Analyze.. 1. What groups represent the Populist’s Party 2. What is this balloon made of and what does this composition suggest? 3. What features in this cartoon might suggest that this party is NOT popular with everyone?
p. 2 POPULIST PARTY IS BORN • Leaders of the farmers organization realized they needed to build a base of political power • Populism – the movement of the people – was born in 1892 with the founding of the Populist, or People’s Party THIS POLITICAL CARTOON SHOWS A POPULIST CLUBBING A RAILROAD CAR What does this represent?
POPULIST REFORMS • Proposed economic reforms included; increase of money supply, a rise in crop prices, lower taxes, a federal loan program • Proposed political reforms included; direct election of senators, single terms for presidents • Populists also called for an 8-hour workday and reduced immigration
QUESTION… • What do you think about the Populist Party’s ideas? Would you have voted for them? Why or why not?
POPULISTS MAKE GAINS • In the 1892 Presidential election, the Populist candidate won almost 10% of the vote • In the West, the party elected 5 senators, 3 governors and 1,500 state legislators FRED AND PHIL VOTED FOR THE PEOPLE’S PARTY
THE PANIC OF 1893 • Nationwide economic problems took center stage in America in 1893 • Railroads went bankrupt, the stock market lost value, 15,000 businesses and 500 banks collapsed, • 3 million people lost their jobs – putting unemployment at 20% THE STOCK MARKET CRASHED IN 1893
SILVER OR GOLD? • The central issue of the 1896 Presidential campaign was which metal would be the basis of the nation’s monetary system • Bimetallism (those who favored using both) vs. those that favored the Gold Standards alone
BRYAN AND THE“CROSS OF GOLD” • Republicans favored the Gold standard and nominated William McKinley • Democrats favored Bimetallism and nominated William Jennings Bryan • Despite Bryan’s stirring words, “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold,” McKinley won the 1896 election BRYAN’S CROSS OF GOLD SPEECH
Question… • Does the United States still use the Gold Standard? • What is our money’s worth based on? 1933 Ten Dollar Bill
THE END OF POPULISM • With McKinley’s election victory, Populism collapsed, burying the hopes of the farmer • Populism left two important legacies: 1) A message that the downtrodden can organize and be heard and 2) An agenda of reforms, many of which would be enacted in the 20th century THE PEOPLE’S PARTY WAS SHORT-LIVED BUT LEFT AN IMPORTANT LEGACY
Question… • How could current politics be different if the Populist Party still existed? Would all of their ideas still be necessary?