What Was The Populist Movement In The Gilded Age

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The Gilded Age brought about the Populist movement which occurred because the poor people of America wanted a chance at economic wealth. The first populist movement occurred in 1867 when the “Grange” or “Patrons of Husbandry” farmer’s union called for regulation of railroad shipping rates instead of the “natural monopoly” that was occurring at the time. The Interstate Commerce Commission was created in 1887 because of the “Grange” movement. Although, railroads corporations were so wealthy they could buy around government regulations. The ICC remained ineffective until President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1869, the Knights of Labor called for economic inflation believing it would bring back the money they had spent, however the federal government stopped …show more content…

Another party came out of the National Farmers’ Alliance named the Peoples’ Party, and they wrote the “Omaha Platform” which stated their party’s beliefs. They wanted free silver, the breakup of trusts, increased government regulation of corporations, the government takeover of natural monopolies such as the transportation and communications systems of America, federal emergency relief for farmers that experienced drought in the Great Plains, a national income tax, reduced vote fraud by instituting a “secret ballot”, and the empowerment of common people to have a voice politically by instituting “initiative” and “referendum.” Many of the ideas of the Peoples’ Party are reflected today by the beliefs of the Democratic party such as welfare and a progressive tax rate. The institution of “initiative” and “referendum” allowed the will of the people to be heard even if the government did not want to hear it. The Populist Party ran James Weaver in the presidential race against Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison and lost, but that did not stop them from giving

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