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Farmers and the Populist Movement

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1 Farmers and the Populist Movement
Main Idea Farmers united to address their economic problems, giving rise to the Populist movement. Why it Matters Now Many of the Populist reform issues, such as income tax and legally protected rights of workers, are now taken for granted.

2 Farmers Unite In the late 1800’s a vicious economic cycle was especially harmful to farmers. Prices for their products was falling while the cost of seeds and tools was increasing Banks were foreclosing on farms when loans went unpaid Railroads were charging excessive rates for transporting farm goods to markets

3 Decreasing Wheat Prices

4 Grange Movement Founded in 1867, by Oliver H. Kelley. It was primarily a social and educational organization for farmers and their families. By the mid-1870s, the Movement claimed over 700,000 members. Its members called on state governments to establish fair freight rates and warehouse charges. In several states, the Grange succeeded in having commissions established to investigate – and in some cases, regulate – railroad practices.

5 Rise of Populism What reforms did the Populist Party promote?
Also known as the People’s Party. It proposed an increase in money supply, which would produce a rise in prices received for goods and services; a graduated income tax; and a federal loan program. They also called for an 8-hour workday and limitations on immigration.

6 Populist Platform Populist Platform Economic Reforms
Increase Money Supply Graduated Income Tax Federal Loan Program Governmental US Senators by Popular Vote Single terms for Pres. Secret Ballot 8-hour work day Limitations on Immigration

7 Election of 1896 William Jennings Bryan Populist / Democratic Candidate William McKinley Republican Candidate

8 Free Silver Issue The central issue in the election was which metal would be used as the basis for the national monetary system. “Free Silver” favored bimetallism in which the government gave gold or silver in exchange for paper currency or checks. It would put more money in circulation with less value per dollar “Gold Bugs” wanted only gold to back the currency and no silver. It would produce a more stable currency but expensive dollars


10 1896 Political Cartoon

11 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!


13 Wizard of Oz Written by Frank Baum From a rich east coast family
Spent time in West Saw struggles of farmers Theories that Baum wrote the book based off the Populist struggle

14 Tornado  ? Dorothy  ? Wicked Witch of the East  ? Tin Woodsman  ? Scarecrow  ? Cowardly Lion  ? Yellow Brick Road  ? Silver Slippers  ? Emerald City  ? Oz  ? The Wizard  ? Munchkins  ? Wicked Witch of the West  ? Flying Monkeys  ? Panic of 1983 Average person Eastern Banks Industrial Worker Farmer William Jennings Bryan Gold Silver Washington D.C. Ounces President Easterners Drought of the Great Plains Native Americans

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