What Did The Farmers' Alliances Call For?


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Christopher Adam Profile
The Farmers' Alliance was a late nineteenth century agrarian union, which at times functioned as a lobby group and aimed to serve the collective economic interests of American farmers. The Alliance was established in 1876 in Texas and by 1888 the organization boasted more than 250,000 members, primarily in the southern and midwestern states.

The Farmers' Alliance called for increased commodity prices by selling their farm produce at augmented rates to large brokers. The Alliance also used local branches of its organization to collectively bargain with merchants in order to receive special deals and wholesale prices on their merchandise and thus keep more money in the pockets of farmers. Some county branches of the Alliance even established their own stores and sold merchandise at significantly discounted prices to their members.

The Farmers' Alliance was essentially a populist organization and as such, they called for the state ownership of transportation and communication networks, so as to weaken corporate interests, and demanded a special government program that could provide credit and loans to farmers.

In 1890, the Farmers' Alliance transformed itself into the United States Populist Party in order to field candidates in local and national elections and thus have a better chance of influencing public policy.

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