An Analysis of the Populist and Progressive Era

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In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circlue of our felicities.” (Jefferson, 1801) This idea echoed far beyond it’s time and into the minds and hearts of the Populist’s, and became the center and the driving force of the Progressive era. During the gilded age railroads were being built, Industrialization was rising, the population of United States was increasing dramatically; and corporate businesses were becoming extremely…show more content…
(Foner, 2010, pp. 680-681) As the Populist Party increased in size, Populist organized a convention which is creditably known as the Populist Platform or Omaha Convention
The Omaha Convention which took place in Omaha, Nebraska in 1892. According to Eric Foner, “ The platform put forth a long list of proposals…direct election of U.S. senators, government control of the currency, a graduated tax income, system of low-cost public financing to enable farmers to market their crops, and recognition of the right of workers to form labor union.” (Foner, 2010, p. 682) Although many farmers joined this cause, it was primarily farmers, and with the major population of United States consisting of industrial workers plans didn’t go far. Some Populists tried to gain more members by trying to unite black and white farmers as one but because of the racism between southern farmers, the alliance in the southern areas would not allow blacks from partaking in meetings. So Populist tried to join forces with factory workers by engaging and supporting the worker rights, but industrial workers didn’t appeal to the Populists ideology, though both fought against large corporations their political standpoint was different. Farmers wanted low tariff prices and higher priced agricultural resources

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