Platform of the Populist Party
American Reformism
Chapter 32


PLATFORM

We declare, therefore--

First. --That the union of the labor forces of the United States this day consummated shall be permanent and perpetual; may its spirit enter in to all hearts for the salvation of the Republic and the uplifting of mankind.

Second. --Wealth belongs to him who creates it, and every dollar taken from industry without an equivalent is robbery. "If any will not work, neither shall he eat." The interests of rural and civil labor are the same; their enemies are identical.

Third. --We believe that the time has come when the railroad corporations will either own the people or the people must own the railroads: and should the government enter upon the work of owning and managing all railroads, we should favor an amendment to the constitution by which all persons engaged in the government service shall be placed under a civil-service regulation of the most rigid character, so as to prevent the increase of the power of the national administration by the use of such additional government employes.

FINANCE. --We demand a national currency, safe, sound, and flexible issued by the general government only, a full legal tender for all debts, public and private, and that without the use of banking corporations; a just, equitable, and efficient means of distribution direct to the people, at a tax not to exceed 2 per cent, per annum, to be provided as set forth in the sub-treasury plan of the Farmers' Alliance, or a better system; also by payments in discharge of its obligations for public improvements.

  1. We demand free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1.
  2. We demand that the amount of circulating medium be speedily increased to not less than %50 per capita.
  3. We demand a graduated income tax.
  4. We believe that the money of the country should be kept as much as possible in the hands of the people, and hence we demand that all State and national revenues shall be limited to the necessary expenses of the government, economically and honestly administered.
  5. We demand that postal savings banks be established by the government for the safe deposit of the earnings of the people and to facilitate exchange.

TRANSPORTATION. --Transportation being a means of exchange and a public necessity, the government should own and operate the railroads in the interest of the people. The telegraph and telephone, like the post-office system, being a necessity for the transmission of news, should be owned and operated by the government in the interest of the people.

LAND. --The land, including all the natural sources of wealth, is the heritage of the people, and should not be monopolized for speculative purposes, and alien ownership of land should be prohibited. All land now held by railroads and other corporations in excess of their actual needs, and all lands now owned by aliens should be reclaimed by the government and held for actual settlers only.

From Edward McPherson, Handbook of Politics for 1892.

ResourceResearchReference


W.W. Norton
RESOURCE: World Civilizations
http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/ralph/workbook/ralprs32d.htm
Page created by Thomas Pearcy, Ph.D and Mary Dickson.
Direct questions or comments to Webmaster.
Last revised February 4, 1997
Copyright (c) 1997. W. W. Norton Publishing. All Rights Reserved