Perils for the agrarian revolt. Like a bridge too far, the Populist movement or the agrarian revolt and its emergence as the People’s Party in the late nineteenth century was hobbled by the fact that some who identified with the movement, did so without understanding its revolutionary nature, or defending it in the manner that members of the Farmers Alliance had learned to do; the level of commitment to the movement varied on a state by state basis, but also in the degree to which the Farmers Alliance lecturers had reached the local communities. Texas and Kansas were at the top of the list, while Nebraska and the Northwestern Farmers Alliance were at the bottom; many of them were opposed to the formation of the People’s Party and their actions at the 1896 People’s Party convention virtually destroyed the movement, which many of them later regretted. Leadership counted for a lot, but more important was the penetration of the lecturer system and the degree to which the message penetrated into their regional assignments. And, like any educational system, some lecturers were more inspiring than others. The major hurdle was always the sub-treasury system when it was finally laid out in detail by Charles Macune in the summer of 1892 (earlier versions emphasized the Greenback concept of a new currency). A second problematic issue for the populists was that they had spent a large part of their capital on educating farmers through the lecturing system and had invested less effort in developing nationally visible candidates. Yet a third problem was one with which every farmer could identify—the problem of sectionalism: when it came time to vote, the sectional lines that determined how they voted in the South and North and East and West would determine how they would always vote, meaning that the Alliance needed to develop an identity that would break out of the barriers of sectionalism created by the Civil War. As a Republican you could get elected without significant violations of sectionalism and the same applied if you were a Democrat. But a Populist candidate needed to not only break the sectional boundaries, he needed to smash them and that was a formidable task, which no one had yet achieved. What the Populists attempted to do, though few of them realized it during the early organization of the People’s Party, was to reorganize the voting behavior of the nation. In the South, the party of the “fathers” held sway since the first days of the Republic and the Civil War had further intensified their loyalty to the Democratic party. It was, after all, the “party of Lincoln (Republicans) that started the Civil War.” Thus, the Alliance needed to overcome the sectionalism generated by the Civil War and they knew this would be one of their greatest challenges. One of the best agrarian candidates for bridging the issue of sectionalism was L.L. Polk from North Carolina, who could have maintained a vigorous, full-throated campaign, with rhetorical competition against any candidate from any party. He had been politically active in North Carolina and started the Progressive Farmer, a publication that reached 12,000 farmers in North Carolina and throughout the South (this publication is still active today). Polk was elected national President of the Alliance in 1890 and in that year, the Fourth of July was designated as “Alliance Day.” Polk went to Kansas on Alliance Day to persuade Kansans that his vision of “trans-sectionalism” (not to be confused with trans-sexualism) could be achieved. Speaking on Alliance Day in Kansas, Polk remarked,
- “I tell you this afternoon that from New York to the Golden Gate, the farmers have risen up and have inaugurated a movement as the world has never seen. It is a revolution of thought. A revolution which I pray God be be peaceful and bloodless….The farmer of North Carolina, Georgie, Texas, South Carolina is your brother….Some people have stirred up section feeling and have kept us apart for twenty-five years….and tried to work upon our passions. The man who has waved the bloody shirt. The man who has taught his children the poisonous doctrines of hate….They know that if we get together and shake hands and look each other in the face and feel the touch of kinship, their doom is sealed. I stand here today, commissioned by the hundreds of thousands of Southern farmers, to bid the farmers of Kansas to stand by them.”
- At the speech, when asked a delicate question about whether farmers should be in politics, Polk revealed his radical position: “Will you tell me who has a better right in America to go into politics than farmers?…I will tell you what you are going to see…..You will see arrayed on the one side the great magnates of the country, and Wall Street brokers, and the plutocratic power; and on the other you will see the people….there shall be no Mason and Dixon line on the Alliance maps of the future.”
- During that appearance, Polk also shared his experiences in Washington, after listening to the arguments against the sub-treasury system, “When I went up to Washington City and showed them statistics from all over the country, they said it was overproduction that had caused our trouble…If [they] had come out onto the streets of Washington on a cold November morning [they] would have seen the children picking bits of coal out of the ash piles to warm themselves by, and morsels of food out of the heaps of garbage to satisfy their hunger….As long as a single cry for bread is heard, it is underproduction and underconsumption….There is something besides over-production that has caused it. Congress could give us a bill in forty-eight hours that would relieve us, but Wall Street says nay….I believe that both of the parties are afraid of Wall Street. They are not afraid of the people.” [one of the problems that plagued farmers was fluctuation in market prices for their commodities]
Success in politics and the need for a new party. Attending the meeting in Wichita Kansas were 7886 people (someone apparently counted all of them), mostly farmers who came to hear the message of tran-sectionalism and to hear it from a man who appeared to be the favorite as the People’s Party Presidential candidate for the national election of 1892, still two years away. As a Southern Unionist (he was opposed to secession for North Carolina, but accepted the outcome, joined the Confederate Army and was wounded at Gettysburg), Polk was acceptable to Southern agrarians and fought to overcome the sectionalism that the Farmers Alliance needed to achieve if they were to have a chance of becoming a viable national party. In the fall election of 1890, Alliance candidates were victorious and many were elected to Congress, indicative of the rising popularity of their movement. In Georgia, Alliance candidates took the governorship and won three-fourths of the seats in the state senate and four-fifths of the state house seats and six of ten congressional seats. In the Kansas state legislative election of that year, 96 of the 125 seats were won by Alliance candidates! At the national level, in 1888, the House of Representatives had 166 Republicans and 159 Democrats and two years later in an election that shook the foundations of the Republican party, their representation dropped to 88 Republicans, while the Democrats won 235 seats. At that time Alliance members were largely voting Democratic and represented the force behind the transition that shook the Republicans who asked what it all meant? Based on the remarkable transition in Kansas, which, unlike Southern states, normally voted Republican, Goodwyn states “if Texans had led the farmers to the Alliance, Kansans led the Alliance to the People’s Party.” But that election victory also posed a problem for the Populists for if they continued to elect Democrats, they would be labeled as a front for the Democratic Party and this was something that was viewed as a future danger to the Alliance, though it was reassuring for them to know that they had basically captured the Democratic party in the South. But, they needed their own independent means of expressing their ideas. With such a stunning outcome in the election of 1890, Alliance members expected to see their political and legislative agenda to begin taking place in Congress and states in which they had had political success. However, they slowly and painfully discovered that though they might have a strong hand to play, it was still the capitalists that controlled, through their lobbying efforts, the process which governed the formation and passage of bills and the legislative agenda. It wasn’t enough to have broad representation in congress—that institution would have to change. This was a major reason why the agrarian revolt entered the public arena through the People’s Party. Thus the formation of the People’s party, which evolved from the Populist movement, which in turn evolved out of the Farmers Alliance, appeared to be a natural sequence of their early success. The lineage of the People’s Party went through the Farmers Alliance, and the Populist movement to the point where they had no choice but to break from any allegiance they had for the Democratic party, and create one of their own.
The sub-treasury system. The most innovative plan to emerge and gain strength within the People’s Party was the sub-treasury system devised by Charles Macune. His plan was modified from that of the Greenback party’s attempt to introduce a new kind of currency, one that would not be controlled by the banks and was without backing by gold or silver. Macune modified the “Greenback” plan to fit the needs of farmers. He had earlier started publishing the National Economist, out of Washington DC that reached 100,000 farmers throughout the country; he chose that vehicle during the summer and fall of 1889 to lay out the details of his plan. His timing and objective was to lay out the details just in time for a planned meeting in the December 1889, when the confederation of labor organizations, convened by the Farmers Alliance would meet and attempt to create a coalition of rural and urban working classes throughout the country. The sub-treasury system was the progressive culmination of years of confrontation with bankers over credit issues related to the Alliance cooperative system. He knew from experience that without decent credit from the bankers, the farmers cooperative system could not be sustained. His sub-treasury system addressed the problem of inadequate credit for the farmers and would eliminate the furniture merchant and the crop lien system in America: it would economically free the small farmer. What he proposed was a breath-taking new arrangement that required a new kind of currency, one not tied to a rare metal, but based instead on the credit of the United States. He proposed that the government would underwrite the farmers cooperatives through issuing “greenbacks” and that the government would own the warehouses (sub-treasuries) and through federal sub-treasury certificates would buy the farmers crop, eliminating the furnishing merchants, commercial banks and chattel mortgage companies all in one swoop—they would all be gone as a presence in the American agricultural system of food production and distribution. Though it was not formally a part of the sub-treasury, the People’s Party also demanded that the government own the railroads so that farmers would be able to pay the same shipping prices given to other railroad shipping companies. The government-issued “certificates” would be “greenback” dollars issued by the United States Treasury. Thus, the sub-treasury plan took the financial system of America out of the hands of bankers and placed in the hands of the U.S. Treasury department. This plan had obvious appeal to farmers who had experienced a lifelong career of indebtedness and poverty. But the plan went beyond the farmers and would have made credit more easily available to the production classes, who, like the farmers found it difficult to get credit for purchasing homes. The advantage of the modified greenback system would also make it easier to expand the money supply in proportion to the expansion of the population, something that could not be done effectively if the U.S. Dollar was pegged to silver or gold.
An unexpected death impacted the People’s Party in the election of 1892. Tragically, L. L. Polk, the leading candidate for the first nominee of the People’s Party, at age 55, suddenly became ill and died three weeks before the People’s Party convention in the summer of 1892. Polk’s death was an unimaginable shock to the People’s Party and their plans for the 1892 convention, which would almost certainly have nominated Polk as their candidate to face the Democrats and Republicans. It was difficult for the fledgling party to overcome this tragic, unexpected loss of someone who seemed so appropriate as their choice to run against Grover Cleveland (Democrat) and Benjamin Harrison (Republican). The Populists went to their convention of 1892 without a clearly resolved candidate. In addition, they lost the participation of Charles Macune who had proposed the sub-treasury system that was one of the ingenious components of the People’s Party platform and would be a central issue in the election of 1892, and more importantly, the election of 1896. Macune dropped out because he didn’t want to participate in a third-party, which he considered to be against the farmer’s interests (he said that the main focus of the Alliance, was to serve the interests of the farmers, who were among the most conservative groups in the country). His absence left the movement without one of its most effective spokesman, a person who was the most forceful advocate for a different national currency embedded in his plan within the sub-treasury system. But where Macune left off, William Lamb took hold of the party and continued invigorating, expanding and radicalizing the movement. But Macune’s absence would always be a hole, for he would would have given the People’s Party a far more knowledgeable level of expertize on the economy, than those who favored the position of the “silverites” or the “Goldbugs.”
The election of 1892. The first convention for the People’s Party the “new party of the industrial millions,” was held in Omaha on July 4, 1892. The absence of L. L. Polk who had died three weeks earlier, impacted on the tone and very likely as well on the popularity of the new movement, particularly in the South. Many felt that Polk was the one candidate who could break the grip the Democratic party had on the “Solid South.” His untimely death very likely altered the historic course of Populism, particularly in the South, though it is impossible to gauge with any certainty the impact his absence had on the future of the party. The People’s Party nominated James Baird Weaver, a former Union general from Iowa to head the party’s ticket, insuring that the new leaders in the South could anticipate the first wave of sectional attacks. For balance, the party nominated Virginia’s James G. Field as vice-president. But everyone 0f the 4000 delegates and spectators who attended the convention knew that the appeal of their movement and their success in the coming election would be directly related to what the Farmers Alliance had established through their education and vision for a new more democratic America. Their demands for that election became known as the “Omaha Platform,” adding additional growth to a list of grievances through demands that resonated deeply with farmers and laborers alike. To many observers in the press, it was not clear if the People’s Party was a “hope or a threat.” For the National election of 1892, the People’s Party candidate, James Baird Weaver received a total of 22 electoral votes and more than 1 million votes in the country; Grover Cleveland won the election with 277 electoral votes and 5.5 million popular votes. Unfortunately, the first iteration of the People’s Party did not crack Southern sectionalism, but all in all, it was a good showing, particularly so, since the favorite candidate L. L. Polk had unexpectedly died three weeks before the party’s convention, leaving the first iteration of the party in disarray. Thus,the new kid on the political block, the People’s Party, made a strong showing in the election of 1892 and kept Benjamin Harris, the Republican candidate from winning the election. The Republicans then knew that the election of 1896 needed to be different if they were going to seize power and hold on to it.
Ignatius Donelley. At a party meeting earlier in 1892, held in St. Louis to plan for the convention that summer, the People’s Party had been in awe of remarks made by Minnesotan Ignatius Donnelly, when he said “We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political and material ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot box, the legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized….the newspapers are subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrate, our homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished, and the land concentrating in the hands of capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized labor beats down their wages; a hireling standing army unrecognized by our laws, is established to shoot them down, and they are rapidly disintegrating to European conditions. The fruits of toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes, unprecedented in the history of the world, while their possessors despise the republic and endanger liberty…We charge that the controlling influences dominating the old political parties have allowed the existing dreadful conditions to develop without serious effort to restrain or prevent them. They have agreed together to ignore in the coming campaign every issue but one. They propose to drown the cries of a plundered people with the uproar of a sham battle over the tariff, so that corporations, national banks, rings, trusts and “watered stocks,” the demonization of silver, and the oppression of userers, may all be lost sight of… ” This is the kind of message resonated deeply with members of the People’s Party in 1892 and in many ways one can see the resurgence of these issues and statements within the OWS movement of today.
People’s Party demands and the election of 1896. The People’s Party platform for the election of 1896 can be viewed in its entirety here. It addresses the concerns endorsed by the party during the Populist Convention of 1896 held in St. Louis. However, the platform had been progressively developed over a number of years, with meetings in Ocala (the Ocala Demands of 1890), the Omaha Platform of 1892 for the first convention of the People’s Party, the Cleburne Demands of 1886, the Dallas Demands of 1898 and the St. Louis Platform of 1989; each meeting progressively established and refined the demands of the People’s Party for the historic election of that year. For the Farmers Alliance to work properly, they needed physical contact with their fellow aspirants and they were good at organizing large meetings. There were three broad areas of concern for the People’s Party, including their insistence on a new national currency, devoid of banking influence and unfair merchant practices, and complaints about the railroad system which charged Alliance Farmers higher prices than those charged to merchants. It is hard to read through these demands and not feel that today, we live in a vacuous version of America with predictable and boring political conventions, everything scripted to the last detail and utterly lacking in the kind of spontaneity, vitality and innovative demands created by the wit and human energy intent on reshaping America. Had any of us ever attended a Populist meeting, I am sure we would have felt a different America rumbling underneath our feet. The People’s Party effort required an expansion of government if their demands were to be met. They believed that an invigorated, up-scaled Federal government was necessary to combat the corporations who conspired to keep them in poverty. We can see today that nothing has changed in that the Republican party of 2012 wants to shrink the size of government so that it will not be an impediment to their continued march towards complete financial hegemony without interference or objection. And the corporatist state wants the rest of us to pay for their transgressions against our financial system, including the Great Recession which is still shaping our lives and will do so for many years to come. The election of 1896 was also the first in which the Republicans introduced corporate politics, meaning the injection of unprecedented sums of money into the campaign. Ohio industrialist Mark Hanna supervised the generation of a new calibration scale for financial electioneering in support the Republican party and their pursuit of the “gold standard.” American politics was permanently transformed in ways that would eventually force Democrats to seek corporate support, particularly when expensive television advertising came into the equation of modern election politics. That is one reason why many complain that very little difference separates the two parties, though the tea party iteration of the Republican party seems like an extreme that has not been seen since before the Civil War, if then. People’s Party demands for the election of 1896 included a large list, a few of which are presented here. Don’t you like the robust character of presenting their issues as “demands?”
- FIRST. We demand a national money, safe and sound, issued by the General Government only, without the intervention of banks of issue, to be a full legal tender for all debts, public and private; a just, equitable, and efficient means of distribution direct to the people and through the lawful disbursements of the Government. [this was the sub-treasury plan of Macune]
- THIRD. We demand the volume of circulating medium be speedily increased to an amount sufficient to meet the demands of the business and population and to restore the just level of prices of labor and production. [The money supply was generally considered to be too meager and the cause of the "Crime of 1873", which was a major economic downturn]
- The telegraphic, like the Post-office system, being a necessity for the transmission of news, should be owned and operated by the Government in the interest of the people. [Under a section "telegraph" the Populists wanted the telegraph and the post-office to be owned and run by the government]
- SEVENTH. We demand a graduated income tax to the end that aggregated wealth shall bear its just proportion of taxation, and we regard the recent decision of the Supreme Court relative to the Income Tax law as a misinterpretation of the Constitution and an invasion of the rightful powers of Congress over the subject of taxation. [a graduated income tax which targeted the wealthy and eventually came into existence under progressive Teddy Roosevelt, but was cut back by Ronald Reagan: according to David Harvey, the maximum tax rate was didn't drop much below 70% between 1945 and 1982, until Reagan dramatically reduced the tax rates. However, the economic growth rate over that period was twice the rate of growth that occurred after 1982: Why? Because we were investing in ourselves and developing a manufacturing country, with roads and bridges for transportation. This was before we came upon speculation as the main source of wealth in this country]
- FIRST. Transportation being a means of exchange and a public necessity, the Government should own and operate the railroads in the interest of the people and on a non-partisan basis, to the end that all may be accorded the same treatment in transportation and that the tyranny and political power now exercised by the great railroad corporations, which result in the impairment if not the destruction of the political rights and personal liberties of the citizen, may be destroyed. Such ownership is to be accomplished gradually, in a manner consistent with sound public policy. [this was under a new section called "transportation" and expressed a solution to the unfair rates that farmers were charged for rail shipping their products]
- FIRST. True policy demands that the National and State legislation shall be such as will ultimately enable every prudent and industrious citizen to secure a home, and, therefore, the land should not be monopolized for speculative purposes. All lands now held by railroads and other corporations in excess of their actual needs, should by lawful means be reclaimed by the Government and held for natural settlers only, and private land monopoly as well as alien ownership should be prohibited. [under another section "land" the Populists asserted that railroads and speculators has sequestered too much land that it had to be returned to the government]
- FIRST. We demand the election of President, Vice-President, and United States Senators by a direct vote of the people. [this came under "general propositions" and obviously spoke to the deficiencies in our election system. Today we vote directly for our national Senators, but we still vote for the President and Vice President by the electoral college system: had the Populists' demand for direct vote for the Presidency been implemented, we would not have had GW Bush as president]
The election of 1896 had three dominant parties in contention, including the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and the new kid on the block, the People’s Party. Each of them had their own separate convention. A fatal flaw was committed in the nomination process for the 1896 Presidential election: the Peoples Party had their convention after the Democratic party with whom they were more closely aligned. The Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan from Arkansas, a state that had always been in the background of the Farmer’s Alliance movement. After much debate and extraordinary hostility, with fights breaking out on the convention floor, the Alliance members of the People’s Party were hood-winked by those who wanted William Jennings Bryan for President. The process was handled in a way that betrayed the true interests of the Alliance members. When the nomination process was over, it was recognized among the Populists that the “Silverites” had won and their own cause was lost. Bryan was a member of the “shadow movement” also known as the “silver-fusion” group, who advocated that the dollar should have a value based on silver rather than gold and this movement was supported by the silver mining interests of the West; it was incompatible with the “greenback” plan of the Farmer’s Alliance. “Greenbackers” wanted the dollar to represent the full faith and credit of the United States, free from any equivalent metal value. They argued that this would create a currency that would be free from the control of banks, silver mining interests and furniture merchants, allowing the money supply to more easily expand with the growth of the population. Thus, the Farmers Alliance concept of the “greenback dollar” was one less susceptible to control and manipulation by corporatist forces, no matter how it might have actually worked out. Based on this idea the silver-based dollar would be no better than the gold dollar and was not supported by the core of the agrarian reformers. Macune, who designed the sub-treasury system probably knew more about economics than most academicians of his day. The sub-treasury system of the People’s Party wanted the dollar not only un-hinged from the value of any rare metal, but they also wanted the Federal Government to provide farmer’s cooperatives with low interest loans, lifting their cooperatives out from under the boot of the bankers and the furniture men. With the failure of Bryan’s presidential candidacy (he lost to McKinnley, though it was a fairly close election), the People’s Party collapsed and soon faded from our historical memory, though they continued to have candidates and they continued to press for new rights for farmers. The collapse of the People’s Party was the last chance America had to establish a true democracy rather than the flawed version we have now with corporatist dominance touching almost every aspect of our lives and increasingly in control of our government functions. The election of 1896 was also the first election in which big money was infused into the election process through big business and once that line was crossed, the party of big business always had an advantage, just as they do today.
Parallels between the agrarian revolt and the Occupy Wall Street movement. I find a compelling parallel between the agrarian reform movement of the nineteenth century and the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement of today, as they both speak to fundamental reforms related to economic justice, living a life with dignity and avoiding identity with any major political party. And, like the farmers of the nineteenth century, many students in the OWS movement are in a state of peonage created by student loan debts and poor-paying jobs if they have any job at all. We can see now that the job future for many of our students does not look promising and the anticipated recovery will not be a true recovery, because in many ways, this recession was created beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s and, as much as anything, represents the carryover and still on-going effects or Reaganism. The simple economic truth is that unless we get more money into the hands of people that spend it, like the Middle Class and the poor, we cannot have a robust recovery, because the major component of our economy is based on consumption. The difference between then and now is that the motivation for change has moved from the farm to the city, from labor rights to labor exploitation and the transfer of wealth from the Middle Class to the wealthy bankers and merchants of our time. Today, we need a strong government, just as they emphasized a similar need during the Populist revolt and for the same reasons. But we need a strong government that behaves in the interest of people, not corporate needs. The financialization of our country has been an unmitigated disaster. A strong government is the only institution we have to fight off the controlling interests of international corporations who hide under the false cover of the “free market” and so far, we are losing that game and the price we pay is that of having a viable, lively, broad society. The People’s Party knew what they had lost in the election of 1896. They had been betrayed by their own members that aligned themselves as “silver-fusionists” rather than support the more innovative sub-treasury plan. Perhaps no one but Macune understood that “the greenback” dollar would be the lynch pin that would help make America into a better democracy. Unless we correct this listing ship, everyone will benefit by selling short on America.
According to Goodwyn, “The largest citizen institution of nineteenth-century America, the National Farmers Alliance and Industrial Union persisted through the 1890′s, defending the core doctrines of greenbackism within the People’s Party and keeping to the fore the dream of a new day for the industrial millions. Its mass roots severed by the cooperative failure at the very moment its hopes were carried forward by the People’s Party, the Alliance passed from view at the end of the century. Its sole material legacy was the “Alliance warehouse” weathering in a thousand towns scattered across the American South and West. In folklore, it came to be be remembered that the Alliance had been “a great movement” and that it had killed itself because it had “gone into politics.” But at is zenith, it reached into forty-three states and territories and, for a moment, changed the lives and the consciousness of millions of Americans. As a mass democratic institution, the saga of the Alliance is unique in American history.” Goodwyn’s history of the agrarian revolt is an inspiring story of a movement that should be considered as a model for generating change in America, even though change at the moment does not seem to be what interests most Americans today—that’s why we need to change our educational system and make our history real!
With the collapse of the People’s Party and its strong opposition to the crop lien system, the farm peonage system came roaring back with a vengeance. Goodwyn reports that farm tenantry elevated from 25 per cent of farms in 1880, to 28 per cent in 1890 to 36 per cent in 1900 and to 38 per cent in 1910. The 180 counties in the South where at least half the farms were operated by tenants in 1880, that number had increased by 890 by 1935. What’s more this peonage system spread well beyond the South into Midwestern farmland: some 49 per cent of Iowa farms were tenant-operated in 1935 and the land organized in this way amounted to 60 per cent of the farm acreage in the state. In 1940, 48 per cent of the Kansas farms were tenant-operated, while the comparable figure for all Southern farms was 46 per cent. This farmland came to be owned by mortgage companies, through a remarkable transfer of wealth from poor farmers to wealthy bankers and mortgage companies. Compare this to the wealth transfer that has occurred since the 1980s from the Middle and lower income classes to wealthier classes through similar strategies (chronic debt, high interest rates, student loans, loss of homes and bankruptcy). The lesson to take home from this sad chapter of the People’s Party is that we must continue to struggle against the economic oppression and the plutocracy that currently controls our country. If a members of the Famers Alliance could speak to us today, they would surely say that “we did a lot more than just try to elect better politicians—we tried to make America better, working from the ground up, so that you wouldn’t have to—we reached high, but then we failed to achieve our objectives, so now it’s your turn.”
[Note: quotations were taken from Lawrence Goodwyn's book "The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America."]
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