2Populism was a movement to increase farmers’ political power and to pass laws in their interest. An example:One problem that concerned farmers was the nation’s money supply
3GreenbacksDuring the Civil War, the government issued greenbacks, paper money not backed gold or silver. This caused inflation, a decline in the value of money. Prices of goods rose.
4After the Civil WarAfter the war, the government stopped printing greenbacks, paid off bonds, and stopped minting silver coins.As the economy grew, deflation occurred. The value of money increased and prices fell.Deflation hurt farmers. Many had to borrow money for seeds and supplies.
5BanksFarmers concluded that their problems were caused by shortage of money and thought Eastern banks had pressured Congress into reducing the money supply.
6Grange Falling prices meant farmers sold their crops for less. Many farmers joined the Grange.It organized cooperatives that worked for the benefit of their members.Creates a supply and demand situationWhen there is more supply of a good, there is less demand.When there is a demand for a good, there is less of a supply
7GrangeThe Grange pressured state legislatures to regulate railroad rates. Cooperatives pooled crops and kept them off the market to force prices up.Many Grange cooperatives failed because they were too small to affect prices.
8Farmers’ AllianceRailroads and businessmen also refused to deal with them.In the 1880s, the Farmers’ Alliance formed and organized larger cooperatives, which also failed.
9Populist PartyFarmers’ Alliance members in the West formed the People’s Party, or the Populists.Farmers in the West wanted the government to mint silver coins.They nominated candidates for Congress and state offices.
10Southern AllianceAlliance leaders in the South did not want a third party.They wanted to produce a list of demands and vote for candidates that supported them.
11Southern AlliancePart of their strategy was the Subtreasury Plan, developed by Charles Macune .It asked the government to set up warehouses to store crops and provide farmers with low interest loans.
12Southern Alliance Southern Alliance leaders also called for: Free coinage of silverEnd to protective tariffsNational banksMore regulation of railroadsDirect election of senators.
13Democrats not supportive Alliance members in the South elected Democrats.However, many Southern Democrats did not support the Alliance program once they took office.
14Omaha, NebraskaIn 1892, the People’s Party held a national convention in Omaha, Nebraska.Its platform called for coinage of silver, federal ownership of the railroads and a graduated income tax.This taxes higher earnings more heavily.People’s Party was not successful in 1892 because…
15Grover ClevelandThe Democrats and Grover Cleveland won the election.
16Election of 1896As the election of 1896 approached, leaders of the People’s Party (Populist Party) decided to make free coinage of silver an important issue.They held their convention after the Republican and Democratic conventions.They nominated a former Civil War General, James Weaver as President.
17William McKinleyThe Republicans supported the gold standard, nominating William McKinley as their candidate.McKinley is from Ohio and at the time the current Governor.McKinley launched a “Front Porch Campaign.” He greeted delegations at his home.He rarely gave speeches to large crowds.William McKinley's personal reputation helped to improve the Republican Party's image with urban workers and immigrants.
18W. J. BryanThe Democratic Party nominated William Jennings Bryan, a strong supporter of free silver.Bryan was a powerful speaker. In an electrifying address in defense of silver, Bryan said “you shall not crucify mankind on a cross of gold.”It was a biblical reference he made about gold.He carried his campaign across the country.Made thousands of speechesBut this crusade only irritated many immigrants and city people.They thought he was too religious.
19Election ResultsMany employers warned workers that if Bryan won, businesses would fail and unemployment would rise.Most workers and business leaders supported the Republican Party.McKinley won the election, Bryan and the Democrats lost in the northeastern industrial region.The Populist Party declined after Some of the reforms they favored were adopted later.