Revolt of the Tar Heels: The North Carolina Populist Movement, 1890â??1901
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After a long and contentious series of roll call votes, Bryan won the Populist presidential nomination, taking votes to Norton's votes. Despite his earlier proclamation, Bryan accepted the Populist nomination. He largely ignored major cities and the Northeast, instead focusing on the Midwest, which he hoped to win in conjunction with the Great Plains, the Far West, and the South.
Ultimately, McKinley won a decisive majority of the electoral vote and became the first presidential candidate to win a majority of the popular vote since the presidential election. His strength was largely based on the traditional Democratic vote, but he lost many German Catholics and members of the middle class.
Historians believe his defeat was partly attributable to the tactics Bryan used; he had aggressively "run" for president, while traditional candidates would use "front porch campaigns. The Populist movement never recovered from the failure of , and national fusion with the Democrats proved disastrous to the party. In the Midwest, the Populist Party essentially merged into the Democratic Party before the end of the s.
Tennessee's Populist Party was demoralized by a diminishing membership, and puzzled and split by the dilemma of whether to fight the state-level enemy the Democrats or the national foe the Republicans and Wall Street. By the People's Party of Tennessee was a shadow of what it once was. In North Carolina, the state Democratic-party orchestrated propaganda campaign in newspapers across the state, and created a brutal and violent white supremacy election campaign to defeat the North Carolina Populists and GOP, the Fusionist revolt in North Carolina collapsed in , and white Democrats returned to power.
The gravity of the crisis was underscored by a major race riot in Wilmington, in , two days after the election. Knowing they had just retaken control of the state legislature, the Democrats were confident they could not be overcome. They attacked and overcame the Fusionists; mobs roamed the black neighborhoods, shooting, killing, burning buildings, and making a special target of the black newspaper.
By , the gains of the populist-Republican coalition were reversed, and the Democrats ushered in disfranchisement:  practically all blacks lost their vote, and the Populist-Republican alliance fell apart. In , while many Populist voters supported Bryan again, the weakened party nominated a separate ticket of Wharton Barker and Ignatius L. Donnelly , and disbanded afterwards. In , the party was re-organized, and Thomas E. Watson was their nominee for president in and in , after which the party disbanded again.
Eight delegates attended the meeting, which was held in a parlor. Since the s historians have vigorously debated the nature of Populism. Others view them as reactionaries trying to recapture an idyllic and utopian past. For some they were radicals out to restructure American life, and for others they were economically hard-pressed agrarians seeking government relief. Much recent scholarship emphasizes Populism's debt to early American republicanism.
Frederick Jackson Turner and a succession of western historians depicted the Populist as responding to the closure of the frontier. Turner explained:. The most influential Turner student of Populism was John D. Hicks, who emphasized economic pragmatism over ideals, presenting Populism as interest group politics, with have-nots demanding their fair share of America's wealth which was being leeched off by nonproductive speculators. Hicks emphasized the drought that ruined so many Kansas farmers, but also pointed to financial manipulations, deflation in prices caused by the gold standard, high interest rates, mortgage foreclosures, and high railroad rates.
Corruption accounted for such outrages and Populists presented popular control of government as the solution, a point that later students of republicanism emphasized. Vann Woodward stressed the southern base, seeing the possibility of a black-and-white coalition of poor against the overbearing rich. In the s, however, scholars such as Richard Hofstadter portrayed the Populist movement as an irrational response of backward-looking farmers to the challenges of modernity. Though Hofstadter wrote that the Populists were the "first modern political movement of practical importance in the United States to insist that the federal government had some responsibility for the common weal ," he criticized the movement as anti-Semitic, conspiracy-minded, nativist, and grievance-based.
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Reichley argues that, while the Populist Party was founded in reaction to economic hardship, by the mids it was "reacting not simply against the money power but against the whole world of cities and alien customs and loose living they felt was challenging the agrarian way of life. Quite the reverse, they argue, the Populists aggressively sought self-consciously progressive goals. Goodwyn criticizes Hofstadter's reliance on secondary sources to characterize the Populists, working instead with the material generated by the Populists themselves.
Goodwyn determined that the farmers' cooperatives gave rise to a Populist culture, and their efforts to free farmers from lien merchants revealed to them the political structure of the economy, which propelled them into politics. The Populists sought diffusion of scientific and technical knowledge, formed highly centralized organizations, launched large-scale incorporated businesses, and pressed for an array of state-centered reforms.
Hundreds of thousands of women committed to Populism seeking a more modern life, education, and employment in schools and offices. A large section of the labor movement looked to Populism for answers, forging a political coalition with farmers that gave impetus to the regulatory state. Progress, however, was also menacing and inhumane, Postel notes. White Populists embraced social-Darwinist notions of racial improvement, Chinese exclusion and separate-but-equal.
Populist voters remained active in the electorate long after , but historians continue to debate which party, if any, absorbed the largest share of these voters. In a case study of California Populists, historian Michael Magliari found that Populist voters influenced reform movements in California's Democratic Party and the Socialist Party, but had a smaller impact on California's Republican Party. Holmes wrote that "an earlier generation of historians viewed Populism as the initiator of twentieth-century liberalism as manifested in Progressivism, but over the past two decades we have learned that fundamental differences separated the two movements.
For example, Theodore Roosevelt , George W. Norris , Robert La Follette Sr. It is debated whether any Populist ideas made their way into the Democratic party during the New Deal era. The New Deal farm programs were designed by experts like Henry Wallace who had nothing to do with Populism.
Michael Kazin 's The Populist Persuasion argued that Populism reflected a rhetorical style that manifested itself in spokesmen like Father Charles Coughlin in the s and Governor George Wallace in the s. Long after the dissolution of the Populist Party, other third parties, including a People's Party founded in and a Populist Party founded in , took on similar names.
These parties were not directly related to the Populist Party. In the United States, the term "populist" originally referred to the Populist Party and related left-wing movements of the late nineteenth century that wanted to curtail the power of the corporate and financial establishment. Beginning in the s, populism took on a more generic meaning, as scholars such as Richard Hofstadter traced the anti-elitism and "paranoid style" of conservative Republicans like Joseph McCarthy to the Populist Party. Although not all historians accepted that comparison, the term "populist" began to apply to any anti-establishment movement.
Approximately forty-five members of the party served in the U. Congress between and These included six United States Senators :. The following were Populist members of the U. House of Representatives :. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the major 19th century American political party. For other American and worldwide parties using the term "people's" or "populists", see Populist Party disambiguation and People's Party disambiguation.
People's Party Populist Party. Politics of United States Political parties Elections. Further information: Greenback Party and Farmers' movement.
Marion Butler Papers,
Further information: Farmers' Alliance. See also: Second presidency of Grover Cleveland. Further information: Populism. Harris , Kansas Member-at-large William A. Strowd , North Carolina's 4th congressional district Charles H. Martin — , North Carolina's 6th congressional district Alonzo C. Shuford, North Carolina's 7th congressional district. Barlow , California's 6th congressional district Curtis H. Fowler , North Carolina's 3rd congressional district William F. Strowd, North Carolina's 4th congressional district Charles H.
Martin, North Carolina's 5th congressional district Alonzo C.
Glenn , Idaho's 1st congressional district Caldwell Edwards , Montana's 1st congressional district William Ledyard Stark, Nebraska's 4th congressional district William Neville , Nebraska's 6th congressional district. New York Times. Retrieved 26 November Are They Wrong? Retrieved 17 November Retrieved The New York Times. Retrieved 20 August Despite insurgencies at home — the Populist Party, for example, swept through Georgia and North Carolina in the s Diner The Jews of the United States, to Democratic Promise: the Populist Moment in America. Oxford University Press. Oxford English Dictionary Online.
Retrieved 16 March Washington Post. Bryan and Sewall received an additional 6,, Bryan's best showing was Mississippi, where he received Ali, Omar H. University Press of Mississippi. Argersinger, Peter H. University Press of Kentucky. Beeby, James M.
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