The Populist Party: The People's Party

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The Populist Party, also known as the People’s Party, was largely made up of workers who sought to bring power to the common man. The party was largely agrarian but also contained many miners and members of labor unions. These people were forward-looking because of their desire to reform and the fact that they embraced change. They were liberal reformers that desired fairer treatment as big business flourished. The populists sought to bring about change by raising the price of crops, fixing the rate of railroads, and combating the general debt and financial hardship of the common worker. Perhaps the most prominent grievance within the Populist Party was the declining price of crops. Because farming was one of the easiest ways to start an independent …show more content…
There were no strict regulations on the rates for transporting crops, which allowed private railroad companies to charge outrageously high prices. Although railroad rates actually fell during the populist movement, the populists still believed in paying very little to ship all goods. One proposed solution is to have the government own all railroads. This way, privately owned businesses couldn’t undermine farmers by increasing the price of transporting crops. The Ocala Demands proposed stricter regulation of all railroads within the United States to ensure that producers who needed to ship their products were not being ripped off. The populists wanted protection from these types of businesses and felt as if they were forgotten because of them. Everyone seemed to be focused on industrialization and factories without realizing the importance or farms. The Populists wanted change by having the government regulate the …show more content…
They were commonly bogged down with debt and were struggling to pay off their mortgages. Many farmers had mortgaged their properties in order to purchase new machinery or expand their farmland. This problem did vary from place to place, as some plots of land were more fertile than others. Many farmers could use the new machinery and land to pay off their debt quite easily, while others remained overwhelmed. Whether or not they were able to pay off their debts, farmers, as well as union workers, believed that their financial situations needed huge improvement. One example of this unrest was the Pullman strike. The employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company were outraged after wage cuts, high rent, and layoffs. This sparked a massive strike, later joined by the American Railway Union. This strike caused several businesses and factories to shut down. By banning together, they were able to have an impact. President Grover Cleveland had to intervene by sending troops to Chicago. To insist better treatment, many populists rose up against big corporations in the form of

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