Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Populism & the Election of 1896.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Populism & the Election of 1896."— Presentation transcript:

1 Populism & the Election of 1896

2 Populism Populism is a movement which supports "the people" versus "the elites."

3 Platform of Lunacy

4 What were some of the major problems facing farmers during the Gilded Age ??

5 Causes Effects New inventions & efficient techniques introduced Prices of farm products decline Lack of competition among railroads Farmers’ earnings decrease, paying monopoly prices Machinery is needed; shipping costs higher Farmers are unable to pay back loans Money is in short supply Banks lend less money to farmers. Need more in circulation (silver!)

6 Price Indexes for Consumer & Farm Products: 1865-1913

The Silver Issue Metallic standard – dollars in the USA are backed by metal, typically gold or silver. “Crime of 1873” Govt. stopped coining silver This put less money into circulation, helping big business and hurting “little guys”- farmers.                               Legal Gold price of silver or how many tons of silver you need to buy one ton of gold ? 16 :1                                           371 grains of pure silver <= ONE DOLLAR IS DEFINED AS =>                                                                            23.5 grains of pure gold

8 Populism: An Agrarian Revolt

9 THE POPULISTS: Grassroots Movement
Local and state level 1867--Farmers Organized, similar to labor unions. Helped form cooperatives which bought goods in large quantities at lower prices. Succeeded in lobbying for “Granger Laws.” The Grange

10 Gift for the Grangers: The Farmer Pays for All!

11 THE POPULISTS: Grassroots Movement
People’s Movement Spreads 1876- National Extension of “the Grange” The Farmers’ Alliance called for political actions that many farmers could support. Gives Farmers Political Power Ran candidates for office. Controlled 8 state legislatures & had 47 representatives in Congress during the 1890s. Farmers’ Alliance

12 United We Stand, Divided We Fall
In 1889 both the Northern and Southern Alliances merged into one—the Farmers’ Alliance.

13 THE POPULISTS: Grassroots Movement
1891- Becomes a national movemnt Farmers’ Alliances formed a new political party, The People’s Party or the Populists. Supported by farmers, the West and parts of the South…. Populists would run candidates in the 1892 and 1896 presidential elections.

14 THE POPULISTS: Grassroots Movement
Populists push for government regulations to help “the Little Guy” Anti-monopoly Pro-Silver

15 Supreme Court Decisions
Munn vs. Illinois (1877) RR monopolies were hurting Farmers. Private companies could be seen as operating in the public interest Allows for Gov’t regulation

16 Supreme Court Decisions
Wabash, St. Louis, & Pacific Railroad Company vs. Illinois (1886) Similar to Munn: It leads to the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission. Federal government can regulate RR’s in the public interest

17 The Populist (Peoples’) Party James B. Weaver, Presidential Candidate
Founded by James B. Weaver and Tom Watson. Omaha, NE Convention in July, 1892. Got almost 1 million popular votes. Several Congressional seats won. James B. Weaver, Presidential Candidate & James G. Field, VP

18 Platform of Lunacy

19 Omaha (populist) Platform of 1892
System of “sub-treasuries.” Abolition of the National Bank. Direct election of Senators. Govt. ownership of RRs, telephone & telegraph companies. Government-operated postal savings banks. Restriction of undesirable immigration. 8-hour work day for government employees. Abolition of the Pinkerton detective agency. Australian secret ballot. Re-monitization of silver. A single term for President & Vice President.

20 Govt.-Owned Companies

21 1892 Election

22 Bi-Metallism Issue

23 The Panic of 1893

24 Reckless Expansion The 1880s had been a period of remarkable economic expansion in the United States. In time, the expansion became driven by speculation, much like the tech bubble of the late 1990s, except that the preferred industry was railroads. Railroads were vastly over-built (and fortunes were made

25 Tech-Bubble Dot-com bubble

26 Housing Bubble

27 Causes of the 1893 Panic A. Several major corporations went bankrupt.
A few large RR Companies went bankrupt Causes over 16,000 businesses to disappear. Triggered a stock market crash. People were nervous, took their $$ out of banks all at once (-a run on banks-)

28 Causes of the 1893 Panic B. 500 Bank fail causing less credit available C. By 1895, unemployment reached 3 million (19%). Americans cried out for relief, but the Govt.continued its laissez faire policies!!

29 Causes of the 1893 Panic Causes the political crisis that allows the populists to gain national attention

30 Here Lies Prosperity

31 Written by a Farmer at the End of the 19c
When the banker says he's broke And the merchant’s up in smoke, They forget that it's the farmer who feeds them all. It would put them to the test If the farmer took a rest; Then they'd know that it's the farmer feeds them all.

32 THE POPULIST REVOLT In 1893, Jacob Coxey, (leader of Coxey’s Army) of Massillon, Ohio 20,000 unemployed men and women began a march to Washington, DC.

33 THE POPULIST REVOLT Demands: US Govt. public works programs
Railroads for the Public! Jobs for the unemployed.

34 Coxey’s Army, 1894 Jacob Coxey & his “Army of the Commonwealth of Christ.” March on Washington  “hayseed socialists!”

35 THE POPULIST REVOLT 600 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.

36 Occupy Wall Street THE POPULIST REVOLT

37 Result of Election Returns
Populist vote increased by 40% in the bi-election year, 1894. Democratic party losses in the West were catastrophic! But, Republicans won control of the House.

38 The 1896 Election

39 Gold / Silver Bug Campaign Pins
“Gold bugs” (big lenders) Silverites: Little Guys, farmers, populists

40 POPULIST'S REVOLT 1860 to 1925 William Jennings Bryan was a gifted speaker, lawyer, three-time presidential candidate. Defender of the small farmer and laborer, Bryan worked closely with the Populist Party.

41 Ran for the presidency unsuccessfully in 3 elections as a Democrat.
POPULIST'S REVOLT Bryan'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”


43 CROSS OF GOLD SPEECH William Jennings Bryan's most well-known political speech delivered before the Democratic Convention in 1896. Highlighted the Populist stance and his strong position on the issue of the "Gold-Standard." Attacked the concept that gold was the only sound backing for currency.

44 William Jennings Bryan
Prairie avenger, mountain lion, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Gigantic troubadour, speaking like a siege gun, Smashing Plymouth Rock with his boulders from the West. Revivalist style of oratory.

45 Bryant’s “Cross 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!

46 Bryan: The Farmers Friend (The Mint Ratio)
18,000 miles of campaign “whistle stops.”

47 Democratic Party Taken Over by the (populists) Farmers

48 Democratic Party Platform  Tariff reductions; income tax;
Stricter control of the trusts (esp. RRs); Free silver.

49 Mark Hanna: The “Front-Porch” Campaign


51 William McKinley ( )

52 Mark Hanna to Candidate McKinley

53 The Seasoned Politician
vs. The “Young” Newcomer

54 Joshua A. Levering: Prohibition Party

55 Into Which Box Will the Voter of ’96 Place His Ballot?

56 1896 Election Results

57 Campaign Spending Wealthy interests were scared of Bryan who stood for the common-folk. McKinley spends $3.5 million on his campaign. Equivalent to 3 billion today. (Obama and McCain spent 900 million combined, the most ever)


59 Results of the election of 1896:
Farmers are no longer a political force Big Business gains more control

60 Gold Triumphs Over Silver
1900  Gold Standard Act confirmed the nation’s commitment to the gold standard. A victory for the wealthy

61 The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

62 1964: Henry Littlefield’s “Thesis”?

63 The Wizard of Oz Dorothy= the American people    

64 The Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch of the west = Bankers and Capitalists

65 The Wizard of Oz Yellow Brick Road = gold standard

66 The Wizard of Oz Tin man = industrial laborers have no heart

67 The Wizard of Oz Scarecrow = farmers which are dumb

68 The Wizard of Oz Lion = William Jennings Bryan

69 The Wizard of Oz Wizard = McKinley/ Mark Hanna

70 Heyday of Western Populism

71 Why 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.

72 But, Populism Still Lives!

Download ppt "Populism & the Election of 1896."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google