Farmers Alliance and Populist Party

The Flag of the Farmers Alliance
The Flag of the Farmers Alliance

Orgins of Farmers' Alliance
The antecedents of the Populist Party began in the mid-1870s in response to the debt incurred by farmers in Texas. Economic Panic broke out in 1873 and severely afflicted the famers and the agrarian society. A drought hit the wheat growing areas of the Great Plains and Southern cotton prices plumetted . The farmers denounced those viewed as "arrongant capitalists and powerful cooperations". This lead to the instantanous formation of the Farmers' Alliance in 1877. The Alliance was quite efficient in fostering new cooperation stores, which bought domestic goods from wholesalers and directly sold them to the farmers for lower prices. The Farmers' Alliance was a short-lived faction though, however, they later morphed into the Populist Party in 1889 which garnered a lot of support.

Leaders and Some Subdivisions of Our Alliance
  • Farmers Alliance officially began in central Texas, 1877
  • (National) Officer Elections
---------------President: H. Lewis of Herkimer
---------------Secretary: A.A. Hopkins of Rochester
---------------Treasurer: E.S. Hayward of Monroe

  • National Grange of Patrons of Husbandry- first of the politically active farmers' groups
    • Established in 1868 by Oliver H. Kelley
    • A Grange was formed in almost every state
  • Two farm organizations from the 1870s: North Alliance (not secret) and South Alliance (secret)

Southern Alliance Pres. Leonidas La Fayette Polk
Southern Alliance Pres. Leonidas La Fayette Polk

  • Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Cooperative Union formed December 1886 in Texas
o General Superintendent: R.M. Humphrey
o Provided equal roles for blacks
o Received charter from Federal Government in 1888

  • Merged with National Colored Alliance

Effects of the Farmers' Alliance
  • Cooperaties (buisnesses/warehouses run by farmers to cut out those middlemen!) were established:

Farmers' Warehouse
Farmers' Warehouse

  • Birth of the Populist Party (Result of July 1890 Farmer's Alliance Convention)
  • Major parties adopted some of our ideas
  • We established the Declaration of Principles in 1890:
    • Government Ownership of Telegraphs and Railroads
    • Abolition of land monopoly
    • The free coinage of silver to inflate value of crops
    • Lower Taxes

The Future of the Farmer's Alliance was the Populist Party! We have created a nationally renowned party that ran James B. Weaver, a former Union general from Iowa, in 1892. Weaver recieved more than one million popular votes and several Populists were elected to Congress. We look forward to vying for a victory in the Election of 1896. Farmers are our priority.


Photo Gallery

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