2 The Presidents in the 1890s Benjamin Harrison (1833 – 1901) 23rdGrover Cleveland (1837 – 1908)24thWilliam McKinley (1843 – 1901)25th
3 The Nature of the 1890s The “Gay 90s” The 90s were neither lighthearted nor frivolousTensions of the 90s were predicated on economic outcomes, even on the debate for war, i.e. how would war affect the economy?The decade experienced the worst and longest economic depression to that timeAlmost all groups were affected by economic problemsThere were labor problems: Homestead Strike, 1892 and Pullman Strike, 1894
4 There was a money crisis as gold in the treasury dwindled causing fear for the future There was political protest: The Populist Party was led by angry farmers; the party threatened to upset the two-party systemThere was a war which divided the nation on the debate for empireTensions of the 90s were predicated on economic outcomes. Even on the debate for empire, i.e. how would empire effect the economy?
5 Populist Party candidate, election of 1892 James B. Weaver (1833 – 1912)Populist Party candidate, election of 18925
6 The Populist Platform Free silver Graduated income tax Public ownership of railroads, telegraphs and telephonesRestricted immigration8 hour workdayWomen suffrageSecret ballotDirect election of senators
7 Mary Elizabeth Lease (1850 – 1933) “Queen Mary” or “Mary Yellin” Populist political activist “Money rules. . . The parties lie to us and the political speakers mislead us!”“We have advanced scientifically, ethically and otherwise, but in finance we have followed the barbaric methods of our ancestors and the teachings of college-bred idiots who tell us that gold is the only desirable coin.”
8 In Reality Populists were not folk heroes The were coming up with new ideas to return America to its agrarian past (negative reform)Populism represented a class movement that was based on racism, anti-Semitism and sectionalism, but not nationalismThey turned to the city only for labor support
9 L. Frank Baum (1856 – 1919) author of The Wizard of OZ
13 The Scarecrow represents the western farmers (Populists)13
14 The Tin Woodsman represents the eastern workers, victims of mechanization 14
15 The Cowardly Lion represents William Jennings Bryan (1860 – 1925): Bryan, a Democrat, ran for the presidency in 1896 and lost toWilliam McKinley; thus Bryan had a load roar, but no power.15
16 Bryan and the Cross of Gold “If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nation and the world. Having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and all the toiling masses, we shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, 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 favored bimetallismBryan's Cross of Gold Speech, Recording16
17 The Wicked Witch of the East Represents the eastern banking interests17
25 The Cause2-20: The Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company went bankrupt.5-5: The National Cordage Company went bankrupt.The bankruptcies of these two companies due to rash stock market speculation caused the collapse of the entire stock market.
26 Poster for a melodrama, presented at the Chestnut St Poster for a melodrama, presented at the Chestnut St. Theatre, Philadelphia, 1895Poster for a melodrama, presented at the Chestnut St. Opera House, Philadelphia, 1895
27 Coxey’s ArmyTheJacob S. Coxey (1854 – 1951), Ohio businessman led a march on Washington in 1894 to urge the government to provide assistance. The government was unresponsive, Coxey was arrested and the marchers disbanded.
28 The Panic EndsCongress passed a high protective tariff and the Gold Standard Act in 1897Recovery began before passage of either actExternal factors:Increase in European demand on wheat: European wheat crop was reduced by 1/3 for U.S. exported more wheat; farmers were assuagedEuropean money flowing into U.S. stopped the drain on gold, and new discoveries of gold in ’96 helped ease the gold problem
29 Europe recovered from the depression before the U.S. European industries could not keep up with product demandU.S. began to export goods – this meant more work for U.S. industries and workersBy 1900 prosperity was back