4What were someof the majorproblems facingfarmers during theGilded Age ??
5CausesEffectsNew inventions & efficient techniques introducedPrices of farm products declineLack of competition among railroadsFarmers’ earnings decrease, paying monopoly pricesMachinery is needed; shipping costs higherFarmers are unable to pay back loansMoney is in short supplyBanks lend less money to farmers. Need more in circulation (silver!)
6Price Indexes for Consumer & Farm Products: 1865-1913
7<= ONE DOLLAR IS DEFINED AS => The Silver IssueMetallic standard – dollars in the USA are backed by metal, typically gold or silver.“Crime of 1873” Govt. stopped coining silverThis 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 :1371 grains of pure silver<= ONE DOLLAR IS DEFINED AS =>23.5 grains of pure gold
9THE POPULISTS: Grassroots Movement Local and state level1867--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
11THE POPULISTS: Grassroots Movement People’s Movement Spreads1876- National Extension of “the Grange”The Farmers’ Alliance called for political actions that many farmers could support.Gives Farmers Political PowerRan candidates for office.Controlled 8 state legislatures & had 47 representatives in Congress during the 1890s.Farmers’ Alliance
12United We Stand, Divided We Fall In 1889 both the Northern and Southern Alliances merged into one—the Farmers’ Alliance.
13THE POPULISTS: Grassroots Movement 1891- Becomes a national movemntFarmers’ 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.
14THE POPULISTS: Grassroots Movement Populists push for government regulations to help “the Little Guy”Anti-monopolyPro-Silver
15Supreme Court Decisions Munn vs. Illinois (1877)RR monopolies were hurting Farmers.Private companies could be seen as operating in the public interestAllows for Gov’t regulation
16Supreme 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
17The 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
19Omaha (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.
24Reckless ExpansionThe 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
27Causes of the 1893 Panic A. Several major corporations went bankrupt. A few large RR Companies went bankruptCauses 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-)
28Causes of the 1893 PanicB. 500 Bank fail causing less credit availableC. By 1895, unemployment reached 3 million (19%).Americans cried out for relief, but the Govt.continued its laissez faire policies!!
29Causes of the 1893 PanicCauses the political crisis that allows the populists to gain national attention
31Written 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.
32THE POPULIST REVOLTIn 1893, Jacob Coxey, (leader of Coxey’s Army) of Massillon, Ohio20,000 unemployed men and women began a march to Washington, DC.
33THE POPULIST REVOLT Demands: US Govt. public works programs Railroads for the Public!Jobs for the unemployed.
34Coxey’s Army, 1894Jacob Coxey & his “Army of the Commonwealth of Christ.”March on Washington “hayseed socialists!”
35THE 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.
40POPULIST'S REVOLT1860 to 1925William 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.
41Ran 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”
43CROSS OF GOLD SPEECHWilliam 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.
44William 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.
45Bryant’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!
46Bryan: The Farmers Friend (The Mint Ratio) 18,000 miles of campaign “whistle stops.”
47Democratic Party Taken Over by the (populists) Farmers
48Democratic Party Platform Tariff reductions; income tax; Stricter control of the trusts (esp. RRs);Free silver.
57Campaign SpendingWealthy 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)
71Why 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.