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Learning One's Native TongueCitizenship, Contestation, and Conflict in America$
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Tracy B. Strong

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226623191

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226623368.001.0001

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Populism and Socialism

Populism and Socialism

(p.157) 6 Populism and Socialism
Learning One's Native Tongue

Tracy B. Strong

University of Chicago Press

The various movements that resisted the economics and the politics of the “Gilded Age” consolidate themselves first into the Populist movement. Had the Peoples Party merged with the Republican Party in the 1892 election they might well have defeated Cleveland. In 1896 William Jennings Bryan, running for President on the Democratic and Populist tickets has the most successful showing of a Third Party in US history. Bryan’s central focus on the silver issue cuts into his appeal, especially in the working-class Northwest. Race relations, however, remain an unresolved matter with the Populists and with the newly dominant Southern Democrats. Bryan remains the most progressive White politician until the rise of Debs. Debs responds to the increasing control of local industry by moving to a conception of a unified Party, one he comes to call ‘socialist’. He gets 6% of the national vote in 1912, though the Party has a much more considerable success on the state and local levels. Debs resists World War I and is sentenced to jail (still runs for President from jail).

Keywords:   “The Interests”, Australian ballot and citizenship, alien landownership, anti-Semitism, immigration, race relations, Plessy v Ferguson, Brotherhood of the Cooperative Commonwealth, American imperialist adventures, occupation of Cuba and the Philippines

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