Populism, the Grange Movement, and Monetary Policy

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What issues did the Populist party support?

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The Populist Party was a faction of American politics that arose from the Industrialization America underwent in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  The Populist stood against the idea that the Carnegies and the Rockefellers should consolidate all the wealth at the cost of the agrarian and dispossessed individuals.  They believed that business leaders have colluded with the politicians, to prevent true reform.  The Populist Party fashioned themselves as the true nature of "grass roots" reform in America's political reality.  They stressed that the gold standard was a ploy by the wealthy to continue to strengthen their hold on the economic control of the country, so moving to gold, "the coin since the dawn of history," was the only way to change such a reality.  They wanted government to be in the hands of "the plain people," a call to Jeffersonian notions of agrarian governing and empowerment.  In order to equalize out economic disparities, the Populist Party demanded a graduated income tax.  Finally, in calling for a secret ballot, they also demanded one term for President and Vice President.  Of the most notable Populists, William Jennings Bryant was the most popular.

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