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The Gilded Age, 1870-1914
Guide: Populism

These resources on the development of populism explain its relationship to farmers. Use these resources to support student evaluation of the success of the populist movement in alleviating farmers' concerns. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Labor unions developed as social and political movements
  • Rural and urban areas have distinct needs that shape political and economic concerns
  • Racial and ethnic groups have fought to obtain civil rights and liberties
  • Government accountability relies on a politically engaged populace
  • Society's idea of morality changes over time
  • A balance between public safety and economic growth is desirable
  • A nation's diplomatic powers rest in its ability to have a foreign presence
  • There are multiple factors that a nation must consider when deciding to go to war
  • The U.S. has gone through periods where it feels it is in its best interest to remain detached from certain global events
  • Negotiating a peace involves compromises and consensus and can extend well beyond the end of hostilities

Key Questions

  • How were farm issues different from the issues faced by industrialized workers?
  • What were some of the early organization efforts by farmers? How did these efforts lead to populism?
  • Why did the farmers' alliances want the government to own railroads and communications systems?


  1. Overview: Populism
  2. Visuals: Populism (Visual)
  3. Outline: Outline
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Photos & Illustrations: Clothing industry strike: women pickets
  6. Photos & Illustrations: Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire
  7. Reference Articles: election of 1896
  8. Reference Articles: free silver
  9. Reference Articles: Granger movement
  10. Reference Articles: Populist Party
  11. Biographies: Bryan, William Jennings
  12. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Free silver political cartoon
  13. Letters & Narratives: Cleveland, Grover: Against a Free Silver Policy letter (1891)
  14. Speeches: Bryan, William Jennings: Cross of Gold speech (1896)
  15. Quotes: Bryan, William Jennings: quote on the gold standard

MLA Citation

"Populism." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2153037. Accessed 25 Aug. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2153037

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