Who would have supported the populist platform, and what was the goal they wanted to accomplish?

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dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Populist Party was the political outgrowth of the Grange movement mainly comprised of small farmers from the southern ane western parts of the United States. The Populist platform centered on the economic concerns of the farmer. Their issues  encompassed  their perspective on the eastern banking industry, the massive accumulation of wealth by big business, the railroads, and their inability to obtain financial credit to support their farms. The platform of the Populist party served to address those issues by calling for national control of railroad prices, telegraph and telephone services, and a progressive income tax. Populism essentially became 'popular' in the late 1890's as a response to the industrialization of the United States. Although America was moving forward at a fast pace, not everyone in America experienced the true fruits of their labor, especially the farmers. The evolution of this political party would ultimately find itself in a fight over the gold standard in America. The party backed the idea of returning to a bi-metallic standard, gold and silver. They argued that by doing this the U.S. might be able to stabilize its very unstable economy. Unfortunately, by 1896 or so  this solution was far to simple to correct the economic problems facing the United States at that time.