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Transcript of Populism
Populist Movement Falling Crop Prices Problems faced by Farmers as prices fell, farmers couldn't make their loan payments High Charges from Railroads lack of competition
secret agreements allowed railroads to control storage prices Greenbacks Farmers Organize Farmers' Alliance Oliver Hudson Kelley forms
organization that will become known as the Grange Grangers Take Political Action Should the government be allowed to play a role in setting prices or train fares? Granger Laws Illinois Establishes a commission to set maximum freight and passanger fares. Other states pass similar laws. Railroads Fight Back Railroads claim that states do not
have the right to regulate prices. Munn v. Illinois 1877 Supreme Court rules that the state did have a right to regulate and set precedent that the government could regulate private industry to serve the common good. Populism Although the Populist Party did not capture the White House in 1896, the party left two important legacies: the notion that the oppressed could organize and have a political impact, and
an agenda of reforms. Greenbacks were not exchangable for silver or gold.
Retiring the greenbacks meant that the money that was left in supply was worth more. Those in debt had to pay back with dollars that were worth more than the dollar they borrowed. Supreme Court Overturns Munn V. Illinois The Supreme Court ruled that states could not regulate interstate commerce. Interstate Commerce Act This act gave the federal government the rght to regulate the railways. The 5 member ICC panel had trouble regulating. Court rules again Gold v. Silver Gold Bugs wanted currency backed by Gold which would lead to deflation and rising value of dollar. Bankers and businessmen favored this option. Silverites supported bimetallism. Money could be backed by silver or gold. Money supply would remain high and farmers could repay loans with money of lower value. The problem is that prices would remain high 1896 Election The Democrats nominated Bryan whosupported bimetallism McKinley and Republican Party supported gold standard.