During the late 19th century, a new political party arose as a form of political protest. This party came to be known as the People’s Party or the Populist Party. The party’s main focus was to empower the farmers and keep the money in circulation so that it would not be in the hands of a few people. However their greatest accomplishment was the Omaha Platform, a document put forth on 4th July 1982. This document outlined the party’s mission and demands that it set out to achieve. This essay will explore the source to understand the era it came from that led to its creation in the first place.
According to the source, the Populist Party deserves a second look as many of its ideas were very progressive as opposed to the way these are portrayed. The party focused on fair taxation laws, better education, women’s rights and better labor laws. They were against the corporate takeover and modernity as they considered that it only served two classes; tramps and millionaires. They believed a proper taxing system would lessen the gap between poor and rich. They were pro-women rights and worked towards a future that would allow women to vote and have equal education opportunities.
The author of the source perceives these ideas as praiseworthy, however; where the party’s ideas were advanced, these ideas only served the white people. People of color were excluded from this party and it sought to send the immigrants back to their countries as the party members believed that the immigrants were stealing their jobs. The author respectfully analyzes the Populist Party, listing both its achievements and shortcomings. Different news excerpts and cartoon illustrations from that time have been included in the source along with historical statistics. The source is written professionally and respectfully. This document helps us understand the budding concerns of the farmers in the 1890s. They were working towards making their lives better and easier. However, their intentions served only white people and excluded all other races. Populist Party’s tenure was short-lived however it was the most popular third party of its time.