How could you write a news script explaining the Populist Movement?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A news script on the populist movement would focus on the actual events of the movement as well as perhaps discussing its leaders. From there, you would need to consider the underlying causes of it. The populist movement of the late nineteenth century began in rural areas in response to the economic changes of the time which as farmers saw it, sacrificed their interests to those of financial elites and growing corporations whose influence in the government allowed them to gain preferential treatment. A news script might include an interview with an imaginary farmer on the Great Plains who complains about high railroad shipping rates or the predatory practices of banks. It might talk about the effects of the financial panic of 1873 on small farmers. You could discuss the founding of Farmers' Alliances throughout rural America in the 1880s, and interview Populist leaders like James Weaver, who ran for president under a Populist Party ticket in 1892. You would then need to describe what it was that the Populists wanted, maybe through an interview with someone like Weaver himself. A good place to end the script might be by quoting from Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan's famous "cross of gold" speech, which signalled the Democratic Party's adoption of many Populist principles.