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					                                    The Populist Movement

Introduction

As you learned in this chapter, the presidential election of 1896 was one of the most
complicated in the history of the United States. Farmers in the South and West, represented
primarily by the Populist Party, called for "free silver" and sweeping reforms that would help
families hard hit by the economic depression. At the Democratic convention, party members
split on a divisive issue and headed into separate camps. Meanwhile, the Republicans ran a
campaign that simply warned against the radical ideas of Populists and Democrats.

Search the web for answers to the questions below concerning the1892 Presidential campaign,
1896 Presidential Campaign, the Populist Movement, and the Wizard of Oz and the parallels
between the movie and the Populist movement.




1. What was the Populist Movement? When did it begin? (Approximately)




2. Define the following term:

A. Deflation –

B. Inflation-

C. Cheap Money

D. Bimetallism

E. Gold Standard

F. William Jennings Bryan

G. Farmer’s Alliance

H. Sherman Silver Purchase Act

I. Co-ops

3. List the candidates in the 1892 Presidential election and the party that each represented.
How were the election results unique?

4. List the candidates in the 1896 Presidential election and the party that each represented.
Who won?

5. What was the Republican Party platform in the 1896 election, and how did it present the
opposing parties?

6. What were the chief differences between the two factions of the Democratic Party? How did
the split impact the campaign?
7. Describe the factions within the Populist Party. What were the main issues that concerned
Populists?




8. Who gave the “Cross of Gold” speech? What was the meaning of the speech?




Many people believe there is a connection between the Wizard of Oz and the Populist
movement. Match each person/place from the Wizard of Oz to the Populism symbol it
represents. Use only the letter! They will only be used once.

A. Little people of society (middle class and below)
B. Silver exchange (YES they are red in the movie; this was done to make them stand out. In the
original book the slippers were silver. Remember the slippers hold the power until the end,
because silver was the exchange. Once back in Kansas they were gone, just as silver was
overtaken by the Gold standard.)
C. Washington, D.C.
D. Bankers who have nothing for farmers
E. Farmers (no brains by society's standards, but smarter than given credit for)
F. Gold Standard in the country
G. Politicians (trying to be all things to all people)
H. Industrialization (doesn’t have a heart, but doesn’t hate either)
I. Northern businesses that could seemingly do everything well, and were educated
J. Nature (water kills and the farmers need water)
K. William Jennings Bryan (not a coward, but a leader, as lions are usually dominant)
L. The idea of “change”
M. Level-headed, innocent humans
N. Plains Indians (Remember the mid-western view of farming, and having to deal with the
Indians; they were not bad people but could be swayed by good and evil.)

9. __________Yellow Brick Road          16. __________Winged Monkeys

10. __________Scarecrow                 17. __________Wicked Witch of the East

11.__________Cowardly Lion              18. __________Wicked Witch of the West

12. __________Tin Man                   19. __________Good Witch of the North

13. __________ Dorothy’s Slippers       20. __________Munchkins

14. __________Dorothy                   21. __________Emerald City

15. __________ Wizard                   22. __________Tornado-
23. What do you think the above political cartoon is referencing?




24. During the 1870’s and 1880’s, midwestern farmers found that earning a living was
increasingly difficult because

    1.   prices of agricultural products were increasing
    2.   railroad companies charged high rates for transporting farm products
    3.   agricultural output was declining rapidly
    4.   farm labor was becoming more unionized

25. Although the Populist Party failed to elect its candidates to the Presidency, some of the
Party’s aims were later achieved by the

    1.   adoption of the gold standard
    2.   elimination of racial segregation laws in the South
    3.   creation of a graduated income tax and the direct election of Senators
    4.   establishment of higher protective tariffs on manufactured goods
26. -Free and unlimited coinage of silver
    -Government ownership of railroads
    -Graduated income tax

Which of these political parties first proposed these reforms in its platform?

    1.   Republican Party in 1876
    2.   Populist Party in 1892
    3.   Bull-Moose Party 1912
    4.   Democratic Party in 1932

27. A common characteristic of third political parties in the United States is that they

    1.   tend to focus on one person or one issue
    2.   come into existence only during periods of corruption
    3.   have dealt mainly with foreign policy issues
    4.   have frequently forced Congress to decide Presidential elections

28. The Populist Party was important in United States history because it

    1.   succeeded in electing two presidential candidates
    2.   won control of many state governments
    3.   proposed ideas that later became law
    4.   achieved suffrage for African Americans

29. In the late 1800s, many business practices of the railroads led to

    1.   an increase in the unemployment rate
    2.   an increase in the demand for government regulation
    3.   a decrease in the demand for raw materials
    4.   a decrease in the variety of products available for consumers

30. In the second half of the 19th century, agriculture in the United States was transformed most
by the

    1.   increase in prices paid for farm products
    2.   decline in the population growth rate of the United States
    3.   decline in demand for agricultural products
    4.   increase in the use of farm machinery

31. The Populist movement was most interested in improving conditions for

    1.   farmers
    2.   business leaders
    3.   African Americans
    4.   Native American Indians

32. In the late 1800s, the Granger movement tried to improve conditions for farmers by

    1.   lowering the rate of inflation
    2.   strengthening the gold standard
    3.   forcing railroads to lower their rates
    4.   making labor unions stronger
33. Which trend is shown in these graphs?




   1.   When production increases, prices decrease.
   2.   When production increases, prices increase.
   3.   When production remains unchanged, prices decrease.
   4.   Prices and production are usually unrelated.
Students have read about how the Republican, Democrat, and Populist Parties played
important roles in the presidential election of 1896. In this activity they will research the
political ideas presented during the 1896 election campaign.

Lesson Description
Students will use information from the 1896: The Presidential Campaign Web site to learn
about the political ideas of the 1896 presidential election. They will read the Republican,
Democrat, and Populist platforms and read about the politicians who impacted the election.
Students will also evaluate political cartoons, read editorials and letters, and see photographs
from the campaign. They will then answer four questions and apply this information by
assuming the role of a member of a political party and debating their choice of candidates in
the 1896 election.

Instructional Objectives

    1. Students will identify the political parties of the 1896 presidential election and explain
       the political ideas of their party platforms.
    2. Students will be able to use this knowledge to assume the role of a member of a
       political party and debate their choice of candidates in the 1896 presidential election.

Student Web Activity Answers

    1. The Republican platform supported the gold standard, high protective tariffs, and
       support for Armenians and Cubans who sought relief from Spain. Primarily, the
       Republicans warned of the dangers of free silver and of a radical alliance between
       farmers and industrial workers. They played on the public’s fears of labor unrest as
       Republican rhetoric identified Silver Democrats, Populists, and Socialists as
       threatening to national order. They sometimes called their opponents anarchists and
       at other times accused them of seeking tyrannical state power. Republicans also
       warned that William Jennings Bryan’s Western and Southern supporters might plot
       another secession movement, claiming that they put sectional interests ahead of the
       common good. Republicans pinned their presidential hopes on William McKinley.
    2. Democrats were split on the currency question—whether to maintain the gold standard
       or to adopt a free silver plank. At the Democratic convention, William Jennings Bryan
       delivered a dramatic address in favor of free silver and won the party’s presidential
       nomination. Democrats who refused to accept Bryan’s ideas declared themselves
       National Democrats at another convention. They nominated their own candidate, John
       Palmer. Many believed that the Gold Democrats actually helped the Republican cause
       by splitting the Democratic vote.
    3. By 1896 the Populist Party was in turmoil. One faction, called fusionists, sought to
       merge with the Democrats. They believed that a third party could never hold national
       power, and that the party’s best strategy was to influence a major party that could. A
       second faction, the "mid-roaders," advocated staying in the middle of the two major
       parties in order to win reform. At the Populist convention, fusionists joined the
       Democrats in supporting Bryan for the presidency, but they rejected the Democratic
       vice-presidential nominee. Populists sought federal intervention to offset the economic
       depression, rein in corporate abuses, and prevent poverty among farming and
       working-class families. They supported free silver and the proposed federal income
       tax.
    4. Students’ responses will vary depending on the cartoon they analyze.
    5. Students’ discussions and debates will vary.

Go To Student Web Activity
A. Little people of society (middle class and below)
B. Silver exchange (YES they are red in the movie; this was done to make them stand out. In the
original book the slippers were silver. Remember the slippers hold the power until the end,
because silver was the exchange. Once back in Kansas they were gone, just as silver was
overtaken by the Gold standard.)
C. Washington, D.C.
D. Bankers who have nothing for farmers
E. Farmers (no brains by society's standards, but smarter than given credit for)
F. Gold Standard in the country
G. Politicians (trying to be all things to all people)
H. Industrialization (doesn’t have a heart, but doesn’t hate either)
I. Northern businesses that could seemingly do everything well, and were educated
J. Nature (water kills and the farmers need water)
K. William Jennings Bryan (not a coward, but a leader, as lions are usually dominant)
L. The idea of “change”
M. Level-headed, innocent humans
N. Plains Indians (Remember the mid-western view of farming, and having to deal with the
Indians; they were not bad people but could be swayed by good and evil.)


MC
1. B    2
2. C    3
3. B    2
4. A    1
5. C    3
6. B    2
7. D    4
8. A    1
9. C    3
10. A   1

				
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