2THE POPULISTSWhat were someof the majorproblems facingfarmers during theGilded Age ??
3Causes Effects THE POPULISTS New inventions & efficient techniques introducedLack of competition among railroadsMachinery is needed; shipping costs higherMoney is in short supplyEffectsPrices of farm products declineFarmers’ earnings decreaseFarmers are unable to pay back loansBanks lend money to fewer farmersIn the period after the Civil War, production on all fronts – industrial and agricultural – increased. Greater supply accordingly led to a drop in prices. For many farmers, lower prices meant trouble, as they were locked into long-term debts with fixed prices.
4Price Indexes for Consumer & Farm Products: 1865-1913 Poor Midwestern and Southern farmers suffered economically due to low prices for their crops, which they blamed on Northeastern business interests.
5FARMER'S COMPLAINTTariffs helped farmers by protecting them against competition from farm imports.The tariffs also hurt farmers because it inadvertently raised the prices of farm machinery.Thus, farmers had to take out many loans in order to buy the machineryFarmers and Tariffs
6Problems with the Railroads FARMER'S COMPLAINTProblems with the RailroadsLack of competition lets railroads overcharge to transport grainFarms mortgaged to buy supplies; suppliers charge high interestThe Rail-roads
7FARMER'S COMPLAINTFarmers wanted an increase in the money supply, the amount of money in the national economy.WHY? Value of every dollar drops, leads to a widespread rise in prices, or inflation.This trend would benefit people who borrow money (farmers), but it would not be good for money lenders (banks).The Money IssueLooking for a solution to their problem, farmers came to support a more generous money supply. An increase in available money, they correctly figured, would make payment easier. It would also cause inflation, which would make the farmers’ debts (held by Northern banks) worth less. Not surprisingly, the banks opposed the plan, preferring for the country to use gold to back its money supply.
8So they started a movement to support the use of SILVER coins, instead of GOLD coins: Before 1873 U.S. currency was on a bimetallic standard, consisting of gold and silverUsing silver would mean a more generous money supplyInflation: An increase in available money would make payment easier for them, which made the farmers’ debts worth less
9The banks opposed the plan, preferring the country to use GOLD to back its money supply Silver was mined in the WestWestern miners supported silverThus, this controversial issue had a regional componentPitted poor farmers against wealthy bankersElements of class strife
11The Bland-Allison Act of 1878 SILVERITES VS GOLD BUGSThe Bland-Allison Act of 1878Gold standard enraged the “silverites,” mostly silver-mining interest and western farmers.Silverites called for free silver (precious white metal), the unlimited coining of silver dollars to increase the money supply.Federal government was to purchase and coin more silver, thereby increasing the money supply and causing inflationVetoed by President Hayes because he opposed the inflation.Congress overrode the veto.Treasury Department refused to buy more than the minimum amount of silver required by the act.The act had limited effect.The farmers’ plan called for the liberal use of silver coins, and because silver was mined in the West, this plan had the added support of Western miners along with that of Midwestern and Southern farmers. Thus, the issue had a regional component. Because it pitted poor farmers against wealthy bankers, it also had elements of class strife. Although a complicated matter, the money issue was potentially explosive.
12Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 SILVERITES VS GOLD BUGSSherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890Increased the amount of silver that the government was required to purchase every monthThe law required the Treasury to buy the silver with notes that could be redeemed for either silver or gold.Many people turned in their silver Treasury notes for gold dollars, thus depleting the gold reserves.In 1893, President Cleveland pushed for and succeeded in repealing the Silver Purchase Act.New gold mines allowed for the US to go back on the gold standard.
13The “silver vs. gold” debate provided an issue around which farmers could organize Print illustrating a granger's procession and mass meeting, in "History of the Grange Movement" (National Publishing Co., 1874).1) Grange Movement,By 1875 had more than one million members.Started out as cooperativesPurpose: Allow farmers to buy machinery and sell crops as a group, and therefore, reap the benefits of economies of scaleSoon, they began to endorse political candidates and lobbied for legislationThe Grange, also known as the Patrons of Husbandry, was organized in 1867 to assist farmers with purchasing machinery, building grain elevators, lobbying for government regulation of railroad shipping fees and providing a support network for farm families. By the early 1870's there were more than one million members.
15The Granges ultimately died out due to lack of money, but were replaced by Farmers’ Alliances. Grew into a political party called the People’s Party, the political arm of the Populist movement.1892 Presidential candidate was James B. Weaver: 9% of the popular vote!
16United We Stand, Divided We Fall In 1889 both the Northern and Southern Alliances merged into on—the Farmers’ Alliance.
17The People’s Party ran for the presidency in 1892 Supported the generous coinage of silverCalled for government ownership of railroads and telegraphsDemanded a graduated income tax, direct election of US senators, and shorter workdaysAlthough their 1892 presidential candidate came in third, he won more than one million votes (9% of popular vote)The Independent People's Party (Populist) Convention at Columbus, Nebraska, where Omer Kem was nominated for Congress, July 15, 1890, photo by Solomon D. Butcher.
18THE POPULISTS: Grassroots Movement Local and state level Organized in 1867 in response to farmers’ isolation.Helped farmers form cooperatives which bought goods in large quantities at lower prices.The Grange also pressured government to regulate businesses on which farmers depended.The GrangePeople’s Movement SpreadsThe Farmers’ Alliance called for political actions that many farmers could support.The alliances won support for women’s rights.Blacks allowed but parallel “Colored Farmers’ Alliance.”Farmers’ AllianceBecomes a national movemntPopulistsFarmers’ Alliances formed a new political party, The People’s Party or the Populists.A national movement that was supported by farmers, the West and parts of the South….Populists would elect a presidential candidate in the 1892 and 1896 presidential elections.The “silver vs. gold” debate provided an issue around which farmers could organize. They did just that. First came the Grange Movement, which by 1875 had more than one million members. They Granges started out as cooperatives, with the purpose of allowing farmers to buy machinery and sell crops as a group, and therefore, reap the benefits of economies of scale. Soon, the Granges endorsed political candidates and lobbied for legislation. The Granges ultimately died out due to lack of money, but they were replaced by Farmers’ Alliances. The Farmers’ Alliances were even more successful than the Grange movement, and they soon grew into a political party called the People’s Party, the political arm of the Populist movement.
191892 Presidential Election As Cleveland took office in 1893, the country entered a four-year financial crisis. Hard economic times made Populists goals more popular, particularly the call for easy money. Most people at the time, after all, had no money at all.
20The Populist (Peoples’) Party James B. Weaver, Presidential Candidate Founded by James B. Weaver and Tom Watson.Omaha, NE Convention in July,Got almost 1 million popular votes.Several Congressional seats won.The Populists would form into an independent political party and threaten the Democrats and RepublicansJames B. Weaver, Presidential Candidate& James G. Field, VPThe People’s Party held a conviction in (The platform it drew up presented many of the ideas that would later be championed by the Progressives – it will come up in the next lecture).
21Omaha Platform of 1892Purer democracy: more involvement of peopleWomen’s suffrageDirect election of U.S. senatorsTerm limits for CongressGovt. ownership of RRs, telephone & telegraph companies.Income taxInitiative and referendumCitizens propose and review legislationRestriction of undesirable immigration.8-hour work day for government employees.Demanded free and unlimited coinage of silverA single term for President & Vice President.Sherman Silver Purchase Act16 to 1Purchase silver from mines in the westAside from supporting the generous coinage of silver, the Populists called for government ownership of railroads and telegraphs, a graduated income tax, direct election of US senators, and shorter workdays. Although their 1892 presidential candidate came in third, he won more than one million votes, awakening Washington to the growing Populist movement.
22As Cleveland took office in 1893, the country entered a four-year financial crisis. Hard economic times made Populists goals more popular, particularly the call for easy moneyMost people at the time, after all, had no money at allTimes got so bad that even more progressive (even radical) movements gained popularityEg: In 1894 the Socialists, led by Eugene V. Debs, gained support.The Party's principles and platform call for the elimination of the power of big business through public ownership and workers' control, production for use instead of profit, and the establishment of a classless society.
23Interstate Commerce Commission (1887) Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) LAWS TO REGULATE BIG BUSINESSGovernment RegulationGranger State LawsState representatives voted into office by members of the Grange who in turn represented the interests of farmers and passed state laws regulating railroad prices in 18 states.Munn v. Illinois (1876)Supreme Court decision stating that states had the ability to regulate private property if it affected public interest.Wabash Case (1886)Declared that it was unconstitutional for states to regulate interstate commerce. Showed need for Federal regulation of interstate commerce.Interstate Commerce Commission (1887)In 1887, Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act that setup the ICC. The federal government has the ability to regulate all aspects of interstate commerce. Rebates and drawbacks were illegal.Sherman Antitrust Act (1890)In 1890, Congress passed this act which prohibited monopolies or any business that prevented fair competition.
24THE POPULIST REVOLTIn 1893, Jacob Coxey, of Massillon, Ohio, and some 20,000 men and women began a march to Washington, DC.Demanded US Govt. public works programs, mainly railroads for the nation's unemployed.
25Coxey’s Army, 1894Jacob Coxey & his “Army of the Commonwealth of Christ.”March on Washington = “hayseed socialists!”
26THE POPULIST REVOLT600 protesters persisted through the length of the journey and on May 1, 1894."Coxey's Army" reached Washington and marched along Pennsylvania Avenue.Before "General" Coxey could deliver a historic speech, however, he was arrested by District police - for walking on the grass.
28In 1896, the Populists backed Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan He ran against Republican nominee William McKinleyBryan ran on a strictly Populist platform & based his campaign on the call for “free silver.”An easy money supply would loosen the control that Northern banks held over the countryLost the campaignEconomy soon improved & ended the Populist movement.During that campaign, Bryan had a speech that concluded: "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." The election proved a disaster for the Populists.McKinley received 271 electoral votes to Bryan's 176, almost all in the Midwest. Bryan opposed McKinley again in 1900 (when Baum penned The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), but by then the Populists' strength had been dissipated.
29POPULIST'S REVOLT1860 to 1925William Jennings Bryan was a gifted speaker, lawyer, three-time presidential candidate, and devout Protestant.Bryan made his career in Nebraska politics.Served in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1890.Defender of the small farmer and laborer, Bryan worked closely with the Populist Party.By 1896, the Populists were poised for power. They backed Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan against Republican nominee William McKinley, and Bryan ran on a strictly Populist platform; he based his campaign on the call for “free silver.”
30Ran for the presidency unsuccessfully in 3 elections as a Democrat. POPULIST'S REVOLTBryan's efforts on behalf of farmers and laborers (the so- called "common" people) earned him the title the "Great Commoner”Ran for the presidency unsuccessfully in 3 elections as a Democrat.Known for the “Cross of Gold Speech”Highlighted the Populist stance and his strong position on the issue of the "Gold-Standard."He argued that an easy money supply, though inflationary, would loosen the control that Northern banking held over the country.
32Demonstrated the true "pioneer spirit" of America CROSS OF GOLD SPEECHArgued the “real” business men” were farmers, agricultural workers, miners and small town merchants.Demonstrated the true "pioneer spirit" of AmericaThese workers were all but ignored by a government that served the interests of big cities and large corporate enterprise.
34CROSS OF GOLD SPEECH“They tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard. We reply that our great cities rest upon our broad and great prairies”.William Jennings Bryan's most well-known political speech delivered before the Democratic Convention in 1896.
35CROSS OF GOLD SPEECH“You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold”Attacked the concept that gold was the only sound backing for currency.
36POPULIST'S REVOLTUsing images from the Bible, he stood with his head bowed and arms outstretched.
37William McKinley (1843-1901) Born in Ohio on January 29, 1843. Private during the Civil War and earned the rank of major in 1865.Served in Congress from 1876 to 1890 and became a supporter of protective tariffs.Elected governor of Ohio in 1891, serving a second term in 1893.1896, the Republican Party nominated him for president.stressed protective tariffssupported the gold standard.
39Into Which Box Will the Voter of ’96 Place His Ballot?
401896 Election ResultsHe lost the campaign; this coupled with an improved economy, ended the Populist movement.
41By 1892, Populist Party had major impact in agricultural states.
42Gold Triumphs Over Silver McKinley defeats Bryan in the 1896 election.1900 = Gold Standard ActConfirmed the nation’s commitment to the gold standard.A victory for the forces of conservatism.
43Why Did Bryan Lose? He did not form alliances with other groups. His focus on silver undermined efforts to build bridges to urban voters.He did not form alliances with other groups.McKinley’s campaign was well- organized and highly funded.
44Why Did Populism Decline? The economy experienced rapid change.The era of small producers and farmers was fading away.Race divided the Populist Party, especially in the South.The Populists were not able to break existing party loyalties.Most of their agenda was co-opted by the Democratic Party.
45Easy way to remember the Populists is through the book: The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum. The novel is reportedly a political allegory (according to Henry Littlefield).Dorothy = common manHer silver shoes = silver standardScarecrow = farmerTin Man = industrial workerWilliam J. Bryan = cowardly LionAnother interesting website:What do you think Toto might represent? Explain.
48a. The Cowardly Lion = William Jennings Bryan b. The Tin Woodsman = eastern industrial worker c. The Scarecrow = farmerWicked Witch of the East = Bankersd. Dorothy and her "silver slippers" = the proposed silver standard e. The Yellow-Brick Road = the gold standard supported by financiers f. The Wizard of Oz = President William McKinley
491st LAWS TO REGULATE BIG BUSINESS Supreme Court decision stating that states had the ability to regulate private property if it affected public interest.Munn v. Illinois (1876)Declared that it was unconstitutional for states to regulate interstate commerce. Showed need for Federal regulation of interstate commerce.Wabash Case (1886)