The People’s Party

The People’s Party otherwise known as the Populist party was founded in 1891 and dissolved in 1908. The populist party’s radical causes were adopted by the democratic party at the time and had a huge impact on the political landscape. “According to Lawrence Goodwyn, if the labor movement had been able to do in the cities what the Populists did in the rural areas, “to create among urban workers a culture of cooperation, self-respect, and economic analysis,” there might have been a great movement for change in the United States.” (271) This anti elitist movement sided with labor unions to attack banks, railroads and unfair working environments. Zinn quotes Normal Pollak who says  “Populism regarded itself as a class movement, reasoning that farmers and workers were assuming the same material position in society.” (272) The movement united poor white people and black people to fight for industrial freedom. Zinn says that they were not above racist thinking but still strived for the “emancipation of all men” (273)   Zinn mentions the populist party because they have a huge impact on the labor unions, the democratic party, and arguably helped create the progressive movement.