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The Omaha Platform of the Populist Party

By: Jessica Patterson
by

Jessica Patterson

on 24 October 2012

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Transcript of The Omaha Platform of the Populist Party

By: Jessica Patterson The Omaha Platform of the Populist Party Continuing . . . . The populist party was organized in St. Louis in 1892 to represent the common folk (especially farmers) against the entrenched interest of railroads, bankers, processers, corporations and the politicians in league with such interest. Background Information They declared, therefore.. Finance At the first national convention in Omaha in July 1892, the party nominated James K. Weaver for President and ratified the so-called Omaha Platform, drafted by Ignatius Donnelly of Minnesota. First.—That the union of the labor forces of the United States this day consummated shall be permanent and perpetual; may its spirit enter into all hearts for the salvation of the republic and the uplifting of mankind. Second.—Wealth belongs to him who creates it, and every dollar taken from industry without an equivalent is robbery. ''If any will not work, neither shall he eat.'' The interests of rural and civil labor are the same; their enemies are identical. Third.—We believe that the timend should the government enter upon the work of owning and managing all railroads, we should favor an amendment to the constitution by which all persons engaged in the government service shall be placed under a civil-service regulation of the most rigid character, so as to prevent the increase of the power of the national administration by the use of such additional government employees. We demand a national currency, safe, sound, and flexible issued by the general government only, a full legal tender for all debts, public and private, and that without the use of banking corporations; a just, equitable, and efficient means of distribution direct to the people, at a tax not to exceed 2 per cent, per annum, to be provided as set forth in the sub-treasury plan of the Farmers' Alliance, or a better system; also by payments in discharge of its obligations for public improvements. Big and.... ... small Other Finance demands . 2. We demand that the amount of circulating medium2 be speedily increased to not less than $50 per capita.
3. We demand a graduated income tax.
4. We believe that the money of the country should be kept as much as possible in the hands of the people, and hence we demand that all State and national revenues shall be limited to the necessary expenses of the government, economically and honestly administered. We demand that postal savings banks be established by the government for the safe deposit of the earnings of the people and to facilitate exchange. 1. We demand free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1. Transportation being a means of exchange and a public necessity, the government should own and operate the railroads in the interest of the people. The telegraph and telephone, like the post-office system, being a necessity for the transmission of news, should be owned and operated by the government in the interest of the people. Transportation The land, including all the natural sources of wealth, is the heritage of the people, and should not be monopolized for speculative purposes, and alien ownership of land should be prohibited. All land now held by railroads and other corporations in excess of their actual needs, and all lands now owned by aliens should be reclaimed by the government and held for actual settlers only. Land James Weaver The Election Results Map
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