Populism

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Populism

  1. 1. Populism & The West<br />“What you farmers need to do is raise less corn and more Hell!” Mary Elizabeth Lease (1890) Populist Organizer<br />
  2. 2. Populism:<br />What? <br />2<br /><ul><li>Political movement that tried to help out the nation’s struggling farmers </li></li></ul><li>Populism<br />Why?<br />3<br />Farmers were in trouble because of...<br />1. Mechanization- More machines = more debt<br />2. New Farm Land More land (on credit) = more debt<br />
  3. 3. Populism<br />Why?<br />4<br />Farmers were in trouble because of...<br />3. Specialization of Crops - Farmers only raise one crop (leads to trouble if that crop has problems)<br />4. Disasters - floods, boll-weevil, grasshoppers<br />
  4. 4. Farmers Were Mad<br />Crop-lien system (collateral was future $); what if you didn’t make enough money? <br />Someone else owned the land—Banks, whites<br />Interest rates were high (not uncommon—25%)<br />Dollars to pay off debts were hard to get<br />Delhi, Louisiana (1889): Farmers tried to cancel their debts by tearing down stores and banks!<br />5<br />
  5. 5. The Grange<br />6<br />What?<br /><ul><li>Cooperative movement - farmers pooled their money to make shared purchases of machinery, supplies, insurance, etc.
  6. 6. One of the largest: Colored Farmers Alliance (goal: education! This would make African-Americans more informed voters</li></ul>How?<br /><ul><li>Worked for pro-farmer laws
  7. 7. Ex. Interstate Commerce Act - regulated rates of railroads</li></li></ul><li>Populist Party & Free Silver<br />7<br /><ul><li>Populists believed that this would solve nearly all of the farmer’s problems (Populists urged Black & White farmers to work TOGETHER—they had similar problems; this dramatically increased lynchings)</li></ul>Why?<br /><ul><li>They wanted to use both silver and gold coins, thus increasing the amount of money in the country</li></ul>What?<br /><ul><li>All money would be worth less, a situation that was bad for creditors (big banks) and good for debtors (farmers)</li></li></ul><li>A Populist President?<br />William Jennings Bryan<br />8<br /><ul><li>Ran as a Populist President in 1896 on platform of Free Silver
  8. 8. Big business opposes his run, Republicans win the white house, & Populists fade away</li></ul>“You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold” -- W.J. Bryan<br />
  9. 9. The Wizard of Oz<br /><ul><li>Written by Active Populist L. Frank Baum
  10. 10. Most things in the book represent something important to the populist movement</li></ul>9<br />
  11. 11. The Wizard of Oz<br />Basic Symbols:<br />10<br />Ruby Slippers<br />- In the book, were actually “Silver Slippers” (magic of Free Silver)<br />Yellow Brick Road<br />- “Gold” many dangers for regular people (like Dorothy)<br />Oz<br />- Abbreviation for Ounce (way gold is measured)<br />
  12. 12. The Wizard of Oz<br />Characters:<br />11<br />Dorothy<br />- Traditional American Values<br />Scarecrow<br />- Farmers (no brain)<br />Tin Man<br />- Industrial Workers<br />
  13. 13. The Wizard of Oz<br />Characters:<br />12<br />Lion<br />- William Jennings Bryan (a pacifist)<br />Temperance Activists (allies of the Populists)<br />Toto<br /><ul><li>Money Power (influence is manipulation) </li></ul>Wizard<br />
  14. 14. The Wizard of Oz<br />Places:<br />13<br />Emerald City<br />- Washington D.C. (green glasses)<br />Good Witches of North & South<br />- Factory and Farm Workers<br />Wicked Witch of the East<br />- bankers and brokers on Wall Street<br />

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