Presentation on theme: "Section 2 Populism Political movement founded in the 1890s representing mainly farmers, favoring free coinage of silver and government control of railroads."— Presentation transcript:
Political movement founded in the 1890s representing mainly farmers, favoring free coinage of silver and government control of railroads and other large industries. Increase farmer’s political power New technology lead to economic crisis – Helped farmers produce more crops (more product than demand) which dropped the prices
Greenbacks A piece of U.S. paper money first issued by the North during the Civil War. The nation’s money supply was a large concern. – How to finance the treasury? Gold? Silver? Both?
Inflation vs. Deflation Inflation – the loss of value of money. Deflation – a decline in the volume of available money or credit that results in lower prices, and, therefore, increases the buying power of money.
Deflation Hurts Farmers Many farmers had to borrow money for seed and other supplies to plant their crops. Less money lead to higher interest rates, increasing what the farmers owed. Farmers believed that Eastern bankers had pressured Congress into reducing the money supply and called for the printing of more greenbacks.
Patrons of Husbandry Founded by Oliver H. Kelley in 1867 after realizing how isolated the farmers were from each other. Better known as the GRANGE. Got together for mostly social and educational purposes.
Cooperatives Store where farmers bought products from each other; an enterprise owned and operated by those who use its services. Farmers could not raise prices for their crops because there were so many other farmers around in competition.
Grange Fails None of the strategies the Grangers tried improved the farmers’ economic situation Began to fall by the late 1870s A new organization rose: “The Farmer’s Alliance”
The People’s Party Also known as the Populists – New party to push for political reforms Largely located in Kansas – Nominated candidates to run for Congress and the state legislature – Later followed by Nebraska, South Dakota, & Minnesota
More Populism! Nominated James B. Weaver to run for president. Wanted to switch from the gold standard to the silver standard – 16 ounces of silver = 1 ounce of gold Grover Cleveland won his second term.
The Panic of 1893 Shortly after Cleveland was reelected, the nation plunged into the worst economic crisis it had ever experienced. – March 1893 – Philadelphia and Reading Railroads declared bankruptcy By 1894 the economy was deep in a depression.
Goldbugs and Silverites Goldbug – a person who believes that American currency should be based on a gold standard. Silverite – a person who believes that coining silver currency in unlimited quantities will eliminate economic crisis.
The Election of 1896 William Jennings Bryan – Silverite Populist Candidate – Originally a Democrat William McKinley – Republican Candidate – Former governor of Ohio & former member of Congress – Wins the election Populism declines – Still slightly present today
Why Did Bryan Lose? His focus on silver undermined efforts to build bridges to urban voters. He did not form alliances with other groups. McKinley’s campaign was well-organized and highly funded.
Why did Populism Decline? Prospectors found gold in Canada and Alaska. These gold strikes increased the money supply. Credit was more easily obtained. 1900 – The Gold Standard Act – confirmed the nation’s commitment to gold.