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Populist and Progressives

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Populist And Progressives

The Populists and Progressive were form of movement that occurred during the outbreaks of the workers union after the civil war. The populists began during the late 1800s.The progressive began during the 1900s. There are many differences between these two movements, but yet these movements have many things that are similar.

Farmers united to protect their interests, even creating a major political party. The party was called the peoples party which became known as the populist party. Populists drew its strength from rural areas. Populists tended to be poor and uneducated. They had ideas such as government ownership of major industries. The Populists supported labors demand for an eight hour work day. The most controversial Populist demand concerned the money supply. Farmers being both sellers and debtors, saw inflation as a way to improve their standard of living, but they wanted to expand the money supply. Farmers convinced the government to use silver as well as gold to back the money supply. The congress passed the Bland-Allison Act and the Sherman Silver Purchase. Populist platform urged congress to authorize free and unlimited minting of silver. The Populists were united in favoring the minting of silver to expand the money supply. Democrats agreed with the Populist, but most Republicans favored the gold standard and a smaller money supply. Democrats agreed on a presidential candidate that was with the mint silver, which was William Jennings Bryan. Having joined the Democrats in a losing cause, their party collapsed. The attempt to unite urban workers and farmers into a mass movement for economic reform had failed.

Progressivism began in the early 1900s. It had roots in several earlier movements such as the Liberal Republican and the Mugwumps. Progressivism centered in cities. Progressives were middle class and well educated. Progressives stayed in the political mainstream. They aimed not to remake American society, but to merely make the existing system work better and to do this they were willing to make compromises. Progressivism offered the middle class, business leader, and farmers a safe reform. By 1900 the American economy was strong. As a result people of all classes felt more confident and more willing to compromise. Progressives made city and state governments more democratic. They also tightened regulations on business. For Progressives,



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