United States Populist PartyThe Populist Party was a short-lived 19th century political party in the United States. In some states, it was known as the People's Party.
The Populist movement originated after the collapse of agriculture prices following the Panic of 1873. Farmer's alliances formed in the 1880s calling for regulation and reform in national politics. The movement reached its peak in 1892 when both the Democrats and Republicans wouldn't take up a position on the Populists' call for unlimited coinage of silver. A convention was held in Omaha, Nebraska and the Populist Party was formed in 1892.
The party's platform called for the abolition of national banks, a graduated income tax, direct election of Senators, civil service reform, and a working day of eight hours. In the 1892 Presidential election, James B. Weaver received 1,027,329 votes.
By 1896, the Democratic party took up many of the Populist Party's causes and the party faded from the national political scene. The party's desire for direct election of Senators was realized in 1913 with the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment. The party's call for civil service reform became a part of the United States Progressive Party platform.