Gov 3665 Lecture_Notes

Gov 3665 Lecture_Notes - Gov3665Lecture 14:48:00 I. , Repub

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Gov 3665 Lecture  16/02/2009 14:48:00 11/6/08 The Populists and Populism I. The Historical Context American life after civil war until gilded age was dominated by business men Presidents were virtual nonentities Run by senators who were millionaires, controlled political decisions Republican party principle party of American business with high tariff stance.  Democratic party equally run by big business but also supported agrarian  party.  Between 1866 and 1892 republicans and democrats agreed on most things,  committed to status quo Reform movement grew up from American heartland of America Populous movement, first full blown  reform movement of business Serious challenge to social Darwinism Panic of early 1890’s, hardest times since civil war Came from discontent on American farms Before civil war farmers were dominant, now subordinate to business men.  Agrarians at mercy of railroads funded by business Railroads could charge whatever they wanted for agrarian produce Farmers at mercy of congress who controlled industrial business including  tariffs  Heart of populous movement was to expand money supply Conterversy between infaltionists, deflationists Populists wanted expanded currency, those who wanted deflationists which  was position of corporate financial world Those who wanted increase were debters were those who borrowed money,  mortgagers, farmers, and inflation increasing the money supply, would make  it easier to take off debts If money supply expands, money cheaper, pay off debt with less valued  money than you got with your lone originally
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Creditor, those who gave money, preferred to keep money supply small,  wanted hard money, stable currency, preserve value of wealth which  they  had accumulated Farmers felt their lack of money would be solved by panacea of creating  money or coining of silver o Became central interest Financiers wanted to maintain gold standard II. Currency and Conspiracy Farmers felt that capitalists were in conspiracy against them. Whole  movement of populism breeds spirit of conspiracy, farmers victim of a plot o Gov’t was in conspiracy against farmers with foreign bankers
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2009 for the course GOVT 3665 taught by Professor Kramnick, i during the Fall '08 term at Cornell.

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Gov 3665 Lecture_Notes - Gov3665Lecture 14:48:00 I. , Repub

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