Characters Wizard of Oz

What does Populism
have to do with
The Land of Oz
The Gold Standard
• The value of money is
linked to the money
supply. Up until and
after the Civil War, all
dollars issued in the
U.S. could only be
backed by, and could
only be redeemed for,
What might represent gold?
Yellow Brick Road
represents the gold
standard, a road that
looks hopeful, but
leads nowhere.
“Oz” represents “oz.”
or the abbreviation
for ounce, the
standard measure for
• Faced low crop prices,
high machinery prices,
and high tariffs.
• Midwestern farmers
were very pro-Populist.
They wanted to increase
money supply by
backing dollars with
• A silver standard would
increase inflation and
raise crop prices.
 Represented the
struggling Midwestern
farmer at the turn of the
 In Baum’s version,
Scarecrow rules
Emerald City after Oz is
 Baum predicted that
farmers would gain
political power.
Industrial Workers
Eastern industrial
workers were antiPopulist because they
didn’t want their wages
cut due to inflation.
Baum viewed these
workers as victims who
had become
mechanized and
Who represents the
industrial workers?
Represented the
urban industrial
worker who was
enslaved to heartless
In making the Tin
Man rule the West,
Baum predicted that
industry would move
William Jennings Bryan
Congressman from
Nebraska who ran for
President from the
Populist party in 1896.
 A skilled orator--gave
the Cross of Gold
Advocated heavily for a
bi-metalic standard.
Who represents
 Represented William
Jennings Bryan
 Described as having a loud
roar, but little else--Bryan
lost to McKinley by 95
electoral votes
 In having the Lion protect
smaller beasts in a “small
old forest,” Baum predicted
that Bryan would return to
President William McKinley
 The Republican
candidate in the
1896 race for
 anti-Populist.
 Baum viewed
McKinley as not
being as powerful or
wise as the façade
that he put forth.
Who represents
 The Wizard promises
Dorothy that he will be
able to bring her back to
Kansas with a balloon
filled with a lot of "hot
air." Instead, it is the
silver slippers, which
Dorothy had all the time,
that took her home. The
Wizard's gifts of
courage, brains and a
heart are deceptions.
 When Dorothy walked
on the Yellow Brick
Road, it represented
gold and silver coming
together to increase
America’s money
 In the book, her silver
slippers are lost,
representing the silver
issue being lost.
The Oppressed
 Baum saw these
people as ‘slaves’ of
the eastern banking
and industrial
 They were antiPopulist because
they didn’t want their
wages to decline in
value due to inflation.
Who represented these
oppressed people?
Represent the
common people,
controlled by the
Wicked Witch of the
East (who
represented the
Eastern Industrialists
and Bankers).
Symbolizes large
corporations that
Baum thought
oppressed “the little
 is ultimately
destroyed by water
(representing pure
nature, a removal of
everyman. She is an
innocent Midwest girl
who is able to see
what is really going
on in Oz.
Represented the
Prohibitionist Party.
They were proPopulist.
“Toto” is a play on
the term “T-Totalers,”
or people who drank
no alcohol.
Thought to represent
Washington, D.C.
and the color of
green American
Was the Good Witch
of the North, a proPopulist region.
Showed Baum’s
sympathy for the
plight of Native
 “Once . . . We were a
free people living happily
in the great forest . . .
This was many years
ago before Oz came out
of the clouds to rule over
this land.”