Farmers and Populist Movement

Farmers and Populist Movement
Chapter 5 Section 3
I.) Farmers Face Problems
Crop Prices Fall
Farmer Mortgage Farms to Buy More Land
Good Farm Land Scarce
Banks Begin to Foreclose
Railroads Charge High Shipping Prices
A.) Money Problems
1. During Civil War U.S. issue “Greenbacks”
which cannot be exchanged for gold/silver
2. Greenbacks worth less than hard money
3. Govt. take them out of circulation
1. Farmers had to pay back loans in dollars worth
more than the dollars they had borrowed
2. Foreclosures Increase & Farmers lose money
B. Problems with the Railroads
1. Lack of competition for railroads
2. Secret agreements = railroads control grain prices
1. Farmers pay high prices to transport goods
2. Farmers mortgage farms & pay high interest
1. Calls for Reform!
II.) Reform Movements
A. The Grange- organization for farmers whose purpose it
was to provide a social outlet & educational opportunities
for farm families
1. most time spent fighting to regulate railroads in 1870’s
B. Farmers’ Alliances- organization of farmers with the goals
- educate farmers about lower interest rates
- urge govt. control of banks & railroads
C. Populism- political movement of the late 1800’s
demanding that people have a greater say in govt.
1. advocated for farmers & workers
D. Populist Party Platform:
1. Economic reform:
-increase money supply
-graduated income tax
-federal loan program
2. Government reform:
-senators elected by popular vote
-single terms for president & vice
-secret ballot to end vote fraud
3. Social reform:
-eight hour work day
-restrictions on immigration
III.) The Populist Party & Issues
A. Election of 1892- Populist presidential candidate won 10%
of vote
B. Panic of 1893Cause: -major railroads go bankrupt
-gold supply limited = people trade paper
money for gold
- Wall Street stocks fall
- silver price falls = mines close
Effect: -15,000 businesses close
- 500 banks collapse
- wages, investments, prices fall
- 3 million lost jobs
C. Gold or Silver?
1. Bimetallism- monetary system in which govt. give citizens
gold or silver in exchange for paper currency (Silverites)
2. Gold Standard- monetary system in which dollars are
backed solely by gold (Gold Bugs)
D. Election of 18961. Republican candidate William McKinley (Gold Bug)
2. Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan (Sliverite)
3. Populist candidate Thomas Watson
Outcome: -McKinley wins election
- Populist Party collapses
Legacy: -people could organize and make reforms
- leaves only two major political parties!!!!!