1. What economic issues gave rise to the Populist Party, and what political and economic changes did the party advocate? Why were they considered so radical? Due to “…falling agricultural prices and growing economic dependency” (Foner 636) in the mid-nineteenth century, farmers in the South began to face inevitable economic uncertainty. Farmers, both white and black alike, were thrown into poverty due to sharecropping and the fall of the price of cotton, and many faced the fear of losing everything they had due the inability to pay bank loans. Believing that their situation was caused by “…high freight rates…excessive interest rates for loans…and the fiscal policies of the government” (Foner 636), disgruntled farmers hoped to better their lives and conditions through the founding of the Farmers’ Alliance in the 1870s. However, by the 1890s, the Alliance transformed into what became known as the Populist Party. Keeping their roots in mind, the Populists sought to end what they considered political corruption and economic inequality that arose during the Reconstruction. In order to do so, they proposed “…the direct election of U.S. senators, government control of currency, a graduated income tax, a system of low-class public financing…the right of workers to form labor unions…[and a] public ownership of the railroads” (Foner 638). In addition to their propositions, the Populists were considered radical due to their embracement of science and technology, their belief that the
The populists created a Farmers’ Alliance that began in Texas and it organized low cost insurance for farmers and put banks in their place with regulations. The Farmer’s Alliance also gave the government the ownership of the transportation system to regulate their costs and monopolies. When the Grangers lobbied for regulation of the
The Populist Party was the people’s party, hence the name Populist, the party was created in the late 1800s when the Southern Famer alliance contacted Powderly, the head of The Knights of Labor. The party’s first platform was called the Omaha Platform which called for the abolition of the national bank, graduated income tax, direct election of senators, civil service reform, an eight hour work week, and the gov’t control of railroads, telegraphs and telephones. The Populists supported the Prohibition
Farmers united to protect their interests, even creating a major political party. The party was called the peoples party which became known as the populist party. Populists drew its strength from rural areas. Populists tended to be poor and uneducated. They had ideas such as government ownership of major industries. The Populists supported labors demand for an eight
The period between 1870 and 1900 was a time to change politics. The country was for once free from war and was united as one nation. However, as these decades passed by, the American farmer found it harder to live comfortably. Crops such as cotton and wheat, once the cash crop of agriculture, were selling at prices so low that it was nearly impossible for farmers to make a profit. Improvements in transportation allowed larger competitors to sell more easily and more cheaply, making it harder for American yeoman farmers to sell their crops. Finally, years of drought in the Midwest and the fall of business in the 1890s devastated the farming community. Most notably, the Populist Party arose to fight what farmers saw as the issues affecting
The Omaha Platform was established because Southern and Midwestern farmers believed they were treated unfairly by the Democrats and the Republicans. The populists proposed a national currency, coinage of silver to gold at a ratio of sixteen to one, federal loans to farmers, graduated income tax, abolish national banks, government ownership of railroads, telephone and telegraph systems, prohibition of alien land ownership, a secret ballot system, civil service reform, immigration restriction, an eight-hour day, abolition of the Pinkerton system, the right of initiative and referendum, one term for the office of the President and Vice-President, and direct election of Senators.
Throughout the 1880s and 1890s America was going through many changes and many of these were fought by the Populists. Silver being demonetized was another major problem for the Populists and they fought it along with asking for a national government regulated currency as well. The Populist Party also fought against the harsh taxes that were in place at the time in the United States. The biggest concern for many of the Populists was how to handle crop failures and how prices were to be controlled. All in all, the Populist movement was centered on helping out the farmers and improving the ever changing economy.
The Populist Movement ultimately failed to survive because of their desire for inflation and the support for the coinage of silver, as well as the fact that they merged with the Democratic Party to combat the Republicans. The 1896 election undermined agrarian insurgency, and a period of rapidly rising farm prices helped to bring about the dissolution of the Populist Party. Another important factor in the failure of the party was its inability to affect a genuine urban-rural coalition; its program had little appeal for wage earners of the industrial east. Although the populists were not outright socialists, many conservative interests saw the Populists as a threat to the basic economic system of the United States. The Populists’ agenda was
While the Populists were able to inspire some more government involvement in the economy with their currency concerns, the Progressives both reformed the government into a less corruptible system and called for more government participation in reducing the growing power of certain industries. Similarly, although the Populists managed to bring attention to the plight of the workers, the Progressives, with their wider range of supporters due to their broader appeal, was able to pass workplace regulations and to organize institutes to help foreigners assimilate into American society. Finally, as the Populists failed to convince the nation to address most of their most basic beliefs and goals, the Progressives succeeded in obtaining government recognition of their side of a long-standing racial dissension. In conclusion, historians are correct in believing that the Populists were less successful than the Progressives in attaining their goals because of the vast differences between the two results of the groups’ reform
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
Why did farmers express discontent during 1870-1900 and what impact did their attitudes and actions have on national politics. Manufacturing hit a huge growth rate during this period which cause agriculture to decline, and cause farmers to struggle to make a living. The farmers were now being abused by the railroad companies and banks. The documents in DBQ 8 show rationality for the farmer’s protests, exclusively on bank mortgage tariffs and the gold standard. Two particular groups became popular during this period and that would be the Grangers and the Populist Party. Farmers fought against the Gold Standard, railroads, and industrialist during this period causing lots of confrontation.
The party adopted a platform calling for the free coinage of silver along with the abolition of national banks. Another aspect of the Populist Party, is a graduated income tax, government ownership of all forms of transportation and communication, and the election of Senators by direct vote of the people. Civil service reform, a working day of eight hours, postal banks, pensions, and the reform of immigration regulations are just some of the other views and beliefs of populists.
The Populist Party was started by a massive grassroots movement that wanted political reform. The supporters of the Populist Party were usually laborers who were sick of the government supporting big businesses. Because of this support, there were many violent strikes, such as Pullman, Homestead, and Haymarket, where strikers were killed, and the government did nothing. Eventually, the Populist Party combined with the Democratic Party because the Populist Party was limited because of its regional location.
The Populists and Progressive were two major movements that occurred during the outbreaks of the workers union after the civil war. The populists began during the late 1800s and the progressives began during the 1900s. There are many differences between these two movements, but yet both of these movements have many things in common. During this time, farmers united to protect their interests by creating a major political party. This party was known as the Peoples Party, which became known as the Populist Party. Populists drew their strength from rural areas as many Populists tended to mostly be poor and uneducated. They had ideas such as government ownership of major industries. Progressives, also affected by industrialization, began their movements in order to reestablish their society.
Congress passed a law to stop silver, silver were becoming too expensive, gold is the standard to determine currency. Money supply shrink and money were less valuable. Even harder for American farmer to pay back debt. Farmer began to becomes more connection (nation movement), merged with each other; start to become more political. Encourage member to vote for candidate who show their interests. Farmer alliance becomes the people party in 1892. (Populist Party) Demand they made includes: