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A Parable of the Populist Era

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Presentation on theme: "A Parable of the Populist Era"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Parable of the Populist Era
The Wizard of Oz A Parable of the Populist Era

2 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Book was written in 1900 when the Populist movement was a relatively current event in American politics

3 The Characters Dorothy The Scarecrow The Tin Woodsman
“Every person” with common sense The Scarecrow The farmers The Tin Woodsman Dehumanized labor The Cowardly Lion Wm. Jennings Bryan

4 The Wicked Witch of the West
The harsh environment of the Great Plains

5 The Wicked Witch of the East
The eastern industrialists and bankers who controlled the little people (The Munchkins)

6 Toto The Good Witch The tee totaling prohibitionists
The Farmers Alliance (The Grange)

7 Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers
Were actually silver slippers in the book but in the Technicolor film, red looked better than silver Silver was the Populists solution to the nation’s economic problems

8 The Wizard Represents any one of the Presidents from the Gilded Age

9 The Yellow Brick Road Emerald City
(With all the dangers along the way) represented the Gold Standard Emerald City Washington, D.C.

10 Oz Is the abbreviation for ounces, a reference to the silverites who supported free silver in the ratio of 16 oz. of silver to 1 oz. of gold

11 And as any Populist would know… There is no place like home (steading)!

12 Why did the Populist Party disappear?
Major political parties adopted ideas of the Populists – no need for a minor party Gold discovered in Alaska(1898) – no need for silver Better economic times returned for the farmers Famine in Europe increased demand for American products  immigration to US meant more “mouths to feed” “Golden Age of American Agriculture” ( )

13 Importance of the Populist Party
Many Populist suggestions were eventually adopted into law Minority group can create change within the system!!!


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