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Populist Party Platform of 1892

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 320
  • Category: History

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The Populist Party made extreme changes in America’s history. With their beliefs they did everything to make them known. In the year of 1892 the Populist Party established a platform that immensely affected the farmers and the laborers in America. This platform was based on the interests of farmers and laborers such as free coinage of gold and silver, direct election of senators, government ownership of railroads and a graduated federal income tax. The establishment of the Populist Party was formed by a group of small farmers and sharecroppers to oppose large scale commercial agriculture that they feared would put them out of work. They were founded in 1892 through a merger of the Farmers’ Alliance and Knights of Labor. Later that year populist presidential candidate, James B. Weaver won over 1 million popular votes and 22 electoral votes. Although they didn’t win an election they made a huge impact on state and local governments in several southern and western states. In the platform they introduced several planks.

One major one was the free coinage of gold and silver. Everyone agreed that free silver would raise prices; the question was whether or not this inflationary measure would be beneficial. The Populist Party believed that it would be beneficial so they tried to align themselves with the industrial workers, but the union would not allow that to happen because of the beliefs the Populist Party had on free silver. The workers were concerned that the inflation and high prices that the unlimited coinage of silver might bring to them. Another major plank was the direct election of senators. Without the ideas and goals of the Populist Party there possibly would not be laws or amendments made now. The 17th Amendment has been recognized all because of the Populist Party. They strongly believed that the election of U.S. senators should be by popular vote, rather than by state legislatures.

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