• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Populism. The emergence of the Populist Party and its ideas stemmed from the late 19th century, where thousands of farmers from all around the United States grouped themselves together and brought their discontent to a national level.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Paul Chang Populism The emergence of the Populist Party and its ideas stemmed from the late 19th century, where thousands of farmers from all around the United States grouped themselves together and brought their discontent to a national level. The emergence of Populism can be attributed to the major problems that the farmers had encountered during that time. Some of these problems were bankruptcy, loss of social status, and government neglect. As farmers slowly lost recognition in the United States, they turned to the Populist Party (People's Party) because of its farmer-friendly policies of silver coinage, taxes on the rich, government owned railroads, and the reduction of tariffs. Despite its immense popularity with farmers, the Populist Party and its ideals didn't appeal to the masses until the nomination of Democratic Candidate William Jennings Bryan. The start of the Populist Party has been mainly attributed to the multiple problems farmers encountered. The first of these problems was the increase of big businesses. The main big business that hurt the farmers the most was the railroad. Railroad companies during this time not only set unfair prices on shipping, but also owned the storehouses that farmers put their products in. ...read more.

Middle

Populism then swept the country, as dozens of farming states supported Populism because of its farmer-friendly policies. It was also popular because unlike the other political parties, Populism attended specifically to the farmer's needs. Populism's popularity has been largely been attributed to its controversial farmer-friendly policies. The biggest controversial policy by far was its currency policy. During the late 19th century, the US government had passed a law in which gold was the only money standard to be used. This created uproar, as money increasingly grew in value, and the debts of farmers also increasingly grew. Thus, the Populist Party pushed largely for the unlimited coinage of silver, and to use silver-backed dollars rather than gold-backed dollars. This would lower the worth of money, thus helping farmers get out of their debt. In addition to getting themselves out of debt, the farmers could then regain the profit they had lost to the Middleman, and soon make a living once again. The Populist Party was also well known for pushing for government owned railroads, as that would eliminate the railroad monopoly, and lower shipping prices. By doing this, farmers could save enormous amounts of money, as they didn't have to pay ridiculously high prices for shipping and storage of their products. ...read more.

Conclusion

Their popularity significantly grew when in the election of 1896, they backed the nomination of William Jennings Bryan. Bryan was actually the Democratic nominee, but he was backed by the Populists because of his silver coinage policy. Bryan was did not start popular at first, but quickly gained national popularity after his famous "Cross of Gold" speech. On Election Day, Bryan held a close election with republican nominee Bryant McKinley. After the their defeat in the election of 1896, the Populist Party quickly lost whatever power they had remaining. Despite its quick rise and fall of power and popularity, the Populist Party has been commonly labeled as the most successful third-party organization of all time. They have set records not just on sending 20 congressmen to Washington DC, but the 1892 candidate James Weaver has won more states than any other third-party in US history. Their popularity skyrocketed in the Election of 1896, by the backing of Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. After Bryan's defeat to Republican McKinley, the Populist Party quickly disappeared from the political stage. The success of the Populist Party can mainly be attributed to the fact that they specifically appealed to the one social group that the rest of America had forgotten: the farmer. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work