grangers? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Patrons of Husbandry, or the Grange, was founded in 1867 to advance methods of agriculture, as well as to promote the social and economic needs of farmers in the United States. The financial crisis of 1873, along with falling crop prices, increases in railroad fees to ship crops, and Congress’s reduction of paper money in favor of gold and silver devastated farmers’ livelihoods and caused a surge in Grange membership in the mid-1870s. Both at the state and national level, Grangers gave their support to reform minded groups such as the Greenback Party, the Populist Party, and, eventually, the Progressives.”



  1. What was the Grange movement? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. What factors devastated the livelihoods of farmers in the mid-1870s? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  3. What political parties did the Grangers support? ________________________________________________________________________

Analyze the following chart:

The Greenback Party

The Populist Party

The Progressives

  1. Started in the 1870s

  2. Main support came from farmers who were suffering from declining farm prices, high railroad rates and the government’s deflationary currency policies

  3. Wanted to maintain or increase the amount of paper money in circulation

  4. Did not agree when the government announced that it would support all greenbacks with gold; this action would increase value of greenbacks

  5. With the currency’s value increasing and inflation decreasing, it became more difficult for people to pay their debts

  6. Wanted to keep the greenbacks in circulation and even urged that more be printed; thus making it easier to pay off debts with “cheap” money

  1. The People’s Party

  2. In the 1880s, as drought hit the wheat-growing areas of the Great Plains and prices for Southern cotton sunk to new lows, many tenant farmers fell into deep debt

  3. Exacerbated long-held grievances against railroads, lenders, grain-elevator owners, and others with whom farmers did business

  4. Advocated more sweeping federal intervention to offset the economic depression, curtail corporate abuses, and prevent poverty among farming and working-class families

  5. Also advocated a graduated income tax, government ownership of railroads and telegraph lines, and the direct election of Senators

  1. The rapid industrialization and growth of a world economy in the Gilded Age gave birth to a reform movement in the last decade of the nineteenth-century

  2. Believed that people united behind a common cause could erase the social ills that plagued society

  3. Wanted to reform social ills such as mass immigration, overcrowding, child labor and sanitation

  4. Included liberals, agrarians, Republican progressives, socialists, and labor representatives

  5. The 1924 Progressives pledged a “housecleaning” of executive departments, public control of natural resources, public ownership of railways, and tax reduction


  1. Why were framers suffering in the 1870s? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  2. What did farmers want? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  3. What government action upset the farmers? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  4. Why would backing greenbacks with gold hurt farmers? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  5. What happened in the 1800s that hurt farmers? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  6. What grievances did farmers have? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  7. What did the Populist Party advocate? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  8. Why would farmers support the Populist Party? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  9. Why was the Progressive Party formed? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  10. What did Progressives believe? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  11. What groups supported the Progressive Party? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  12. What did the Progressive Party pledge to do? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Analyze the following image:

Explain the meaning of the image:


What is the purpose of this image: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How does this image change people’s perceptions of farmers and issues affecting farmers? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Greenback Party Slogan:

More Money, Cheaper Money.”

The devastating depression unleashed by the Panic of 1873 shook American society to the core. Out of this crisis arose the Greenback Labor Party with its catchy slogan ‘More Money, Cheaper Money.’ Nothing ailed the crippled economy, the Greenbacks insisted, that a massive influx of paper currency could not cure.” ~ Bartee Haile

  1. In the 1870s, the Granger movement was organized to promote the interests of

  1. suffragists

  2. farmers

  3. factory workers

  4. recent immigrants

Base your answer to question 2 on the song lyrics below and on your knowledge of social studies.
Kansas Fool

We have the land to raise the wheat

And everything that’s good to eat

And when we had no bonds or debts

We were a jolly, happy set.…

With abundant crops raised everywhere,
Tis a mystery, I do declare.

Why farmers all should fume and fret

And why we are so deep in debt.…

~ Traditional

  1. What is the basic cause of the farm problem described by these song lyrics?

(1) limits on agricultural imports

(2) government ownership of the railroads

(3) overproduction of farm crops

(4) prolonged droughts in the Midwest

  1. During the 1890s, many American farmers tried to resolve their economic problems by

(1) joining the Populist Party

(2) staging violent protests against the government

(3) supporting government aid to railroads

(4) asking Congress to end agricultural subsidies

4. Which argument was used by Progressive Era reformers to support the use of a graduated income tax?

(1) Imports should be taxed to make foreign goods more expensive than domestic goods.

(2) Taxes on corporations should be reduced so jobs can be created.

(3) People who earn more money should pay taxes at higher rates.

(4) All citizens should be taxed at the same rate to treat all people equally.
5. The Progressive movement supported the idea that the federal government should

(1) regulate big business

(2) reduce immigration

(3) build an overseas empire

(4) reduce the number of farms
6. During the late 1800s, many United States

farmers believed their economic problems would be solved if the federal government would

(1) raise interest rates

(2) outlaw strikes by labor unions

(3) put more money into circulation

(4) regulate the amount of grain that was

7. In the late 1800s, which group most often supported the views of the Populist Party?

(1) factory owners (3) farmers

(2) nativists (4) labor unions
8. Which statement about the development of the Great Plains in the late 1800s is most accurate?

(1) Great profits could be earned in the steel industry.

(2) Railroads decreased in importance throughout the region.

(3) Immigrants could no longer afford to become farmers.

(4) Mechanized farming became dominant in the region.

The Greenbacks met in Waco in August 1878 to select a full slate for the fall elections. W.H. Hamman of Robertson was nominated for governor and waged an energetic campaign. The Greenback creed of defending the common man against the banks, corporations and railroads struck a chord with many Texans as did the charge that both the Democratic and Republican parties ignored their plight.” ~ Bartee Haile

What is the main idea of this cartoon from the 1800s?

  1. Labor is gaining power over big business.

  2. Most Americans support the labor movement.

  3. Business has advantages over labor.

  4. Government should support the expansion of railroads.

In the late 1800s, supporters of laissez-faire capitalism claimed that government regulation of business would be

  1. essential to protect the rights of consumers

  2. necessary to provide jobs for the unemployed

  3. useful in competing with foreign nations

  4. harmful to economic growth

After the Civil War, one way business leaders tried to eliminate competition was by

  1. forming monopolies or trusts

  2. developing overseas markets

  3. increasing the prices of their products

  4. paying high wages to their workers

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