The Gilded Age & the Progressive Era (1877–1917)

by: History SparkNotes

The West: 1860–1900

Summary The West: 1860–1900

The Grange

High protective tariffs and the Depression of 1893 had disastrous effects on poor subsistence farmers in the Midwest and South. Many of these cash crop farmers, often deeply in debt, were unable to afford the unregulated railroad fares to send their products to the cities. As a result, over a million impoverished farmers organized the National Grange to fight for their livelihood. The Grange managed to win some key victories in several midwestern legislatures, supporting the Greenback Party in the 1870s and then the Populist Party in the 1890s.

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