Analyze the significance in the emergence of the Populists in the late 19th century.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Populist movement in the United States near the turn of the century was significant because it brought light to the fundamental problem of the day, and one that still lingers in the nation today.  The Populists in America of the late 19th Century objected to the fundamental consolidation of wealth in the hands of the few over the many.  The concentration of wealth in the hands of trusts that benefited the few industrialists and denied competition to the many were of significant concern.  The Populist attention given to farmers and those who were economically marginalized by the reigning industrialists became the primary concern of the movement.  The basic interest of the Populist movement was to examine how the structure of capitalism can work for all as the time period demonstrated the first of extreme wealth inequality and an institutional framework that embraced such disparity in wealth.  This becomes the concern of the Populist movement at the turn of the century, and is also something that lingers in our social and political discussions today regarding wealth inequality and how the existing structures fortify such disparities.

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