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Populism “What you farmers need to do is raise less corn and more Hell!” -Mary Elizabeth Lease (1890) Populist Organizer.

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Presentation on theme: "Populism “What you farmers need to do is raise less corn and more Hell!” -Mary Elizabeth Lease (1890) Populist Organizer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Populism “What you farmers need to do is raise less corn and more Hell!” -Mary Elizabeth Lease (1890) Populist Organizer

2 Populism: Political movement that tried to help the nation’s farmers rights and power against the elite.

3 Background Depression of 1890 was the worst in the United States up to that time. Farmers struggled due to: 1) Mechanization: More machines=more debt 2) New Land (on credit): more debt 3) Specialization of crops: Farmers only raise one crops, but struggle if that crop does poorly 4) Disasters: floods, insects, droughts

4 The Grange Cooperative movement-farmers pooled their money to make shared purchases of machinery, supplies, insurance, etc. One of the largest: Colored Farmers Alliance (goal: education! This would make African-Americans more informed voters) Worked for pro farmer laws Ex. Interstate Commerce Act- regulated rates of railroads

5 Populists and Free Silver
Populists believed that this would solve the farmer’s problems (Populists urged Black & White farmers to work TOGETHER—they had similar problems; this dramatically increased lynchings). They wanted to use both silver and gold coins, thus increasing the amount of money in the country All money would be worthless, a situation that was bad for creditors (big banks) and good for debtors (farmers)

6 A Populist President? William Jennings Bryan
Ran as a Populist President in 1896 on platform of Free Silver Big business opposes his run, William McKinley and the Republicans win the white house & Populists fade away “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon across of gold”--W.J.Bryan

7 W.J. Bryan Vs. William McKinley

8 The Wizard of Oz Written in 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an allegory about the Populist movement. Frank Baum, the author, was a supporter of the Populist presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan

9 The Wizard of Oz: Symbols
Ruby slippers: In the book, the slippers are silver (magic of Free Silver) Yellow Brick Road: “Gold” is a danger for regular people like Dorothy. Oz: An abbreviation of ounce (the way gold is measured).

10 Wizard of Oz: Characters
Dorothy: Everyman. An innocent, Midwestern girl with traditional American values who can see what is really going on in Oz. Munchkins: The common people controlled by the Wicked Witch of the East (who represents the Eastern Industrialists, bankers and brokers on Wall Street).

11 Wizard of Oz: Characters
Scarecrow: The wise, but naïve western farmer, taken advantage of by the industrialists and bankers. Tinman: Dehumanized industrial worker. Cowardly Lion: William Jennings Bryan. All roar and no bite. Bryan was a pacifist.

12 Wizard of Oz: Characters
Toto: Temperance activists (allies of the Populists). Wicked Witch of the West: The industrial influence on the west and is destroyed by water (pure nature, a removal of machines). Wizard: President McKinley. A “puppet master” or all show with no substance.

13 Wizard of Oz The Emerald City: Washington, DC
Gilda the Good Witch: Factory and Farm Workers

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