Ignatius L. Donnelly was a Congressman from Minnesota in the late 1800’s. He wrote the preamble to the Omaha platform for the presidential campaign of 1892. This significant document called for a stronger federal government in order to mend the wounds of capitalism. Some of the proposals the platform called for included: income tax, low cost financing for farmers, and union rights. Though at the time it did not receive the recognition it required, the progressive party would later push for stronger federal governments.
Being a Radical Republican, Donelly had an affinity for social changes. After the reconstruction era, industries were high on the rise and freedoms of laborers and farmers were at an all time low. Foner says that the “Populists sought to rethink the relationship between freedom and government.” Although for industries a big government was a defiance to their business ethics, for common people this was their chance at social and economic justice.
1) Would you say that the recent economic turmoil was a result of the government being too lenient towards corporations?
2) Social programs has come a long way to this day, the president recently passed a health care bill. Do you think that there is a limit to how much a government should provide for it’s people?