The Populist Movement Essay

Decent Essays
The Populist Movement

The small farmers of America struggled through many agricultural problems during the late19th century. Their exclusion from the industrializing society, and their lagging in developments set them back from the rest of the country. Through their hardships they found a way to come together and form a political movement that would represent their rights and needs and give them a voice in the political decision making; it was called the
Populist movement. However, the formation of this movement didn’t happen over night; it was a complicated process, but in the end it paid off for the small farmers of America. The agricultural problems of the small farmers, farmers organizations, and Populist philosophies all
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The farmers wanted restrictions on railroads, buffer from market, and increase in money supply and credit. To help achieve these desired changes, the Granges and Alliances were created. The Granges and Alliances were organizations formed to help bring the farmers together, and help them to make cooperatives so as to make a profit. These two systems were a large step in the emergence of the Populist movement. The Granges were first started by Oliver H. Kelley, an Agriculture Department official. The Grange came first and was created as a social organization for farmers. The
Grange system wanted to bring farmers together to learn new scientific agricultural techniques, create a feeling of community between farmers, and organize cooperatives.
The Granges were temporarily successful, but eventually failed because of inexperience and opposition of the middlemen. The decline of the Grange movement made way for the
Farmers’ Alliances. The Alliance started in Texas in 1877 and welcomed men and women alike. They, like the Granges, formed cooperatives so as to free the farmers from the dependence on the large corporations. The Alliances spread quickly, but still had some of the same problems the Granges had like inexperience, and the middlemen getting in the way. These frustrations helped push the movement
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