Presentation on theme: "Populism Populism is a movement which supports "the people" versus "the elites.""— Presentation transcript:
Populism Populism is a movement which supports "the people" versus "the elites."
Platform of Lunacy
CausesEffects 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!)
Price Indexes for Consumer & Farm Products:
The Silver Issue Metallic standard – dollars in the USA are backed by metal, typically gold or silver.standard 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 23.5 grains of pure gold
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.Succeeded in lobbying for Granger Laws. The Grange Local and state level
Gift for the Grangers: The Farmer Pays for All! Gift for the Grangers: The Farmer Pays for All!
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 Peoples Movement Spreads
United We Stand, Divided We Fall In 1889 both the Northern and Southern Alliances merged into onethe Farmers Alliance. In 1889 both the Northern and Southern Alliances merged into onethe Farmers Alliance.
Populists Becomes a national movemnt Farmers Alliances formed a new political party, The Peoples 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.
Populists push for government regulations to help the Little Guy Anti-monopoly Pro-Silver
Supreme Court Decisions Munn vs. Illinois (1877)Munn vs. Illinois (1877) RR monopolies were hurting Farmers.RR monopolies were hurting Farmers. Private companies could be seen as operating in the public interestPrivate companies could be seen as operating in the public interest Allows for Govt regulationAllows for Govt regulation
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 RRs in the public interest
The Populist (Peoples) Party Founded by James B. Weaver and Tom Watson. Founded by James B. Weaver and Tom Watson. Omaha, NE Convention in July, Omaha, NE Convention in July, Got almost 1 million popular votes. Got almost 1 million popular votes. Several Congressional seats won. Several Congressional seats won. James B. Weaver, Presidential Candidate & James G. Field, VP
Platform of Lunacy
Omaha (populist) Platform of System of sub-treasuries. 2. Abolition of the National Bank. 3. Direct election of Senators. 4. Govt. ownership of RRs, telephone & telegraph companies. 5. Government-operated postal savings banks. 6. Restriction of undesirable immigration hour work day for government employees. 8. Abolition of the Pinkerton detective agency. 9. Australian secret ballot. 10. Re-monitization of silver. 11. A single term for President & Vice President.
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.tech bubble Railroads were vastly over-built (and fortunes were made
Tech-Bubble Dot-com bubble
Causes of the 1893 Panic A. Several major corporations went bankrupt. A. Several major corporations went bankrupt. A few large RR Companies went bankrupt A few large RR Companies went bankrupt Causes over 16,000 businesses to disappear. Causes over 16,000 businesses to disappear. Triggered a stock market crash. Triggered a stock market crash. People were nervous, took their $$ out of banks all at once (-a run on banks-) People were nervous, took their $$ out of banks all at once (-a run on banks-)
Causes of the 1893 Panic B. 500 Bank fail causing less credit available 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!! Americans cried out for relief, but the Govt.continued its laissez faire policies!!
Causes of the 1893 Panic Causes the political crisis that allows the populists to gain national attention Causes the political crisis that allows the populists to gain national attention
Here Lies Prosperity
Written by a Farmer at the End of the 19c When the banker says he's broke And the merchants 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.
(leader of Coxeys Army)In 1893, Jacob Coxey, (leader of Coxeys Army) of Massillon, Ohio 20,000 unemployed men and women began a march to Washington, DC.
Demands: US Govt. public works programs Railroads for the Public! Jobs for the unemployed.
Coxeys Army, 1894 Jacob Coxey & his Army of the Commonwealth of Christ. March on Washington hayseed socialists! March on Washington hayseed socialists!
600 protesters persisted through the length of the journey and on May 1, "Coxey's Army" "Coxey's Army" reached Washington and marched along Pennsylvania Avenue. "General" CoxeyBefore "General" Coxey could deliver a historic speech, however, he was arrested by District police - for walking on the grass.
Result of Election Returns Populist vote increased by 40% in the bi-election year, Democratic party losses in the West were catastrophic! But, Republicans won control of the House.
1860 to 1925 William Jennings Bryan was a gifted speaker, lawyer, three- time presidential candidate. Populist PartyDefender of the small farmer and laborer, Bryan worked closely with the Populist Party.
"Great Commoner 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. Cross of Gold Speech Known for the Cross of Gold Speech
William Jennings Bryan's most well- known political speech delivered before the Democratic Convention in "Gold-Standard."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.
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.
Bryants 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!
Bryan: The Farmers Friend (The Mint Ratio) 18,000 miles of campaign whistle stops.
Democratic Party Taken Over by the (populists) Farmers
Democratic Party Platform Tariff reductions; income tax; Stricter control of the trusts (esp. RRs); Free silver.
Mark Hanna: The Front-Porch Campaign
William McKinley ( )
Mark Hanna to Candidate McKinley
The Seasoned Politician vs. The Young Newcomer The Seasoned Politician vs. The Young Newcomer
Joshua A. Levering: Prohibition Party
Into Which Box Will the Voter of 96 Place His Ballot?
1896 Election Results
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)
Results of the election of 1896: Farmers are no longer a political force Big Business gains more control
Gold Triumphs Over Silver 1900 Gold Standard Act 1900 Gold Standard Act confirmed the nations commitment to the gold standard. confirmed the nations commitment to the gold standard. A victory for the wealthy A victory for the wealthy
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
1964: Henry Littlefields Thesis?
The Wizard of Oz Dorothy= the American people
The Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch of the west = Bankers and Capitalists
The Wizard of Oz Yellow Brick Road = gold standard
The Wizard of Oz Tin man = industrial laborers have no heart
The Wizard of Oz Scarecrow = farmers which are dumb
The Wizard of Oz Lion = William Jennings Bryan
The Wizard of Oz Wizard = McKinley/ Mark Hanna
Heyday of Western Populism
Why Did Populism Decline? 1. The economy experienced rapid change. 2. The era of small producers and farmers was fading away. 3. Race divided the Populist Party, especially in the South. 4. The Populists were not able to break existing party loyalties. 5. Most of their agenda was co-opted by the Democratic Party.