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Protest and Reform. Growing agricultural problems for the nation’s farmers created the conditions for discontent and political turmoil. I. Hard Times Down on the Farm. Last 30 years of the 19 th century were not good ones for farmers

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Protest and reform l.jpg

Protest and Reform

Growing agricultural problems for the nation’s farmers created the conditions for discontent and political turmoil.


I hard times down on the farm l.jpg
I. Hard Times Down on the Farm

  • Last 30 years of the 19th century were not good ones for farmers

  • American farmer was losing economic, political and social power

  • Major shifts occurring in the way Americans made money


Ii reasons for these agricultural troubles l.jpg
II. Reasons for these Agricultural Troubles

  • Drop in Farm Prices

  • Increasing Costs

  • High Tariffs

  • Inadequate Currency

    --The “Crime of ’73”

  • Gradual erosion of political power and leadership


Ii reasons for agricultural troubles cont l.jpg
II. Reasons for Agricultural Troubles (cont.)

  • Gradual erosion of social power and leadership

  • New Business practices

  • National recessions

  • Problems with “middlemen”

  • Unforgiving environment

  • Ingrained tradition of rugged individualism and physical isolation


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III. Agricultural Organization to Deal with Discontent

  • The Grange (1867)

    -- “cost-side” solutions

  • The Greenback Party (1877)

    -- “price-side” solutions

  • The Alliance Movement (1880’s)

    --Mary Elizabeth Lease

  • The national Populist Party (1892)


Iv the omaha platform 1892 l.jpg
IV. The Omaha Platform (1892)

  • Government ownership of railroads

  • Graduated income tax

  • Direct Election of Senators

  • The Secret Ballot

  • Sub-treasury to secure cheap loans

  • Expansion of currency

  • Shorter industrial work week


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IV. Omaha Platform (cont.)

  • Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver

  • William Harvey’s Coin’s Financial School (1894)

  • Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)


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V. The Politics of “The Gilded Age”

  • “Gilded Age” politics

  • Major campaign issues

  • Even division of power between the parties

  • Ideal presidential candidate

  • Alliances between government and businessmen were common


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V. “Gilded Age” Politics (cont.)

  • High voter turnout during the late 19th century

  • The typical late 19th century Republican

  • The typical late 19th century Democrat



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A. The Election of 1880

  • Garfield (R-Ohio) vs. Winfield Scott Hancock (D-Pa)

  • Garfield’s assassination

  • Arthur = better than expected

  • Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883)


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B. The Election of 1884

  • Republicans nominated James G. Blaine (Maine)

  • The rise of the “Mugwumps”

  • Democrats nominated Grover Cleveland (NY)

  • The 1884 Campaign

  • Cleveland’s First Term in Office

  • Called for Tariff Reform


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C. The Election of 1888

  • Cleveland (D-NY) vs. Benjamin Harrison (R-IN)

  • The Campaign and the Results of the Election

  • Harrison’s Presidency

  • “Billion Dollar” Congress of 1890

  • McKinley Tariff


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D. The Election of 1892

  • Cleveland vs. Harrison again

  • Strong Populist showing by James Weaver (Iowa)

  • Problems for Populists

  • Cleveland’s Second Administration

  • The Panic of 1893

  • Coxey’s Army


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E. The Election of 1896

  • Currency = major issue of the campaign

  • Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska

    -- “Cross of Gold” Speech at Chicago convention

  • The Populist Dilemma


E the election of 1896 cont l.jpg
E. The Election of 1896 (cont.)

  • Republicans nominated William McKinley (Ohio)

  • Reasons for Election Results

  • Political Significance of this election

  • McKinley’s Presidency

  • The Currency Act of 1900

  • Currency and Tariff reform swallowed up by calls for war


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