The Failed Populist Movement of the 1890’s
Populism is best defined as the philosophy or movement that promotes the interests of the common people. The blue-collar workers, farmers, miners and other laborers headed the peoples’ party. This philosophy or movements’ flawed view of “producer” Ideology encouraged the failure of populism. Historian, Michael Kazin narrows the views of the populist down to: a language whose speakers conceive of ordinary people as a noble assemblage not bounded narrowly by class, view their elite opponents as self-serving and undemocratic, and seek to mobilize the former against the latter…. The Populist movement would ultimately cancel itself out because of views on the monopolizing wealth of many and equal rights for all including women and blacks. The idea that the populist government should have control of the railroads and banks.
Progress and Proverty and Looking Backward were the idea that the elite people of society should be stopped from monopolizing finances in the nation and share the wealth. The financial views of the populist were demands of unlimited coinage both silver and gold, at the ratio of 16 to1. Also wanting the amount of circulation increased to $50 per person. This, in turn, would increase the rise of deflation. The populist also demanded a graduated income tax. Populist “producer” ideology led them to believe that if they could control the wealth and prosperity of the country that it would benefit all. There would be no social classes; everyone would be financially equal. Creditors and the wealthy would now have no binding over those who were in debt because of deflation. Credit and available money would contract.The general price level would fall causing recession.
Railroads, telephones, and telegraphs were vital for communication and travel in the nation. Populist demanded the government to own and operate these systems like the postal system. Regulating all travel and comm…