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Chapter 28. Revolt of the Debtor 1889-1900. Election of 1888. Harrison (R) vs. Cleveland (D) Harrison is for high protective tariff. Harrison wins and enters the Billion Dollar Congress. Billion Dollar Congress. McKinley Tariff of 1890 - raises tax on foreign products to 48%

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Chapter 28

Chapter 28

Revolt of the Debtor


Election of 1888
Election of 1888

  • Harrison (R) vs. Cleveland (D)

  • Harrison is for high protective tariff.

  • Harrison wins and enters the Billion Dollar Congress

Billion dollar congress
Billion Dollar Congress

  • McKinley Tariff of 1890- raises tax on foreign products to 48%

  • Gave monthly pensions to Civil War Vets, widows, and children

  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act – weak attempt to prevent monopolies

  • Sherman Silver Purchase Act – compromise between the E and W. Raises tariffs but increase coinage of silver

Populist people s party
Populist (People’s Party)

  • Created by the Farmer’s Alliance movement

  • Met in Omaha, Nebraska in 1892

  • Believed the power was in the hands of trusts and bankers

Populist platform
Populist Platform

1) wanted free and unlimited coinage of silver

2) graduated income tax

3) govn’t ownership of telephone, RR, telegraph

4) Labor rights and an 8 hour day

5) Direct popular election of Senators rather than by appointment or political machine

Important info
Important info

  • Gold benefits the wealthy

  • Farmers want silver to create inflation

    • Ex: A farmer takes out a loan for $3,000. If wheat is sold at $1/bushel, he must sell 3,000. If inflation kicks in and raises the price of wheat to $3 a bushel, he will only have to sell 1,000 bushels to pay his loan back

Election of 1892
Election of 1892

  • Cleveland wins again. (Cleveland  Harrison  Cleveland)

Cleveland (Dem)

Harrison (Rep)

Weaver (Populist)

Panic of 1893
Panic of 1893

  • Lasted for 4 years. First large scale depression.

  • Wide-spread distress

  • Gold Treasury is being drained so President Cleveland repeals the Sherman Silver purchase Act (angers farmers)

  • Gold drops from 100 million to 41 million. It could cripple international trade.

  • Cleveland borrows $65 million from JP Morgan and people see him as a sell-out

Eugene debs leads the pullman strike
Eugene Debs leads the Pullman Strike

  • *Debs, a labor worker, revolts against Pullman town rent when their pay got slashed 1/3

  • Overturned RRs. Cleveland dispatched troops b/c it disrupts mail.

  • He did not receive a trial. Populist angry because violence is used against such an honest cause.

Election of 1896
Election of 1896

  • McKinley (Rep): gold standard

  • William Jennings Bryan (Dem/Populist): bimetallism


  • Was McKinley’s right hand man who purchased his victory

  • Raised over $16 million for the campaign while Bryan only raised $1 million.

  • Campaigned against Silver

  • Believed the prime function of govn’t was to help business.

Cross of gold speech
Cross of Gold” Speech

“You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind on a cross of gold.”

I came out to the plains

Where i know it don't rain

Tried to make my big bucks

But now I'm in a rut

Used all my money towards this

and now I'm cuffed at the wrist

by shipping, storage fees

the railroads killin' me

We can't embrace this

Rip Jeans, Sunburned faces

Hot drought, lonely places

I say we need a potluck!

Hey, all you farmers, this debt is crazy!

So vote for silver and don't be lazy

It's hard to pay rent

with all my debt

So vote inflation

and make your payments!