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The Populist Party

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Samantha Brink

on 5 November 2013

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Transcript of The Populist Party

During the time of the Populist Party, there were two major players in their party who ran for president: James B. Weaver and William J. Bryan ( who was a Populist Democrat you could say). Today, there are a few parties that relate to the Populist Party, one being the Green Party of the United States, which had Ralph Nader as its leader once. The Populist Party is similar to Ralph's Green party due to the fact that they were both third parties, and wanted to be in power for the better of the people. Neither parties ever gained any presidential power though, but they were very popular among citizens at one time. The presidential candidates had good ideas, but just could not pull out enough support for their ideas. Not enough to win the presidency, that is.
The Populist Party
The Beginning
Major Demands and Reformations
Presidential Candidates and Third parties
Before starting the Populist party, the farmers of the South came together to create the Farmer's Alliance in 1876 as a way to take economic action. This grew quickly grew with farmers and the desire for their rights. It's goals were to focus on the brokers, railroads, merchants, and to help reform national politics.

When 1890 hit, the populist party took
control of the Kansas State legislature,
and William Peffer became the party's
first U.S senator. Unfortunately,
between the years of 1892 and 1896,
the party failed to make any further
gains due to fraud, intimidations, and
violence by Southern Democrats
While the Populist party did not achieve everything it hoped to, they still made an impact and were able to get recognized for what they did. They were able to show people the importance of racial equality, economic equality, and voters rights and women's rights.
Idea behind it
convenient method to save money for the poor
for depositors who did not have access to banks
The populist party was made to support the idea of equality and was in favour of the farmers and workers, mainly in the south. They did not support a National Bank and want a graduated income tax. Many people in the south joined including many women who wanted to get involved.
postal savings bank

a savings bank conducted by a government through the local post office
Creating Postal Savings Banks
Enacting Immigration restriction
prohibited immigration of contract laborers, illiterates, and all Asian immigrants
Immigrants took away jobs and resources from Americans
Farmers and the poor did not want more jobs and money being given to other people while they were struggling
restricted entry of certain criminals, people considered immoral, people suffering from certain diseases, and paupers
graduated income tax (noun)
:tax where the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases
Graduated Income Tax
Falling of the Populist Party
William McKinley, the 25th president of the United Sates, ultimately killed the Populists’ dream of free silver in 1900 when he signed the Gold Standard Act. Free silver was so important to farmers and workers because it made it easier for them to pay debts. It would essentially increase their wages. The Gold Standard Act stabilized the value of the dollar to one ounce of gold. In 1897, McKinley also signed the Dingley Tariff to set overall tariff rates at approximately 45 percent, making it harder for farmers to pay taxes on international trade. The effects of fusion with the Democrats were also tragic to the Populist Party. The Populist/Republican union which had governed North Carolina, the only state which had any success, crumbled. By 1898, the Democrats used a powerful racist campaign to beat the North Carolina Populists and GOP. In 1900 the Democrats helped in disfranchisement. Populism never recovered from the catastrophe of 1896.
Economic Situation
The Populist Party experienced difficult economic times in the United States. Railroads were prosperous, and agriculture grew feeble. Banks were profitable and yet agriculture grew frail. Manufacturing enterprises never made more money and still agriculture is weak. Many farmers believe their economic fall was due to the low prices they recieved for their produce. Although farmers refuse to believe it, their problem was caused by their overproduction of crops.
lower income
lower taxes
higher income
Women in the Populist Party.
Women saw the populist party as a way of equality just as much as the men did. The women of the Populist party would get involved by being secretaries and treasurers. Soon. Women also acquired skills or teaching and accounting to have set up for independence and education of dautghers.
higher taxes
wanted to limit presidential term to a single six-year term instead of two four-year terms
Limiting Presidential Term
reasoning was that six years was long enough to get things done without extending it to eight years, or two terms.
Unlimited Coinage of Silver
in interest of people who borrowed money (farmers and the poor)
since there was more silver than gold, if money was backed by silver then it would be less valuable; therefore, they would have less value to pay back
discovery of massive quantities of silver in Nevada also made silver cheaper and money less valuable
The federal government would make low-interest greenback loans to the farmers secured by the withheld crops stored in government warehouses, also called subtreasuries
Once prices went back up, farmers could sell their crops again and pay back their loans
Had farmers hold crops off the market when prices were low
Subtreasury Plan
Wanted government to have control of railroads in order to help small farmers.
Government Ownership of Railroads
Would prevent railroad owners from creating unnessary high prices and hurting farmers
Money being backed by silver would cause money to go down in value
Why it Didn't Work
Would have led to inflation, which would've hurt everyone
Full transcript