SAT Subject US History Practice Question 1076: Answer and Explanation
3. A major source of farmers' problems in the late 19th century was
A. the inability to attain new, mechanized farm equipment.
B. a declining urban market for their goods.
C. inflation due to an increase in the money supply.
D. the unwillingness of the next generation to stay in farming.
E. overproduction and lowered prices on their crops.
Correct Answer: E
Ironically, mechanization and the increased yields of American farms in the late 19th century proved to be problematic, as prices fell and farmers were unable to repay the loans they had taken out to buy the new equipment. Farmers often want inflation so that they can more easily pay off loans for farm equipment and land. Farmers were generally able to obtain loans for new farm equipment. The urban market was not on the decline; cities were growing rapidly in the late 19th century. The problem of the next generation's unwillingness to stay in farming has been more pronounced during the 20th century, as many former farming towns have become virtual ghost towns.