The Rise and Fall of the Populist Party 1867-1896
Farmers had no cash . . .went further into debt. . . foreclosed on mortgages
Railroads charged outrageous prices to ship crops (no regulation!)
Regulate the railroad companies! (stop them from charging such high rates)
Make cash more available (back the dollar with silver, not gold, so dollar will be worth less)
Political demands: single term for President and Vice-President; secret ballot; popular election of Senators
To get industrial workers to support them: 8-hour workday; restrict immigration
1867: The Patrons of Husbandry (The Grange)
1880s: Farmers’ Alliance and Colored Farmers’ National Alliance
1892: Birth of the Populist, or People’s Party
1892 Presidential Election: Populist Candidate won over a million votes!
Populists decide to improve their chances by supporting a Democratic candidate: William Jennings Bryan, who agreed to support the Silver-backed dollar.
1896 Presidential Election: Bryan loses but carries most of the South and West