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The Populist Party.

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Presentation on theme: "The Populist Party."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Populist Party

2 Essential Questions: What were the successes and failures of the Populist Party? Why was it the most important 3rd party in American History? Copy this page

3 Problems of the Farmers
Drought Surpluses Prices set by world market Railroad corruption Debt & monetary policies

4 Farmer’s Organize The Grange The Southern Alliance The Coop

5 Catalyst: 1891 = Banks began to foreclose on farm mortgages
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.

6 Platform of Lunacy

7 Omaha Platform, 1892 Free unlimited coinage of silver
National income tax

8 (Omaha Platform Continued)
Government ownership of Railroads, telephone, telegraphs

9 Government secured loans to farmers
Treasury storehouse for surplus crops 8 hour work day Direct election of Senators Initiative & referendum Australian (secret) ballot

10 1892 Election

11 Heyday of Western Populism

12 Why did the Populist Party attract millions of supporters?

13 Populism in Kansas Mary Elizabeth Lease
“raise less corn and more hell” Led Kansas revolt over high mortgage interest & railroad rates

14 Mary Elizabeth Lease, 1890 Source: Mary Elizabeth Lease became politically involved as a speaker for the rights of workers and farmers. She had a powerful voice and charismatic speaking style. In this speech, Lease gave a speech to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in 1890, a women’s movement against alcohol.

15 The mightiest movement the world has known in two thousand years
The mightiest movement the world has known in two thousand years. . . is sending out the happiest message to oppressed humanity that the world has heard since John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness that the world’s Redeemer was coming to relieve the world’s misery. How is this suppose to make the audience feel? Why might she use religious references?

16 To this sterile and remote region, infested by savage beasts and still more savage men, the women of the New England States, the women of the cultured East, came with husbands, sons and brothers to help them build up a home [in the West] We endured hardships, and dangers; hours of loneliness, fear and sorrow. . . We toiled in the cabin and in the field; we helped our loved ones to make the prairie blossom. . . What historical references is she making? How is this suppose to make the audience feel? What emotions does she appeal to?

17 Yet, after all our years of toil and deprivation, dangers and hardships, our homes are being taken from us by an infamous [wicked] system of mortgage foreclosure. It takes from us at the rate of five hundred a month the homes that represent the best years of our life, our toil, our hopes, our happiness. How did it happen? The government, siding with Wall Street, broke its contracts with the people As Senator Plumb [of Kansas] tells us, “Our debts were increased, while the means to pay them [cash] was decreased.” How is this suppose to make the audience feel? Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? What emotions does she appeal to?

18 No more millionaires, and no more paupers; no more gold kings, silver kings and oil kings, and no more little waifs of humanity starving for a crust of bread. We shall have the golden age of which Isaiah sang and the prophets have so long foretold; when the farmers shall be prosperous and happy, dwelling under their own vine and fig tree; when the laborer shall have that for which he toils When we shall have not a government of the people by capitalists, but a government of the people, by the people. “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address What images & documents does this bring to mind? How is this suppose to make the audience feel?

19 1896 Election Democrats – 1890s Republicans – 1890s Southerners
Wealthy farmers Supported low tariffs (wanted other countries to buy their crops) Northerners Wealthy business men (connected to the railroad) Southern African Americans (poor farmers) Supported high tariffs (didn’t want to compete with other countries’ products)

20 William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925)
Nebraska Senator 1896 Populist & Democratic Nominee for President The “Great Commoner”

21 The Seasoned Politician
vs. The “Young” Newcomer

22 Bryan: The Farmers Friend 18,000 miles of campaign “whistle stops.”

23 Document B


25 “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!”

26 1896 Election Results

27 Gold Triumphs Over Silver
1900  Gold Standard Act Most other Populist reforms were adopted by Dem. & Republicans

28 Why were the speakers like Lease and Bryan popular in the 1890s?
• What images and rhetorical devices did they use to excite their audiences? • How did their audiences feel when they listened to these speeches? How do these themes resonate today?

29 How do these themes resonate today?
Koch Brothers of Kansas 4th Richest Americans today—42 billion Spending 290 million on this election

30 If they lost the presidential election, why was the Populist Party considered a success?
16th Amendment—Graduated Income Tax 17th Amendment—Direct Election of Senators Initiative & referendum Australian (secret) ballot

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