SAT Subject US History Practice Question 715: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 715

66. To remedy problems American farmers faced in the last quarter of the 19th century, the Populist Party advocated a policy of

A. increasing the amount of currency in circulation.
B. raising interest rates on bank loans.
C. raising tariffs to keep foreign agricultural products out of the United States.
D. helping farmers resettle in urban areas.
E. curbing inflation.

Correct Answer: A


A solution that the farmers' organizations, the Grangers, the Greenback Party, and the Populist Party proposed was putting more money into circulation so that inflation would occur and it would be easier for farmers to repay their debts. Inflation would not be curbed (E); rather, it would push up the prices they received for their crops. The most widely circulated suggestion was to back up currency with silver at a ratio of 16 parts of silver to one of gold. Farmers' organizations would not support an increase in interest rates (B), as they had to take out loans to purchase equipment and seeds. Farmers have generally supported tariffs on agricultural imports (C), but this was not the main plank of the Populist Party. Urban resettlement (D) was of no interest to the Populists.

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