My greetings to everyone, who decide to spend some time near own TV-sets and watch our program! Today, we will talk about our history, our past that has an unbelievable impact on our present and certainly on our future.
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At the end of the 19th century, lots of American farmers faced numerous financial problems. Poor treatment from government’s side and desire to discuss and improve the conditions, farmers lived and worked under promoted a rapid growth of one significant party, nowadays known as the Populist movement.
To get a clear understanding of what the essence of that movement was and how influential the activities of its representatives were, it is better to stop on three major points right now: key people, events, and issues. When we talk about the Populist movement, we have to remember such names as James Weaver, George Wallace, Willis Carto, and William Jennings Bryan.
These and many other populists made a significant impact on the development of the party that supports farmers’ rights and interests. William Jennings Bryan was the brightest representative of the Populist movement at the end of the 19th. Do we know who the Great Commoner was? Of course, it was Mr. Bryan due to his unbelievable faith in goodness that should be inherent to people.
If George Wallace did not abandon his passion for the populist ideas, he could be easily compared to Mr. Bryan because of his desire to help and trust to people. The Populist movement may be considered as a voice of farmers, who were eager to unite and make this world and their own lives in particular better (Brexel, 24). The late 19th century was the beginning of the development of the Populist movement.
When farmers moved to the Great Plains, farming life became rather difficult: isolation caused numerous depression and lack of human contact. People just needed a kind of stimulus to reborn and became a significant part of this life. At the beginning of the 1980s, populist actions considerably decreased the gap between poor and rich people.
In 1982, the Government already knew the demands of the populists and could not resist their desire to get an opportunity to own and improve the land. And in spite of the fact that the Populist Party died within a short period, its goals and intentions were supported and developed during a long period after.
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Right now, the guest of our program, Mr. William Bryan, is going to share his ideas as for the development of the Populist movement and the reasons why this party still crashed in spite of strong beliefs and actions.
I: At the beginning of the 1900s, L. Frank Baum created his famous The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and lots of critics and readers found that novel as a kind of allegory to the Populist movement, and you, Mr. Bryan, is compared to the Cowardly Lion. Can you agree to such an offensive comparison?
Mr. B.: In fact, I did not have powers to control the creations of really great masterpieces, which amaze the reader during a long period. To be a part of this story is good indeed.
Of course, it is not that pleasant to realize that my actions and my blind trust in people were regarded as cowardice. I had all the chances to win the vote of Eastern Labor. However, my words and intentions did not impress people, and I did not find enough powers to prove to them that they should believe in me.
I: If you had a chance to ask the Wizard for something like the lion did, what it would be?
Mr. B: If I got such a chance, the first thing I would ask for is to improve my communication skills and my actions. It is not enough just to present ideas and involve people. To achieve success, ideas should be proved by actions. The Populist movement died because of the abundance of talks and ideas, but lack of actions.
I: Thank you for such an answer. Unfortunately, it proves once again that the representatives from the Populist Party just did not have enough power and abilities to organize their demands properly and convince the Government to support farmers’ ideas and intentions.
Brexel, Bernadette. The Populist Party: A Voice for the Farmers in the Industrialized Society. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2003.