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Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Richmond Chapter 11: Prohibition to Populism, 1870-1900

Richmond does a good job of outlining the origins of Populism, its rise and its subsequent fall. The Populist ideas were very popular in rural areas and especially strong in Kansas. Many of the farmers faced large economic difficulties after the Civil War and did not feel the establishment in Washington DC listened to their needs and problems. They also felt victimized by the railroads, bankers and business interests in the east. The farmer’s alliances that would later evolve in the People’s Party tried to unify these concerns into a political movement. Republicans with their pro-business position became the natural enemy of the Populists. Students could investigate the Populist Platform to see how the positions would help farmers in the state. The could also read William Allen White’s What’s the Matter With Kansas to see how some felt the Populist ideas were misguided.

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