THE PEOPLE’S PARTY• During the Industrial Revolution, farmers struggled to deal with the prices for goods that they need staying artificially high because of a high tariff, a tax on imported goods, and falling prices for their farm products.
THE PEOPLE’S PARTY• Their early response was to meet at the local grange hall, which was originally a place for farmers to gather socially, but soon became a place where farmers could talk about their problems.
THE PEOPLE’S PARTY•The discussions at the local grange halls eventually developed into the Populist Party, or the People’s Party.
THE PEOPLE’S PARTY• In the beginning, their biggest issue was the free coinage of silver, believing that introducing silver into the money supply would cause inflation, or a rise in prices, because people would have more money to spend.
THE PEOPLE’S PARTY•That changed quickly, however, as their leaders tried to find other issues to build on so that the Populists could become a more national party.
THE PEOPLE’S PARTY• Discuss the Populist Reforms• A. free coinage of silver• B. graduated income tax• C. secret ballot• D. direct election of senators• E. initiative• F. Referendum• G. Recall• H. Shorter hours and restrictions on immigration• I. Subtreasury
THE PEOPLE’S PARTY• While the Populists were only successful on the local level (never electing a Populist President), their issues became the center piece for politicians in the future as a way to make the people more involved with the political process.