Populism, the Grange Movement, and Monetary Policy

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Why did the Populist Party attract millions of supporters?

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The People's Party was able to exploit a huge gap in the political market place left by the two main parties. In the late nineteenth century, there didn't appear to be too many significant differences between the Democrats and the Republicans, both of which were broadly committed to similar policies. Yet in the 1890s, at the height of what became known as "The Gilded Age," many people, especially farmers in the South and Midwest, looked for a radically different approach that would address the concerns of those left behind by the rapid development of America's increasingly industrialized economy.

It seemed that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans had much to offer large swathes of the country, mainly those that relied on agriculture. This created the conditions for the establishment of a new party, one that would champion the cause of agricultural communities marginalized by the growth of the economy's financial and industrial sectors.

Initially, vast numbers of Americans responded...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1024 words.)

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