WHAT PROBLEMS DID FARMERS FACE IN THE 189OS? LEARNING GOAL 1:
READ THE POPULIST POEM “THE PLUTOCRAT’S JUBILEE” Jubilee means “a special celebration” Plutocrat means “someone who has power from money” As you read the poem be prepared to list three reasons the rich have reason to celebrate
POEM DISCUSSION: THE RICH ARE HAPPY BECAUSE… They own all the land, railroads, coal, and oil They control both political parties, the federal government, and the state governments They have millions of workers and millions of unemployed people waiting to work in line for them
LEARNING GOAL PREDICTION What is your prediction— what was the major concern of Midwest farmers during the 1890s?
FARMERS’ PROBLEM: DEBT 1.New inventions double farm production: the law of supply and demand means a drop in crop prices 2.Farmers need to spend money on this expensive farm equipment; other farmers spent money on storage fees in an attempt to control the market 3.Farmers see rising railroad costs for transporting their crops to markets in the East 4.Banks often refused to rewrite loan agreements: these banks took ownership of the land after the loan defaulted 5.The federal government appears uninterested in helping these farmers
FARMERS’ RESPONSE Farmers blame the greedy banks, manufacturers, and railroad owners for their troubles They form a political party called “The Populists” or “The People’s Party” They want to more fairly distribute the wealth by…
THE POPULISTS’ PLATFORM: Want a gradual income tax that would redistribute wealth (oppose a flat income tax) Want few (if any) protective tariffs: high tariffs only benefit manufacturers Want government regulation of the railroads Want to reform government so less corrupt Also want to create inflation by…
PARTY DEMANDS: INFLATION They favor the silver standard not the gold standard They argue that the government has access to more silver than gold The government would print more money, which would cause inflation and the rising of crop prices
Republican nominee: WILLIAM MCKINLEY FAVORS THE GOLD STANDARD
Democrat and Populist Nominee: WILLIAMS JENNINGS BRYAN FAVORS THE SILVER STANDARD
William Jennings Bryan was known for being a passionate orator. His most famous speech was held at the Democratic convention. It was later titled “The Cross of Gold.” We will now read the end of his speech. As we read consider four questions:
READING QUESTIONS 1.How does Bryan describe holders of capital and the struggling masses? 2.What does Bryan think would happen if the farmers disappeared? 3.What dos Bryan think would happen if the manufacturers disappeared? 4.Why does Bryan use the “cross” as a symbol at the end of his speech?
READING QUESTIONS 1.How does Bryan describe holders of capital and the struggling masses? The rich are idle and the masses work hard but are struggling 2.What does Bryan think would happen if the farmers disappeared? Everything in the city would shut down 3.What dos Bryan think would happen if the manufacturers disappeared? The farmers would be okay 4.Why does Bryan use the “cross” as a symbol at the end of his speech? It has religious connotations and symbolizes the rich crucifying the poor for their own self interests
THE WIZARD OF OZ AS AN ALLEGORY 1.) ____ A ___ Kansas 2.) ___ F ___ Dorothy 3.) __ H ____ Glinda (the Good Witch of the North) 4.) ____ B _ Wicked Witch of the West 5.) ___ L ___ Flying Monkeys 6.) ___ G __ Scare Crow 7.) ___ E ___ Tin Man 8.) ___ C ___ Timidly Lion 9.) __ J ___ Yellow Brick Road 10.) ___ K ___ Wizard of Oz 11.) ____ D __ Water 12.) ___ I __ Ruby/Silver Slippers
How the Republicans painted Bryan: as a cry baby
WHY THE DEFEAT? 1. The Republicans spent $3.5 million compared to the Democrats’ $300,000 2. The Republicans were also better organized, led by Hanna 3. Republicans also persuaded the press to allege that Bryan could destroy businesses and thereby cost Americans their jobs