Discontent and Refo15

Discontent and Refo15 - to Congress. The first Populist...

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Discontent and Reform Late-19th century American farmers experienced recurring periods of hardship By 1890 the level of agrarian distress, fueled by years of hardship and hostility toward  the McKinley tariff, was at an all-time high. Working with sympathetic Democrats in the  South or small third parties in the West, the Farmers' Alliances made a push for political  power.  A third political party, the People’s (or Populist) Party, emerged. Never before in  American politics had there been anything like the Populist fervor that swept the prairies  and cotton lands. The elections of 1890 brought the new party into power in a dozen  Southern and Western states, and sent a score of Populist senators and representatives 
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Unformatted text preview: to Congress. The first Populist convention was in 1892. Delegates from farm, labor, and reform organizations met in Omaha, Nebraska, determined to overturn a U.S. political system they viewed as hopelessly corrupted by the industrial and financial trusts. Their platform stated: We are met, in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballotbox, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench [courts]. . .. From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two great classes tramps and millionaires....
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