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A People's History of the United States

A People's History of the United States
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1896: The People's Party The Rise of Populism The People's Party (or Populist Party, as it was widely known) was much younger than the Democratic and Republican Parties, which had been founded before the Civil War. Agricultural areas in the West and South had been hit by economic depression years before industrial areas. In the 1880s, as drought hit the wheat-growing areas of the Great Plains and prices for Southern cotton sunk to new lows, many tenant farmers fell into deep debt. In 1890 Populists won control of the Kansas state legislature, and Kansan William Peffer became the party's first U.S. By 1896 the Populist organization was in even more turmoil than that of Democrats. The second faction, called "mid-roaders," suspected (with good reason) that Democratic leaders wanted to destroy the third-party threat; fusion, they argued, would play into this plot. Inside the People's Party, mid-roaders sought to schedule the national convention before those of the Republicans and Democrats. Mr. Populists at St.

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American History Central - Digital Encyclopedia of American History