How was the Populist platform designed as an attempt to broaden the appeal of Populism beyond farmers?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Populist Party platform, articulated at Omaha in 1892, explicitly reaches out to urban workers, stating that "the interests of rural and civic labor are the same; their enemies are identical." Many of the policies they proposed were reforms that would have, they argued, benefited industrial workers as well as farmers. These included the eight-hour day, support for unions, and a graduated income tax. Beyond this, the platform explicitly expressed its disapproval of the use of Pinkerton strikebreakers at Homestead earlier in 1892 and their support for the Knights of Labor in a labor dispute with clothing manufacturers. So while the Populists emerged as an agrarian political movement, they recognized the need for alliances with industrial workers, whose struggles they sought to portray as their own.

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