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The Populist Movement Or, “Help, help. The farmers are going crazy!”

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Presentation on theme: "The Populist Movement Or, “Help, help. The farmers are going crazy!”"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Populist Movement Or, “Help, help. The farmers are going crazy!”

2 Farmer’s Grievances Unfair treatment by railroads and storage companies (e.g. long haul/short haul) Falling prices for agricultural products and resulting debt

3 Farmers’ Responses The Farmers’ Alliances Oliver Kelly and The Grange Munn v. Illinois (says states can regulate maximum prices on companies in the public interest e.g. grain elevators and railroads)

4 The People’s Party Platform Cheap money (free silver) Graduated income taxes Secret (Australian) ballots Direct election of Senators A one-term limit for President Basic economic and political reform Pro-farm, pro-labor

5 Election of 1892 RepublicansDemocratsPopulists Candidate Benjamin Harrison Grover Cleveland James Weaver PlatformHigh Tariff Pro Pension Revenue Tariff Restrictive Pension See Previous Slide Regional Appeal North Northeast Some Midwest South Some East West Electoral Votes 14527722

6 Harrison, Cleveland, & Weaver

7 Panic of 1893 Suggested Solutions –Laissez-faire (do nothing and let it heal itself) –Enact protective tariff –Enact revenue tariff –Stick to the gold standard –Institute bimetallism

8 Panic of 1893 Actions Taken –1893: Repeal of Sherman Silver Purchase Act –1894: Wilson-Gorman Tariff (rate of 41%, includes a 2% income tax on incomes over $4000/yr.) –1895: $65 million loan from J.P. Morgan

9 J.P. Morgan: The Man Who Bailed out the Country

10 “The 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.” After Bryan delivered the speech, people shouted and marched around the convention hall for an hour, then chose him as the Democratic nominee.

11 Bryan and McKinley: The “Common Man” and the Wealthy Man

12 Election of 1896 Republicans “Front Porch Campaign” Democrats “Whirlwind Campaign” CandidateWilliam McKinley William Jennings Bryan Platform Protective Tariff Gold Standard w/International bimetallism Bimetallism (Silver 16:1) Backed by Populists Electoral Vote271176

13 The Demise of the Populist Party After throwing all their weight behind Bryan in the unsuccessful campaign of 1896, the Populist Party virtually disappeared from national politics. The ideas that originated with the party, however, were picked up by the Progressive movement, and most eventually became common to American politics.

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