One of the main goals of the Populist movement was the regulation of what?

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The Populist movement also wanted to regulate the banking system, which they felt was unfair to American farmers. The Populists harked back to the days when Republicans such as Jefferson railed against the establishment of a federal bank. Then, as now, it seemed that a centralized banking system existed purely to serve the interests of the east coast banking and commercial elite, ignoring the interests of the agrarian economy.

The Populists proposed to put an end to the federal banking system, a policy that was not widely supported despite its antecedents in American history. The thinking behind this measure was that state banks would be more responsive to the needs of the agrarian economy, especially in places like the South and the Midwest. Whereas under the present system, the Populists argued, the interests of farmers and small businesses were routinely sacrificed to generate profit for the big banks and other financial institutions.

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One of the main goals of the populist movement in the late 1800s was the regulation of railroads.  

The populist movement was dominated by farmers.  They felt that they were being abused by rich and powerful interests in the business community.  One of the most important of these was railroads.  They felt that the railroads charged them rates that were much too high to ship their products to market.  The railroads (the populists said) knew that the farmers had no other way to move their crops and therefore charged the farmers very high prices.

For this reason, a major goal of the populists was the regulation of railroads.  They wanted the government to prevent the railroads from charging them what they saw as excessively high prices.

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