What, specifically, were the problems that farmers faced during this period, and what were the ways in which they attempted to solve them?

Posted: November 7th, 2022

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choose 2 questions to answer using essay format Compare the fate of black people in the South under Jim Crow segregation, Indians confined to the reservations in the West, Chinese immigrants in California, and the people of color living in the colonies that were gained as a result of the Spanish-American War, all by way of addressing the following questions: How was the process of marking each group off as inferior to whites used to justify the way each group was treated? (Keep in mind that each group was treated somewhat differently than the others, and the racist depiction of each group varied, as well. For example, the racist caricature of the Chinese differed quite a bit from that of black folks.) What did white people hope to gain from how each group would be dealt with? (In the case of Jim Crow, keep in mind that poor and rich whites had different motivations for supporting segregation, but whites as a whole were able to benefit from the way that black people were oppressed.) In what ways is it useful to see the situation and experience of each of these groups of people of color as a form of imperialism? (Imperialism, as I’m using it, means to rule over people without their consent, or, to put it another way, to treat people as subjects and not citizens. Be sure to keep in mind that claiming that each of these groups was racially inferior in some way was how imperial subjugation of these groups was justified.) Finally, how did the larger context of the late 19th century shape the increased oppression of people of people of color? (In other words, what was happening in the country as a whole, and in the world at large shaped the way white Americans subjugated people of color in the ways they did at this time?)
In the industrially dominated economy of the late nineteenth century, most Americans farmers, black or white, whether they lived in the Great Plains, the Midwest, or the South, found making a living increasingly difficult. What, specifically, were the problems that farmers faced during this period, and what were the ways in which they attempted to solve them? (In addressing this question, make sure that you discuss the organizations which farmers created, the alliances they tried to forge, as well as the program they sought to implement.) In what ways did the farmers’ efforts constitute a challenge to the prevailing ideology of laissez-faire? (Keep in mind that the Populists wanted to use the government to address their economic problems.) Why were farmers at this time almost completely unsuccessful in reforming American society to suit their needs and interests? And yet, at the same time, how did their efforts anticipate many of the political and economic reforms of the early twentieth century?
During the decades following the Civil War, the rapid industrialization of the United States left many workers deeply immiserated, often with little chance of improving their lives. First, describe the conditions under which workers labored and lived. (In addressing this question, make sure you discuss the chances, or lack thereof, of a worker being able to improve his station in life under the prevailing political and economic system.) Then go on to explain why this crisis of free labor took hold in a country where so many had for so long believed that every (white) man had the chance to better himself through his efforts and his talents. Next, discuss the ways in which the members of the working class fought to advance their interests during the last three decades of the 19th century. (In doing so, make sure you address the extent to which workers, with their ideology of “producerism,” were challenging the dominant ideology of free market individualism.) Finally, explain why the working class was unable to make much progress in improving its condition, despite valiant efforts, in the years before 1900.

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