Farmers? Grievances and Populism The Agrarian Crisis The Farmers? Problems Banking Railroads The Farmers Respond The Grange The Farmers? Alliance ?Free Silver? Ocala Platform Populists Omaha Platform ?Cross of Gold? Why Populism Failed Terms: furnishing agent, greenbackers, cooperatives, subtreasury plan, William Jennings Bryan Agrarian Crisis Grasshopper plague, several other plagues through 1870-1890 Huge Depression in 1873, severe draughts through this time as well Much irrigation funding and plans for the nation and the West/Southwest Boll weevil plague taking out cotton crops Overproduction ? make money by selling product, if prices goes down you have to sell more to make up for it, lowering the price more and more The understanding of economics is not very good Cotton drops by 60% over 30 years Same thing for wheat, 1865 - $1.50, 1878 - $0.80, 1894 - $0.49 Farmers? Problems Bankers are seen as enemies, they are the ones to take the farmers? land Banks do have some pretty unfair policies, dual policies, one for farmers and one for industrial tycoons Farmers had a shittier loan deal, when they can?t pay they foreclose When Industry can?t pay they let them have forgiveness Railroads are the same way, farmers? have to have the railroads to transport their items Railroads also have dual policies, charging farmers more than industrial items Wheat was more to ship than steel, even though steel was heavier and usually shipped farther than the wheat The companies get kickbacks also for using the railroads Trains also supposedly cause fires by their sparks burning crops A large portion of farmers not only lose their land, but usually stay and work as sharecroppers to new tenants The problem with this, is now you are the bottom of the barrel, not being able to afford seed, tools, or food Furnishing Agent ? one who loans these items to the sharecroppers, expecting to be paid back at the end of the harvest You use your crop to pay those things back, problem with the furnishing agent is they charge really high interest rate with 60% interest rates, varying from state to state Usually they are people you know, and because of that, these guys are usually forgiving in times of need and hardship Farmers begin to see conspiracies everywhere A battle between industry and agriculture Dual Policy Farmers want inflation Look to government for change The government resists Very ?laize faire? policy The Gold Standard The dollar is equaled by amount of gold The Government attempted to control inflation after the Civil War by destroying greenbacks The money you spend farming is worth more at harvest time Easier to pay off loans. Causes the value of money to decline but it?s worth to increase Banks do not want inflation The want a stable currency The government favors banks In favor or deflating the economy Bankers have close ties with government Farmers look to governor for redress Their interests are pitting against bankers Poor versus rich The Farmers realize these are their combined problems Disunited Hard to organize farmers Start to support independent parties (Greenback Party) Greenback Party wanted to print more dollars The Greenbacks are able to elect a few positions to state houses and Congress The party doesn?t go far enough Hard to get legislation through when you have few other party members in congres The National Grange Starts in Texas (1860-1870s) Started as a social club Start talking about their problems Gave people the sense that change is possible Begin to operate in cooperatives Sell products directly to the public They must store their products somewhere Silo Attempt to create an agriculture monopoly Hire agents to represent them who can negotiate prices for equipment These agents combine several purchases from several farmers to create a greater purchasing power Rail Companies Banks Farm Equipment Doesn?t last very long The Farmers Alliance (1877) Starts in Texas There is power in the farming community beyond what The Grange accomplished They diminished the idea of racism over the economic power The Knights of Labor The wage laborers are in the same boat as the farmers The Farmers Alliance unifies with the Knights of Labor. Create a program known as ?Free Silver? The unlimited coinage of silver Have a ratio of 16:1 of silver to gold Creating a bi-metallic standard Would cause inflation $20 is lowest gold coin produced by US Create the ?Subtreasury Plan? The government needed to take over silos These products are so important to the national economy that they shouldn?t be left to the hands of individuals Silos are ?subtreasures? Farmers can store grain in government silos The government will give a loan up to 80% of value of crop Pay back loan at 1% interest The value is you can hold off until the value of your crop is high and sell The Farmers Alliance have a Convention in 1890 to lay out a political strategy They try to work with republicans and democrats Republicans are big businesses The Democrats are stuck on the idea of a gold standard The Ocala Platform Free Silver Graduated income tax A direct election of US senators State legislators elected senators Government control of potential ownership of railroads, telephone and telegraph companies A Third Party movement Attempted to gain more support The Populist Party Replace Democrats and Republics who aren?t representing the farmers constituency Works very well locally 1892 nation election Hold a convention on 4th of July in Omaha Nebraska Created the Omaha Platform Creation of a subtreasury plan Secret Ballot The same issues as the Farmer?s Alliance Party Initiatives and Referendums Immigration restrictions Immigrations get taken advantage of These immigrants will take low-paying jobs from native born Want legislation that makes it legal to go on strike. Omaha Platform populist political platform, what they want their government to do, agrian radicalism preamble shows how radical they are, they are farmers still though James Weaver as candidate for Omaha Platform for president, a good choice Union General during civil war, so he was able to tie into his campaign his military background He says a lot of the same things as the Ocala platform, but adds to the idea of Jeffersonian democracy, supports the little guy James Field as his running mate, he was a confederate war hero, from Virginia They try to tie into the campaign was a sectional reuniting Fields has a much more racial ideal for the US, making them both appealing to as many people as possible They do pretty well for a third party, getting about 1 million, 9% of the vote The populist party gets elected to 1500 various offices, whether it was city council, school boards, local/county offices, but still 3 governors 5 senator, 13 congressman Tom Watson ? populist, really appealed to African Americans, he loses by a stuffed ballot box, his opponent gets twice as many votes as there are voters in the state(Georgia) After his defeat he blames African Americans, never should have tried racial equality he thinks, and becomes an outright racist The populist makes that shift with him The next chance come in 1896 presidential election, Grover Cleveland, being a gold democrat, likes the gold standard A lot of democrat turn to silver democrat to get more votes from the populist party They begin looking for another presidential candidate because Cleveland won?t drop the gold standard William Jennings Bryan is the silverite that is nominated for president Populist thought that they would nominate him, but they were mistaken, and Bryan was a democrat through and through Bryan becomes the nominee for both the democrat and populist party It dooms the party, moving from a progressive party to a party that has been usurped by the democratic party, being devoured by them Tom Watson is nominated vice president for the democrats, as a bone throw to the populist, but he is a raving racist, so at the same time they are afraid that Bryan will become off to liberal, so you add some strong racism to help tone him down Republicans nominate William McKinley, he wins, he is a strong supporter of big business, gets huge support from the industries Huge mailing/newspaper campaigning was first to do this, also in variety of different languages Bryan does nothing, he sucks, Cleveland is still trying to run, Bryan can only raise $300,000 where as McKinley was receiving millions Bryan does all he can to criss cross the state covering 30 states which is a lot for the time The whole idea of silver just fades away after this election, because new gold fields are discovered, and it inflates the economy, making farmers do better, etc? McKinley usurps some of the populist ideas as well, and needs the US to usher in a new age, and have a New World Order, establishing the American Empire, etc? In 1900 campaign he runs into a slight problem of being assassinated by Leon Czolgosz Teddy Roosevelt takes over, establishes the N.W.O. that McKinley wanted to do
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