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Copy of History 2057.Exam Two Notes

Copy of History 2057.Exam Two Notes - History 2057 Exam Two...

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History 2057 – Exam Two Notes I. Populists’ Free Silver Campaign (Not on exam) > It is THE political issue of the 1890s > During Civil War, Congress issued paper money and it was not backed by gold or silver > Farmers liked paper money in circulation > Bankers don’t like paper money and inflation gets out of control > Congress decides to recall the paper money > They thought – more money in circulation = more economic activity > Free silver movement says we’ll continue to have paper money backed by gold but now you can base your paper money on silver, too > A lot of silver is available and this becomes a social movement II. Populists’ Success > In 1892, populists running candidates and succeed at state level > Do well in south but don’t do as well as they could because of voter fraud > They don’t do well in presidential election > In 1892 election, Grover Cleveland, Democrat, wins again > He doesn’t have consecutive administrations, though > Elected in ’84, not in ’88, but again in ‘92 > He has the unfortunate timing to be president when Panic of 1893 begins III. Panic of 1893 > In ’73, there was a depression and now another in ’93 – the worst up to this time > Cleveland’s response probably made situation worse * He restricts money supply even further * This probably made depression worst > By ’84, unemployment was 20 percent > There was a drought that hits West and South > Cotton prices plummeted to all time lows > People are starving in cities > There’s no safety net provided by government so private charities, churches and municipal bosses tried to help > In 1894, there is a march on Washington – an army of unemployment marched > Seemed to people like class warfare was about to begin > A lot of strikes happen including RR strike and coal-mining strike > Nation’s RR system shuts down (how is stuff transported now?) > Now country’s principle energy source, coal, also stops being mined > By 1896, Americans begin to think Populists were right on > In 1896, Democrats run William Jennings Bryan and runs unsuccessfully for president three times > Bryan represented this change in perspective that many Americans have * He’s even arguing that things aren’t going well for the little guys * He supported free silver * He was a great speaker and campaigned hard * Cross of Gold speech was very famous – “don’t crucify man on gold” ` He’s referring to class conscious that gold only hurts a few people ` He’s speaking out against the elite ` He said policies, like the tariff, needs to be lower > Republicans runs William McKinley * He argued that while things were tough, in the long haul, everyone will be okay
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* He said industrialization and urbanization will finish and things will work out > In 1896, if the Populists chose to support Bryan, they wouldn’t get everything * Populists wanted gov’t to own utilities and RR companies * But Democrats didn’t want that > McKinley won the election, not easily though – says substantial amount of Americans are scared of all change > In late 1890s, as promised, things improve – factories re-open, jobs are gotten
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