Thursday, January 28, 2010

What role did railroads play in changing southern society?

The railroads enabled the farmers in the south to ship their goods across the continent. However, the railroads also gave farmers an added expense in the form of hauling their goods. Railroads could charge whatever they wanted to transport the products of the farmers, and charged more in places that did not have competition. To struggle against the railroad costs, farmers in the South and West formed cooperatives that formed Granger laws which established fixed freight charges that the railroads were allowed to charge. Groups were formed by farmers to try to improve their position in society, such as the popular Farmers' Alliance that had the ambition to try to change many things they didn't like in society. Most of these things had been caused either directly or indirectly by the railroads.

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