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Populism & the Election of 1896 PowerPoint Presentation
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Populism & the Election of 1896

Populism & the Election of 1896

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Populism & the Election of 1896

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  1. Populism & the Election of 1896

  2. What were some of the major problems facing farmers during the Gilded Age ??

  3. Populism: An Agrarian Revolt

  4. Price Indexes for Consumer & Farm Products: 1865-1913

  5. Farmers and Tariffs Tariffs helped farmers by protecting them against competition from farm imports. But, they also hurt farmers because they raised the prices of manufactured goods, such as farm machinery, and kept foreigners from earning U.S. money with which to buy American crops. The Money Issue Farmers wanted an increase in the money supply, the amount of money in the national economy. As a result, the value of every dollar drops, leading to a widespread rise in prices, or inflation. This trend would benefit people who borrow money (farmers), but it would not be good for money lenders (banks). A decrease in the money supply would cause deflation. Monetary policy, the federal government’s plan for the makeup and quantity of the nation’s money supply, thus emerged as a major political issue. Gold Bugs Before 1873 U.S. currency was on a bimetallic standard, consisting of gold and silver. Then Congress put the currency on a gold standard which decreased the money supply. “Gold bugs” (big lenders) were pleased. The Farmers’ Complaint

  6. The Bland-Allison Act of 1878 The move to a gold standard enraged the “silverites,” mostly silver-mining interest and western farmers. Silverites called for free silver, the unlimited coining of silver dollars to increase the money supply. Required the federal government to purchase and coin more silver, thereby increasing the money supply and causing inflation Vetoed by President Hayes because he opposed the inflation that it would cause Congress overrode the veto. The Treasury Department refused to buy more than the minimum amount of silver required by the act. The act had limited effect. Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 Increased the amount of silver that the government was required to purchase every month The law required the Treasury to buy the silver with notes that could be redeemed for either silver or gold. Many people turned in their silver Treasury notes for gold dollars, thus depleting the gold reserves. In 1893, President Cleveland repealed the Silver Purchase Act. Silverites

  7. Founder of the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry (1867)

  8. The Grange Movement • First organized in the 1870s in the Midwest, the south, and Texas. • Set up cooperative associations. • Social and educational components. • Succeeded in lobbying for “Granger Laws.” • Rapidly declined by the late 1870s.

  9. The Grange Organized in 1867 in response to farmers’ isolation, it helped farmers form cooperatives which bought goods in large quantities at lower prices. The Grange also pressured government to regulate businesses on which farmers depended. Farmers’ Alliance Another powerful political group, the Farmers’ Alliance called actions that many farmers could support. The alliance won support for women’s rights. The African Americans worked through a separate but parallel “Colored Farmers’ Alliance.” Government Response In 1887 President Cleveland signed the Interstate Commerce Act. It regulated prices that railroads charged to move freight between states. It also set up the Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce laws. Organizing Farmer Protests

  10. Giftfor theGrangers: The FarmerPays for All!

  11. The Grange Organized in 1867 in response to farmers’ isolation, it helped farmers form cooperatives which bought goods in large quantities at lower prices. The Grange also pressured government to regulate businesses on which farmers depended. Farmers’ Alliance Another powerful political group, the Farmers’ Alliance called actions that many farmers could support. The alliance won support for women’s rights. The African Americans worked through a separate but parallel “Colored Farmers’ Alliance.” Government Response In 1887 President Cleveland signed the Interstate Commerce Act. It regulated prices that railroads charged to move freight between states. It also set up the Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce laws. Organizing Farmer Protests

  12. The Farmers Alliances • Begun in the late 1880s (Texas first – the Southern Alliance; then in the Midwest—the Northern Alliance). • Built upon the ashes of the Grange. • More political and less social than the Grange. • Ran candidates for office. • Controlled 8 state legislatures & had 47 representatives in Congress during the 1890s.

  13. United We Stand, Divided We Fall • In 1889 both the Northern and Southern Alliances merged into on—theFarmers’ Alliance.

  14. The Populist (Peoples’) Party • 1890 Election: • So. Alliance - wanted to gain control of the Democratic Party. • No. Alliance - ran 3rd Party candidates. • 1892 - 800 met in St. Louis, MO • majority were Alliance members. • over 100 were African Americans. • reps. of labor organizations & other reformers (Grange, Greenback Party).

  15. The Populists • The Farmers’ Alliances formed a new political party, The People’s Party or the Populists. Their platform called for • An increased circulation of money • Unlimited minting of silver • A progressive income tax which would put a greater financial burden on the wealthy industrialists and a lesser one on farmers. • Government-owned communications and transportation systems • An eight-hour work day • The Populists sought to unite African American and white farmers. • The Populist candidate for President, William Jennings Bryan, won most of the western and southern states but lost the election. However, populist ideas lived on. In the decades ahead, reformers known as Progressives applied populist ideas to urban and industrial problems.

  16. Platform of Lunacy

  17. The Populist (Peoples’) Party • Founded by James B. Weaver and Tom Watson. • Omaha, NE Convention in July, 1892. • Got almost 1 million popular votes. • Several Congressional seats won. James B. Weaver, Presidential Candidate &James G. Field, VP

  18. The Grange Organized in 1867 in response to farmers’ isolation, it helped farmers form cooperatives which bought goods in large quantities at lower prices. The Grange also pressured government to regulate businesses on which farmers depended. Farmers’ Alliance Another powerful political group, the Farmers’ Alliance called actions that many farmers could support. The alliance won support for women’s rights. The African Americans worked through a separate but parallel “Colored Farmers’ Alliance.” Government Response In 1887 President Cleveland signed the Interstate Commerce Act. It regulated prices that railroads charged to move freight between states. It also set up the Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce laws. Organizing Farmer Protests

  19. Interstate Commerce Act - 1887

  20. Omaha Platform of 1892 System of “sub-treasuries.” Abolition of the National Bank. Direct election of Senators. Govt. ownership of RRs, telephone & telegraph companies. Government-operated postal savings banks. Restriction of undesirable immigration. 8-hour work day for government employees. Abolition of the Pinkerton detective agency. Australian secret ballot. Re-monetization of silver. A single term for President & Vice President.

  21. 1892 Election

  22. Populism

  23. Govt.-Owned Companies

  24. Bi-Metallism Issue

  25. The Panic of 1893

  26. Causes of the 1893 Panic • Begun 10 days after Cleveland took office. • Several major corps. went bankrupt. • Over 16,000 businesses disappeared. • Triggered a stock market crash. • Over-extended investments. • Bank failures followed causing a contraction of credit [nearly 500 banks closed]. • By 1895, unemployment reached 3 million. • Americans cried out for relief, but the Govt continued its laissez faire policies!!

  27. Panic Spreads!

  28. Here Lies Prosperity

  29. Written by a Farmer at the End of the 19c When the banker says he's brokeAnd the merchant’s up in smoke,They forget that it's the farmer who feeds them all.It would put them to the testIf the farmer took a rest;Then they'd know that it's the farmer feeds them all.

  30. Coxey’s Army, 1894 • Jacob Coxey & his “Army of the Commonweal of Christ.” • March on Washington - “hayseed socialists!”

  31. Cleveland’s second term - 1893-1897 (unpopular) • Panic of 1893 • Millions of workers lost jobs or had wages slashed • 1894 - Coxey’s army demanded gov’t create jobs for unemployed • Repealed Sherman Silver Purchase Act • Sent federal troops to Chicago during the Pullman strike of 1894

  32. Result of Election Returns • Populist vote increased by 40% in the mid-term election year, 1894. • Democratic party losses in the West werecatastrophic! • But, Republicans won control of the House.

  33. The Populist Party

  34. The 1896 Election

  35. Gold / Silver Bug Campaign Pins

  36. William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) The “Great Commoner”

  37. William Jennings Bryan Prairie avenger, mountain lion, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Gigantic troubadour, speaking like a siege gun, Smashing Plymouth Rock with his boulders from the West. • Revivalist style of oratory.

  38. Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” Speech “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!” •both Democrats and Populists nominated him for President •Audio of Bryan’s speech

  39. Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” • Populist presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, a former “silverite” Congressman, faced off against moderate Republican William McKinley. • During the 1896 Democratic Convention in Chicago, Bryan closed the debate over party platform with his Cross of Gold speech. • Using images from the Bible, he stood with his head bowed and arms outstretched and cried out: • “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!” • So impressive was his speech that both Democrats and Populists nominated him for President.

  40. Bryan: The Farmers Friend(The Mint Ratio) 18,000 miles of campaign “whistle stops.”

  41. Democratic Party Taken Over by the Agrarian Left Platform - tariff reductions; income tax; stricter control of the trusts (esp. RRs); free silver.

  42. Mark Hanna: Republican National Committee Chairman The “Front-Porch” Campaign

  43. William McKinley (1843-1901)

  44. Mark Hanna to Candidate McKinley

  45. The Seasoned Politician vs. The “Young” Newcomer

  46. Populists - Democrats: William Jennings Bryan Working class and farmers Free silver Labor reform “Cross of Gold” speech Republicans: William McKinley New tariff bill (raised) Stronger gold standard “A Full Dinner Pail” Election of 1896

  47. 1896 Election Results

  48. Map 18.5 The Elections of 1892 and 1896 (p. 540)

  49. Into Which Box Will the Voterof ’96 Place His Ballot?