1 Topic 9 The Populist Movement Farmers and Their Discontent: The Agrarian Protest 1870-1896
2 What were the Causes of the Farmer’s Discontent? • Low agricultural prices • Insufficient credit / expensive credit • High rates charges by railroads, grain elevator operators…. • High industrial prices • Tariffs • Federal monetary policy • Middlemen in general • Monopolies in general • Efficient crop production v low prices
3 Three Examples of Farmer Collective / Political Action • Granger movement - Late 1860s • Greenback –Labor Party- 1874-1884 • People’s (Populist) Party - 1887
4 What were the Populist Objectives? • Direct Election of U.S. Senators • Secret Ballot • Ballot Initiative • Referendum • Recall • DirectPrimary • Monetary Reform ”Free Silver” "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."
Election of 1896Bryan v. McKinley Sharp division in society between urban and rural interests William Jennings Bryan (Democrat)reform groups / rural interests / indebted farmers / against the gold standard William McKinley (Republican)victory = shift from America as an agrarian nation to urban interests 5
6 Selected ReadingsPopulist Movement • Lawrence Goodwyn, The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America • Robert C., McMath, Jr. American Populism: A Social History, 1877-1898.