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The Story Behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Transcript of The Story Behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Farms in the Mid-West suffering from drought, but most were still capable of growing food
Businesses and factories were still capable of providing the things that people needed
Workers still wanted to work to provide those things
People still wanted goods and services produced if they had the money to buy them.
Both were concerned with the money supply then prevalent in the United States, and in the Mid-Western States in particular.
Money created by the private
banking system. A belief that money was
The major banks, on East and West coasts,
controlled all money in circulation,
lending more, then fore-closing on loans
putting people out of business,
enabling the banks to
acquire their businesses cheaply.
Baum and Bryan felt strongly that money should be based on silver, not gold, so it could not be manipulated by the banking system.
in the form of imagined electoral success for Bryan..
The story begins with a tornado ....
America 1890s, a severe depression......
Businesses bankrupt, farmers forced to sell, factories shut done, and workers unemployed.
Dorothy, represents everyone in the United States.
To get back to Kansas or normal life... Dorothy must deal with the Witch of the West
Dorothys' home lands on the Wicked Witch of the East (the East-coast bankers), killing her, freeing the Munchkins, but the Wicked Witch of the West (the West-coast bankers) remains loose.
Tells Dorothy to seek out the Wizard of Oz ('oz' being short for ounce).
Giving her a pair of silver slippers (as they were in the book - they became ruby ones in the film).
Good Witch of the North, representing the electorate of the North (this is less than 40 years after the civil war)
The slippers will keep her safe on the yellow-brick road ( the bankers' gold standard).
Dorothy encounters a Scarecrow, representing the farmers, who do not have the wit to understand how they can end up losing their farms to the banks, even though they work hard to grow the food to feed a hungry nation. If only they could think it through!
Also, a spell cast upon him by the Wicked Witch of the East meant that every time he swung his ax, he chopped off a bit of himself - he downsized!
Next, she encounters a Tin Woodsman, representing the industrial workers, rusted as solid as the factories of the 1890s depression, and who have lost the sense of compassion and co-operation to work together to help each other during hard times.
Then the growing party encounters a Cowardly Lion
Have the power, of Congress and the Constitution, to confront the Wicked Witches, representing the banks, but they lack the courage to do so.
whence 'greenbacks' had once come, and an encounter with the omnipotent and wonderful Wizard of Oz.
With the Wizard's illusion of power shattered, he is replaced by the Scarecrow who would 'be another Lincoln'.
Turns out to be a little man without the power that people assume he possesses. He does, of course, represent the President of the United States.
The Wicked Witch of the West, fearful for her own power, attempts to destroy Dorothy but is herself dissolved in a bucket of water, as rain relieves the Mid-West drought, saves the farmers' livelihoods and prevents repossession by the banks.
The Good Witch of the South, (Southern electorate) tells Dorothy that her silver slippers, (silver-based money), are so powerful that anything she wishes for is possible, even without the help of the Wizard.
Dorothy wishes to go home. There all is now well, because the land has a stable and abundant money supply.
So ends this famous modern American 'fairy-tale'. Its true message has been lost to the mists of time and the demands of Hollywood, but its message is no less pertinent now than when it was written.
Its author, L. Frank Baum, was the editor of a South Dakota newspaper
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published in Chicago in 1900.
A parable about populism, money reform, and the 1890s Midwestern political movement led by William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
who stood three times, unsuccessfully,
as a U.S. Presidential candidate
for the Democratic
The Wizard of OZ
THE DOWN TRODDEN POOR
The Wicked Witches Castle
Heading towards Emerald City, (Washington DC).
Motivated she leads them towards Emerald City,