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Southern Populism1 - Southern Populism(Lecture 1 I The...

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Southern Populism (Lecture 1) I. The Cincinnati, Saint Louis, and Omaha Conventions and Platforms A. By 1890 desperate farmers of the northwest were ready to start new national political party to battle two established political parties B. Cincinnati – May 1891 i. Agreed to postpone until presidential election year in 1892 whether or not to start a 3 rd party a. Held back because split in white vote would split white supremacy and then black reconstruction would come back b. Wanted to work within framework of democratic party ii. Drew up people’s party platform – called for: a. Unlimited coinage of gold and silver – make it easier to indebted farmers to pay off existing loans b. Direct election of U.S. senators instead of on joint ballot with state legislatures c. Nationalization of banks, railroads, and private utilities d. Prohibit foreign ownership of land to prevent land speculators from acquiring land for purposes of profit e. Called for an 8 hour work day C. Saint Louis i. Populist party officially launched – February 26, 1892 ii. Come from South and Southern Alliance iii. Polk came as leader iv. Ben Terrell “Eyes of toiling masses are upon you, they are expecting a declaration of independence” v. Polk “this convention represents those men who are both loyal to duty and loyal to country.” vi. Polk clasped hands with Nebraska delegate, former U.S. naval officer, delegates cheered vii. Agreed to meet in Omaha later to nominate someone for the presidential ticket D. Omaha Convention i. Called for Omaha convention in July ii. North Carolina’s Polk might have been 1 st nominee while preparing in Washington, Polk suddenly died on June 11, only 55, hemorrhage of the bladder a. “The one man who can break the Solid South” and now he was dead iii. Weaver of Iowa nominated instead a. 3 rd party man, General in the US army iv. Platform a. Subtreasury bill b. Omaha platform preamble announced urgency of mission c. Before panic of 1893: “We meet in the midst in the of a nation on the brink of ruin; touches the ermine of the bench, newspapers largely
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muzzled, our homes covered with mortgages, lands concentrated in the hands of capitalists; d. Steeped in the idea that “Wealth belongs to him who creates it e. Government ownership of RR and utilities f. Federal income tax g. Return to 16:1 Silver to Gold ratio have inflationary affect and allow farmers to pay off debts h. Savings banks, safe place to put money i. Called for direct election of US Senators j. Immigration restrictions k. 8 hour day for government workers l. Outlawed the use of the Pinkerton’s as strike breakers, renewal of immigration limitations Pinkerton’s had become mercenary police to break strike’s II. The Split in the Southern Alliance A. The 3 rd party movement split the Southern Alliance B. The National Party split the Southern Alliance and dwindled in latter half of 90’s C. Failure of stating changes and organization of 3 rd party doomed the Southern Alliance D. C. Vann Woodward: “changing party involved more than changing one’s
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