Populist Party

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A US agrarian organization that began in 1889 as a grouping of southern and western interests seeking to remedy the lot of debtor farmers. It drew on the Granger Movement, the Farmers' Alliances, the Greenbacks, and other protest groups who met in Cincinnati to create the People's Party of the USA. Its members called for a flexible currency system under government control, a graduated income tax, and political reforms including direct election of US Senators. In 1892 its candidate for President, James B. Weaver, won over a million popular and 22 electoral votes. The movement then went into decline, largely because its objectives seemed more likely to be realized by other parties.

Subjects: United States History.

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