Farmers Alliance

Late 19th Century Movement

Main

National Grange Formed

January 1, 1868 - January 2, 1868

Oliver Kelley formed for social and educational purposes
--later economic w/ cooperatives
--later political w/ Granger laws in IL, MN, IA, WI

Munn v. IL

January 1, 1877 - January 2, 1877

SC upheld right of states to regulate businesses of public nature---Grain elevators
--win for Grangers

Wabash vs. IL

January 1, 1886 - January 2, 1886

SC ruled states could not regulate interstate commerce--"Railroads"
Loss for Grangers

Interstate Commerce Act

February 4, 1887 - February 5, 1887

required RR rates to be reasonable and just
set up Interstate Commerce Commission -- power to investigate and prosecute pools, rebates, & other discriminatory practices

(ended up helping RR's more than farmers)

Ocala Platform

December 1, 1890 - December 2, 1890

National Alliance --(national organization of farmers)
supported following:
- direct election of Senators
- lower tariff rates
- graduated income tax,
- new banking system w. regulations
- inc. greenbacks in circulation

Omaha Platform

June 1, 1892 - November 2, 1892

Populist Party Platform
Political:
1. direct election of senators
2. initiatives and referendums
Economic:
1. unlimited coinage of silver
2. graduated income tax
3. public ownership of RR's
4. gov't ownership of telephone/telegraph
5. loans & fed. warehouses for farmers
6. 8 hour workday for industrial workers

Election of 1892

November 3, 1892 - November 4, 1892

James Weaver - populist candidate wins 1 million votes
President Cleveland (D) defeats Harrison (R) in rematch of election of 1888

Panic of 1893

April 1, 1893 - September 1, 1893

Worst economic crisis before Great Depression
stock market crashed - over speculation
20 % unemployment
farms foreclosed
--inc. populist movement

Cross of Gold Speech

July 5, 1896 - November 1, 1896

William Jennings Bryan
Populist & Dem. candidate
--Gold Standard bad for America
--favored unlimited coinage of silver

Election of 1896

November 5, 1896 - November 6, 1896

McKinley (R) defeats Bryan (D, P)
--McKinley supported by RR tycoon Hanna
--demise of Populists
--Big Business & Industrial & Urban votes win over rural