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Presentation on theme: "PopulisM."— Presentation transcript:

1 PopulisM

2 EQ What is populism? What were the roots of the Populist Party?
What was the goal of the Populist Party? Why would farmers want inflation to develop? How successful are 3rd parties in the US system?

3 Farm Problems

4 Farm Problems American farmers faced the following problems after the Civil War: new farm machinery caused overproduction of crops overproduction lowered farm prices competition from European farmers lowered prices further railroads charged high rates to transport farm products

5 Farm Problems American farmers faced the following problems after the Civil War: tariffs on foreign farm machinery increased farm costs farmers forced to increase mortgages to buy needed machinery high interest rates on mortgages led to many bank foreclosures

6 Farm Problems In response to the lack of political support from the two main political parties, as well as a lack of support from Congress, farmers therefore formed a union for mutual protection farm union called the Grange Latin for grain demanded laws to reform and regulate the railroads

7 Oliver Hudson Kelley FOUNDER: The National Grange of the Patrons of
Husbandry 1867

8 The Grange


10 The Grange The Grange helped farmers in the following ways:
sold farm produce directly to customers eliminated middlemen to make prices more competitive bought farm machinery in large quantities and at wholesale prices to make equipment affordable

11 The Grange formed insurance companies, general stores, warehouses to help farmers lobbied on behalf of member farmers in the government

12 The Grange By 1870’s Grange had one million members
gained political strength in Midwestern state legislature most political activity in 1870’s and 1880’s concerned with the railroads (called the Granger Laws)

13 Chief Political Goal of the Grange
Regulate the rates charged by the railroads and warehouses Agitated for passage of “Granger Laws” which were at first weak but laid strong foundation for future legislation

14 Supreme Court Decisions
*Munn v. Illinois, 1876 *Wabash v. Illinois, 1886

15 Vanderbilt’s Response
“The public be damned”! William Henry Vanderbilt

16 William Henry Vanderbilt
“The public be damned! I don't take any stock in this silly nonsense about working for anybody but our own." William Henry Vanderbilt

17 "The railroads are not run for the benefit of the 'dear public' — that cry is all nonsense — they are built by men who invest their money and expect to get a fair percentage on the same.” –William Henry Vanderbilt

18 Grange v Railroads

19 Granger Law Cases Munn v. Illinois (1876): Background:
railroads charged high transport rates in rural areas where there was no competition railroads also charged excessive rates for use of storage bins along railroad tracks farmers forced to pay high, non – competitive freight rates -no volume discounts for the small farmer

20 Granger Law Cases Grange demanded state laws to end railroad abuses
Illinois legislature passed laws regulating rates and other railroad charges other states passed similar laws during the 1870’s state laws challenged in court by railroad companies as a violation of the 14th Amendment (“…no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law”)

21 Munn v. Illinois Decision:
a private business could be regulated by the public if that business involved the public interest the Illinois law establishing a maximum charge for the storage of grain was therefore constitutional although interstate commerce was involved the Federal Government was not exercising its right to regulate interstate Commerce in this instance therefore there was no interference or encroachment by the state on federal authority

22 The Supreme Court modified the Munn decision with Wabash v.Illinois

23 Granger Law Cases Wabash v. Illinois (1886):
Background: railroads set higher freight rates for short hauls than for much longer hauls Illinois law fixed or established rates to prevent this practice

24 Granger Law cases Wabash v. Illinois Decision
railroad rates set by state laws interfered with the exclusive power of the U.S. Congress to regulate interstate commerce therefore the rate –fixing laws of Illinois were unconstitutional the Wabash decision made it impossible for states to deal with railroad abuses

25 Federal Legislation

26 Federal Legislation The U.S. Congress responded to public pressure to regulate business with the following two federal laws: Interstate Commerce Act Sherman Antitrust Act

27 Interstate Commerce Act 1887

28 Interstate Commerce Act {1887}
passed by U.S. Congress to regulate railroads in the following ways: railroad shipping rates had to be “reasonable and just” required public posting of railroad rates prohibited favorable rates and rebates to special customers created Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce regulations


30 Sherman Antitrust Act {1890}
Outlawed every business conspiracy “in restraint of trade” intended to prevent monopolies from eliminating competition

31 Trust Any large corporation that controlled a substantial share of any given market

32 Sherman Anti-Trust Act 1890
Senator John Sherman

33 Sherman Anti-Trust Act 1890
OUTLAWED: “Every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations”. Senator John Sherman

34 The Money Problem

35 Farmers & Inflation

36 Inflation Farmers blamed scarcity of money on low farm prices:
wanted federal government to bring about inflation{price increases} by coining more silver (sixteen ounces of silver equaled one ounce of gold in value) therefore proposed money be backed by gold and silver at “16 to 1 ratio”

37 Bland–Allison Act 1878 William Allison Richard Bland

38 Bland – Allison Act (1878): Required the Federal Government to buy a set amount (b/t $2 & $4 million) of silver each year to be minted into coins Too much silver being produced & not enough absorbed by coinage Value fell to 20:1 Vetoed by President Rutherford B. Hayes, the Congress overrode Hayes' veto to enact the law.

39 Bland-Allison Act {1878} Required Federal Government to buy and coin silver

40 Sherman Silver Purchase Act 1890
Senator John Sherman

41 Sherman Silver Purchase Act {1890}
Required the Federal Government to increase the amount of silver purchased each year also allowed the Treasury Department to issue money backed by silver eastern Republicans disliked coinage of silver supported silver laws to gain western and southern support for a higher tariff

42 McKinley Tariff Act 1890 Congressman William McKinley

43 McKinley Tariff Act {1890} Imposed a 50% tariff on foreign import
highest tariff of nineteenth century In return for its passage, the Sherman Silver Act was given Republican support. The McKinley Tariff Act raised tariffs and brought new trouble to farmers, who were forced to buy high-priced, protected products from American manufacturers but sell their own products into highly competitive, unprotected world markets.

44 Result of Silver Coinage:
Miners expected price of silver to rise as Federal Government purchased silver output farmers expected a flood of paper money into the economy (inflation) silver prices continued to decline from overproduction of silver farm prices also declined many people called for formation or third political party

45 The Populist Party

46 Populist Party Platform
Populist Party favored the following policies: coinage of silver at 16 to 1 ratio cause inflation by increasing money supply a graduated income tax government ownership of telephone, telegraph, railroad systems

47 Populist Party Platform
eight hour work day direct election of U.S. senators by voters decrease immigration lost Presidential election in 1892

48 Election of 1892 Grover Cleveland Democrat Benjamin Harrison
Republican James B. Weaver Populist


50 President Grover Cleveland 1892

51 Election of 1896

52 William Jennings Bryan
The Candidates William McKinley Republican William Jennings Bryan Democrat/Populist

53 William Jennings Bryan
Supported for President by the following political parties: Democrats Populists Bryan made “Cross of Gold” speech at Democratic Party Convention: attacked gold standard “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold”

54 Bryan’s Cross of Gold Speech
“You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold”. William Jennings Bryan

55 William Jennings Bryan
favored free and unlimited coinage of silver, lower tariffs, government regulation of business supported by miners and farmers most political support in South and West


57 William McKinley Gold Standard High tariffs Laissez – faire Prosperity

58 William McKinley Conservative Ohio politician McKinley:
the opposite of Bryan McKinley: favored gold standard, high tariffs, non-interference by the government with business supported by bankers and industrialists most political support in the Northeast

59 1896 Election Results McKinley won the election
carried more populated northeastern states

60 President William McKinley


62 End of Populism Populist Party disbanded after Election of 1896
by 1900 new reform movement began that was based on many Populist reforms new reform movement called “Progressivism”

63 Progressivism

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