-Prices for their crops were falling due to over-production of grains
-Banks were charging high interest rates on mortgages & were foreclosing on debtors
-Railroads charged high rates for shipping & storing their crops
Govt. Policies Hurting Farmers
-The gov't reduced the paper money (greenbacks) & relied on gold-backed currency
-This led to deflation making it harder for farmers to pay off debts
-When westerners appealed to their politicians, nothing was done
Grangers & Farmer's Alliance
-These groups attacked abusive banks & railroad companies
-They called on farmers to form their own co-op stores, banks, & storage silos to avoid exploitation
-Both groups failed to gain improvements for farmers
Formed in 1890 & demanded . . .
-Government regulation of railroads in order to lower rates
-A national income tax to take the burden of taxation off farmers
-Direct-election of Senators to make politicians more responsive
-Bimetalism: Using gold & silver to inflate the money supply
William Jennings Bryan
-He embraced Populist ideas & was nominated by the Democrat & Populist Parties in the 1896 presidential election.
-Lost the election to William McKinley
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