Significance of the Omaha Platform
The platform preamble was written by Ignatius L. Donnelly. The planks themselves represent the merger of the agrarian concerns of the Farmers' Alliance with the free-currency monetarism of the Greenback Party while explicitly endorsing the goals of the largely urban Knights of Labor. In the words of Donnelly's preamble, the convention was "[a]ssembled on the anniversary of the birthday of the nation, and filled with the spirit of the grand general and chieftain who established our independence, we seek to restore the government of the Republic to the hands of the plain people, with which class it originated." The Omaha Platform called for a wide range of social reforms, including a reduction in the working day, a “safe, sound, and flexible” national currency, assistance to farmers with the financing of their labours, “fair and liberal pensions to ex-Union soldiers and sailors,” the direct election of Senators, single-terms for Presidents and Vice-Presidents, “the legislative system known as the initiative and referendum,” “the unperverted Australian of secret ballot system,” the nationalization of the railroads, the telegraph, and the telephone systems, a postal savings, “a graduated income tax,” and “the free and unlimited coinage of silver.”
The Populist, or People's, Party went on to capture 11 seats in the United States House of Representatives, several governors and the state legislatures of Kansas, Nebraska and North Carolina. 1892 Presidential nominee and former Greenbacker James B. Weaver received over a million popular votes, and won four states (Colorado, Kansas, Idaho, and Nevada) and 22 electoral votes. The Party's legislative majorities were thereafter able to elect several United States Senators. Taken as a whole, the electoral accomplishments of the Populist Party represent the high water mark for a United States third party after the Civil War. In 1896, the Populists abandoned the Omaha Platform and endorsed Democratic nominee William Jennings Bryan on the basis of a single-plank free silver platform.
Goals of the Omaha Platform
The first goal of the Omaha platform was to increase the coinage of silver to gold at a 16:1 ratio. The Omaha platform suggested a federal loans system so that farmers could get the money they needed. The platform also called for the elimination of private banks. The platform also required a system of federal storage facilities for the farmers' crops. The objective was to allow the farmers to control the pricing of their products. The Omaha platform made a special taxing system for them so that they would have to pay taxes depending on how much money they made. They also asked for an eight-hour workday and the direct election of senators, as opposed to them being elected by state legislatures. Those were the main goals of the Omaha platform, all focused on helping rural and working-class Americans. They also made it so that farmers would only work 8 hours instead of 10 or more. Those are not all of the goals but the most important and most focused on goals for the Omaha platform.
Establishment of the Omaha platform
The Omaha Platform was created in 1892 by a political party in the U.S. This party was called the Populist Party or also called the People's Party. They created the Omaha Platform because the Populist party wanted to have a list of all their goals. The Omaha Platform was created at a convention called the Omaha convention.
The farmer's alliance
The farmer's alliance is where everything started. It started in 1875 after an economic depression in the united states. Farmers started to notice that they were never a part of politics. So the farmers created a party called the Populist party. They finally could have their first time that they could run for president in 1892. The Omaha platform was then created and they put down a large list of goals that they wanted to achieve which was called the Omaha Platform.
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- The World Almanac, 1893 (New York: 1893), 83–85. Reprinted in George Brown Tindall, ed., A Populist Reader, Selections from the Works of American Populist Leaders (New York: Harper & Row, 1966), 90–96.
- National Economist. Publication of the Farmers Alliance. Washington, DC., July 9, 1892.
- People's Party Platform, Omaha Morning World-Herald, 5 July 1892.
- Goodwynn, Lawrence. The Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America. Oxford University Press, USA (November 30, 1978). ISBN 0-19-502417-6.
- Brogan, Hugh, The Penguin History of the United States of America (1990 edition).
- Hicks, John D. The Populist Revolt: A History of the Farmers Alliance and the Peoples Party. Bison (1970). ASIN B000HL905S.
- The Omaha Platform: Launching the Populist Party. Primary source material archived at History Matters: the U.S. History Survey Course on the Web. George Mason University. Retrieved August 24, 2006.