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Word Count: 598
The Populist movement represented a viable plan for the future which although failed as a third-party movement it made thousands aware of the needs for reform The abuses of monopolistic capitalism were spreading across the US leaving behind a trail of poverty The call for an unlimited coinage of silver and gold at a ratio of 16 to 1 would enable farmers to pay their debts more easily as well as put an end to deflation Furthermore government control over railroads would prevent farmers and other individuals from being subjected to monopolistic tactics by railroad owners Finally the enactment of a graduated income tax would allow for a more just means of taxation An unlimited coinage of silver and gold at a ratio of 16 to 1 would cause inflation to occur thus augmenting the value of property and allowing farmers to pay off their debts The United Sates was undergoing a period of depression as the value of silver and paper money kept dropping Population and production was surging forward more money was needed simply to keep up with economic growth Garraty affirms Yet the government was deliberately cutting down the amount of money in circulation by retiring Civil War greenbacks On debt-ridden farmers plagued by overproduction the effect of this deflation was catastrophic 100 In the Preamble to the Omaha Platform the Populist Part declared The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few Omaha The depression caused many farmers and workers to go deep into debt with the banks Therefore the Populist Party viewed the only solution to be instituting inflationary tactics which would increase the money supply and enable farmers to pay their debts more easily Norton 613 The Populist call for government control of the railroads would prevent overcharging by greedy capitalists allowing all people to transport goods without fear of monopolistic schemes The Populists affirm Transportation being a means of
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