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Chapter 19: From Stalemate to Crisis The Farmer’s Revolt.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 19: From Stalemate to Crisis The Farmer’s Revolt."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 19: From Stalemate to Crisis The Farmer’s Revolt

2 Main ideas A series of undistinguished political leaders fails to take action on problems caused by rapid industrialization and technological advancement, corruption and monetary issues In the 1890’s, the U.S. enters a period of national crisis Out-of -control trusts Public demands regulation of the railroads Agrarian (farmer’s) Revolt leads to the Populist Movement Sherman Anti –Trust Act was ineffective

3 Plight of the Farmers Overproduction of crops Falling prices Greenbacks vs. hard money Hard money tied to value of gold Problems with the railroads Panic of 1893

4 The Tariff Issue Tariff = tax on imported goods Democrats opposed the tariff, Republicans favored it. Tariff became a huge issue in the election of 1888 Harrison (R) wins

5 Public pressure building for reform of trusts and railroads See cartoon page 535 Sherman anti –trust act: actually used against unions more than monopolies Granger laws against railroads ruled unconstitutional in Wabash vs. Pacific Railway Company Interstate Commerce Act – banned discrimination in railroad rates between short and long trips

6 Isolated Farmers Farmers not part of the new urban- industrial order Small, non –mechanized farmers suffered the most. At the mercy of merchants who charged very high interest

7 The Populist Movement: Farmers Organize Grange Oliver H. Kelly Farmer’s Alliance People’s Party

8 “We will use all lawful and peaceful means to free us from the tyranny of monopoly”

9 The Farmers Alliance 4 million members Lecture circuit empowered poor farmers Established stores, banks and processing plants to free them from merchants who kept them in debt

10 The Alliance becomes the People’s Party 1892: James Weaver of the People’s Party gets 8.5 % of the vote and gets 22 electoral votes Populists candidates win seats in state legislatures, elect governors, congressmen and senators


12 Who were these Populists? Mostly small farmers who felt cut off from the mainstream Sharecroppers and tenant farmers Some middle –class landowners Engaged in less mechanized farming Tried but failed to attract labor Early interracial cooperation faded Leaders of the Populist movement were from the middle -class.

13 The Populist Platform: The The Omaha Platform Page 542: Find and list the demands in the Populist’s Omaha Platform

14 Crisis in the 1890’s Widespread labor unrest Grover Cleveland comes to office again just as economy collapses Panic of 1893 reflects interconnectedness of the economy Page 543

15 The Silver Question What would form the basis of the dollar? What would give it value? Background on bimetallism

16 “Crime of 73” (1873): Currency arouses emotions In 1873 Congress discontinued coinage of silver Farmers and mine owners demand a return to “free silver” – the free and unlimited coinage of silver Gold reserves are dropping at the same time Two things make everything worse: Panic of 1893 and Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890

17 Attempts to neutralize the People’s Party

18 The Emergence of the Democrat William Jennings Bryan

19 The Cross of Gold Speech “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind on a cross of Gold.” WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN

20 The Wizard of Oz as a parable about Populism Dorothy = everyman Scarecrow = farmers Tin Man = Industrial workers Cowardly Lion = William Jennings Bryan Oz = Washington, DC

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