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Although the late nineteenth century gave rise to American industry and brought prosperity, many farmers faced multiple problems that they saw as threats to their way of life and declared valid complaints concerning monopolies and trusts in railroads and the demonetizing of silver, however they also failed to see the true reasons for some of their problems.
The expansion of railroads was very beneficial to American business. Even so, these benefits were at the expense of the farmers. The competition between railroad companies and the formation of monopolies and trusts led to unfair price setting which ultimately hurt the farmers. Many farmers felt that monopolies basically controlled most of the railroad business which gave them the power to dictate prices and force the railroads to set up rebates in order to attract larger companies. James B. Weaver in his work A Call to Action: An Interpretation of the Great Uprising. Its Source and Causes, describes the threat of monopolies and how they “destroy competition and restrain trade.” (Doc F) The power of monopolies allowed them to fix prices however they wanted. Railroad companies gave out rebates that gave special low rates to the larger companies but at the expense of smaller companies. The smaller companies as stated by George W. Parker, vice-president of the Cairo Short Line Railroad, are “not of sufficient volume to make up paying trains nor is it sufficient to make the earnings.” As a solution to that problem, Mr. Park...