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Kansas topics in Chronicling America - Populist War

Populism was a national movement associated with farmers. Economically difficult times for farmers and a growing frustration with the inequity of wealth in the country helped create this popular political movement. The Populist Party became the most popular third-party political movement in United States history.

Kansas played a very important role in the creation of the People’s Party.  Droughts in the late 1880s and early 1890s prevented farmers from successfully growing their crops, causing many Kansans to starve.  Others couldn’t cover their debts, and thousands of Kansas farms faced foreclosure, prompting many to leave the state.  Farmers became fed up. They believed that the government showed more support to big business than they did the workers of the nation.  Farmers were struggling because the railroads charged too much to transport their crops, and that the banks charged too high of interest rates on their loans.  The People’s Party demanded economic and political reform.[i]



[i] Chinn, Jennie A. The Kansas Journey. Salt Lake City, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2005. 172-173.

Below are article links to a sampling of historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection.

Suggested search terms: Populism, People’s Party, Farmer’s Alliance 

"Getting Together for 1900," Kansas Agitator. (Garnett, KS), 02 Dec. 1898.

"A Mad Republican," The advocate. (Topeka, KS) 02 Dec. 1898

"Took The Hair Off," The Wichita daily eagle (Wichita, KS) 07 Sept. 1900