History
ArianeEdgeman
15

which is a term commonly used to describe plains farmers of the 1800s

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(2) Answers
oscman228

Called: Sodbusters                           .

lola0741

In the late eighteen hundreds, white Americans expanded their settlements in the western part of the country. They claimed land traditionally used by American Indians. The Indians were hunters, and they struggled to keep control of their hunting lands.The federal government supported the settlers' claims. It fought, and won, several wars with Indian tribes. It forced the Indians to live on government-controlled reservations.This week in our series, Larry West and Steve Ember tell about the people who settled on the old Indian lands after the wars.Others came from other countries and hoped to build new lives in the United States.All the settlers found it easy to get land in the West. In eighteen sixty-two, Congress had passed the Homestead Act. This law gave every citizen, and every foreigner who asked for citizenship, the right to claim government land. The law said each man could have sixty-five hectares. If he built a home on the land, and farmed it for five years, it would be his. He paid just ten dollars to record the deal..Here there were few hills or trees. Without trees, settlers had no wood to build houses. Some built houses partly underground. Others built houses from blocks of earth cut out of the grassland. These houses were dark and dirty. They leaked and became muddy when it rained.There were no fences on the Great Plains. So it was hard to keep animals away from crops.med rich, it was difficult to prepare for planting. The grass roots were thick and strong. They did not break apart easily. The weather also was a problem. Sometimes months would pass without rain, and the crops would die. Winters were bitterly cold.Technology solved many of the problems. New equipment was invented for digging deep wells. Better pumps were built to raise the water to the surface. Some of the pumps used windmills for power.New farm equipment was invented. This included a plow that could break up the grassland of the plains. And farmers learned techniques for farming in dry weather.A farmer could get wood to build his house. But he had to buy the wood and pay the railroad to bring it west. To farm the plains, he needed barbed wire for fences, and plows and other new equipment. All these things cost money. So a plains farmer had to grow crops that were in big demand. He usually put all his efforts into producing just one or two crops.The farmers, however, were not satisfied. They were angry about several things. One was the high cost of sending their crops to market. The only way to transport their grain was by railroad. And railroad prices were very high for farm products--higher than for anything else.The railroads also owned the big buildings where grain was stored. Farmers had to pay to keep their grain there until it was sold. They said storage costs were too high.Farmers as individuals could do nothing to change the situation. But if they united in a group, they thought, perhaps they could influence government policy.An 1873 poster in support of Grange membershipFarmers organized cooperatives to buy equipment and supplies in large amounts directly from factories. The cost of goods was lower when bought in large amounts. The granges also began to organize for political action. Local granges became part of the national grange movement.Grange supporters won control of state legislatures in a number of middle western states. They passed laws to limit the cost of railroad transportation and crop storage.Railroads refused to obey these laws. They fought the measures in the courts. They did not win. Finally, they appealed to the United States Supreme Court.The farmers seemed to have won. But the powerful railroad companies continued to struggle against controls. They reduced some transportation costs, but only after long court fights.Many farmers lost hope that the granges could force the railroads to make any real cuts in their costs. They began to leave the organization. Others left because the economy had improved. They no longer felt a need to protest. Within a few years, the national grange had lost most of its members. Some local groups continued to meet. But they took no part in politics.

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