The economic elements of 1861-1865 were very different for the North and the South. The North was doing very well, compared to the South. In the North they had to lay-off many workers and close down the textile industries because of the scarcity of cotton. However, the “arms, metalworking, boot making, and shipbuilding industries” were booming in the North (Keene, 391). The wages of the workers rose by about 40 percent, but the prices of goods rose at the same pace as the inflation rate averaged about 15 percent annually (Keene, 391).
When President Herbert Hoover, was in office a precipitous drop in the value of the U.S. stock market came crashing downward and signaled the start of the Great Depression. Due to the Jim Crow laws it was hard for even immigrants to survive the Great Depression. Upon this article it was “Around one third of Los Angeles’ Mexican population left the country, as did a third of Texas’ Mexican- born population” (Blakemore). During the years, Latino American’s had to fight to have the same equal right as American citizens. Even through “Mexican’s is willing to work for low wages, they help build the railroads in the 1930’s, American’s were and still is afraid, of foreigners stealing jobs” (Blakemore).
In 1888 only 50 million acres were harvested. Then in 1929, before the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, 150 acres were harvested (Doc. D). Since there was so much more wheat being produced at this time more land was being used and more grass was being taken away and more storms could occur. Although there are many causes of the Dust Bowl the three most significant causes were the drought, removal of grass and the overproduction of crops in the Great Plains.
This event changed the social and economic way of life. “Its population was mushrooming, from some 3 million people in 1550 to about 4 million in 1600” (27). In the countryside, landlords were enclosing croplands for sheep grazing and forcing smaller farmers off the land. The woolen districts of eastern and western england supplied many immigrants to America. The Economic depression hit the woolen trade in late 1500s, and many farmers were unemployed, and ended u as beggars.
The Industrial Revolution brought down the prices of crops produced by farmers, this meant that farmers were not making enough money to pay off their debts. This increasing problem was slowly digging farmers into a hole with what seemed to be no escape. To add on to their everlasting money problems, middlemen and railroad companies were price gouging the farmers. This meant, the companies were asking farmers to pay prices which had been far higher than the actual value of the products needed for the farmers to raise crops. Companies did this, because they knew that farmers could not buy their goods from other businesses due to the fact that there were not any others in sight.
Black sharecroppers were often forced to give the majority of their crops to the landowner, and sometimes they went into debt or were forced into poverty. High interest rates and unpredictable harvests kept many sharecropping families greatly indebted. They would remain tied to the land and it was unlikely that they would leave for other opportunities. Laws favoring landowners made it difficult or sometimes illegal for sharecroppers to sell their crops to others besides their landlord. The use of sharecropping declined after 1940, due to a combination of factors.
The ever-rising cost of farm living is growing exponentially every year, but income continues to decline how do we expect the small farmers to make it? Between new generations, rising cost, the growth of agribusiness, and the advancements in technology we have virtually wiped out all of the family farms we saw 50 years ago. This is no new phenomenon, farmers have always been motivated to “get big, or get out” as President Nixon’s secretary of agriculture Earl Butz said in 1973 (Down on the farm). The farmers of the 21st century have done just that, gotten big. Michael Pollan, a writer of food production and author of bestselling books, blames the government's way to enable the big businesses and forget
By the 1850’s Chicago became the nation’s major transportation hub because of the construction of railroads and it has became the home for shipping companies which used the transportation lanes to ship all over the nations. Many factories were also created during that time, most famously the harvester factory created by McCormick. Because of the expansion of the railroads throughout the upper Midwest and east, the manufacturing and retail sectors grew rapidly and also it became the dominant Midwestern center for industrialization, such as manufacturing, commerce, and finance. And Chicago has also
Big businesses boomed during this era, however, in business owners efforts to produce more money the working class suffered from unfair wages and working conditions. In Nash’s findings, he reported, “In 1890, the top 1 percent of American families possessed over a quarter of the wealth, and the top 10 percent of American families possessed over a quarter of the wealth, … But wages for the unskilled increased by only 31 percent- a substantial differential that widened as the century drew to a close” (407). Through the economic disparities between classes, it caused unworkable working conditions and unsanitary living conditions. Unskilled workers were often responsible for hard labor jobs, many men worked in coal mines, factories, farms and more. Despite these harsh working conditions workers received minimal wages, resorting themselves and their families to live in tenement houses, crowded, unclean, and disease-ridden housing units.
In contrast to the Great Depression, the citizens of America had more access to the goods they needed and even more things they could not have before, such as their own home. In contrast, due to high inflation the people who were considered poor during this time in the economy were still struggling with cashflow problems as they struggled to keep the money they earned from working in their pockets. In the article, Death of a Salesman: Historical Context, Elise said, “...small farmers faced hard times because of government policies that benefited larger, corporate farmers. The lowest-paid workers in the country were the migrant farm workers, with sales clerks and unskilled laborers (such as gas station attendants) not far above them,” (1). With Biff as a struggling farm worker and Happy as a person working sales it is a clear representation of how the workforce
The rise and fall of the Populist party all started when farmers from all over the nation gathered together and addressed some common problems that they were facing. Farmers were stuck in a bad economic cycle. Prices for their crops were falling, and unfortunately farmers often had to mortgage their farms so that they could buy more land and produce more crops in order to “flourish”. There was very little suitable land to farm and cultivate and banks were foreclosing on the mortgages of farmers who could not make the payments on their loans. Moreover, the railroads were being taken advantage of farmers by charging excessive prices for shipping and storage.
After the labor unions won, workers worked less, and they still had the same salary. However, the economic crises in 1837 collapsed the labor unions because of economic hard times, and with immigrants coming in surplus willing to work for cheap, regular people could not compete and thus had to work at the beckon of the factories. Labor unions worked when the economy was resilient, but when the economy was shocked, everyone was too afraid of demanding more when there were those willing to work for
Transportation- A big portion of railroads and industrial supplies were destroyed over the course of the war. The south had begun rebuilding transportation by the nineteenth century. West: Political- Because of the trouble between white settlers and immigrants at that time there were numerous outbreaks of violence and laws aimed towards discrimination. Social- Chinese immigrants who migrated to the west would work for wages considerably less than normal and them doing so caused tension between white settlers. Economic or type of economy- The west relied more on agriculture than any other place because it was the most efficient.
Many new immigrants from places in southern and eastern Europe such as Italy, Greece and Russia settled in Northern cities and became the backbone of industrial labor. Due to a lack of space in cities and the tendency of poverty among these immigrants, many of them had to live in tenements and slums. Since these immigrants were willing to settle for lower wages and worse conditions, they occupied many industrial jobs, frustrating the working class of whites and old immigrants. Along with the frustration that the immigrants were taking jobs away from natives, there was a widespread sentiment that these new immigrants were inferior. Furthermore, these new immigrants were religious but tended to be Catholic or Jewish as opposed to Protestant as was the majority, providing another basis of resentment.
In 1933, the unemployment had risen from 3 percent to 25 percent of nation’s workforce and those who were able to keep their jobs faced harsh reductions in wages. Not to end with the economic disaster in the United States, Americans of the Midwest had to face over cultivation and a drought called Dust bowl. This resulted in a drastic end for agriculture