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Farmers and Populism

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  1. Farmers and Populism Chapter 9, Section 3

  2. Plight of the Farmer • Farmers received low prices for their crops but had to pay high prices for transportation. • Oliver H. Kelley founded the Grange organization, which goals included: • 1. providing education on farming techniques • 2. calling for the regulation of railroad and grain elevator rates

  3. Farmer’s Alliance • These alliances formed cooperatives to collectively sell their crops, and they called on the federal government to establish “sub-treasuries” or postal banks to provide farmers with low-interest loans. • At first, the alliance was made up of white farmers only, but African-American farmers soon came to form their own. • Racial tensions prevented cooperation between the two groups.

  4. Populist Party Goals • 1. To fight low prices, they called for the coinage of silver. • 2. To fight high costs, they demanded government ownership of railroads. • Mary Elizabeth Lease (Dorothy) advanced the cause of women’s suffrage.

  5. Populist Party Successes • In 1892, the Populists won three governors, five senators, and ten congressmen. • They knew that to really gain political power, they needed to united whites and blacks in the South. • The Democrats used this to show that the Populist Party would lead to “Negro Supremacy,” to diminish the appeal of the party.

  6. William Jennings Bryan • He spoke for the “plain people of the country.” • He was a member of the Populist Party. • The Democratic party chose Bryan to run for president. • For the first time, the presidential candidate toured the nation, speaking to the people.

  7. William McKinley • Raised $15 million for his campaign. • He won the election of 1896 and won reelection over Bryan again in 1900. • The Populist Party only survived about ten more years after 1896 and most of its members returned to the Democratic Party. • The ideals they fought for would soon become a reality!