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Populist Vs. Jacksonian Democrats
Populists, which were also known as “The People's Party”, was a short-lived political party in the United States established in 1891. The party mainly consisted of poor, white, Southern cotton farmers and wheat farmers from the plains. The party was known for being radical in the ways of agrarianism and held great hostility to banks, railroads, and generally mainstream elites. Jacksonian Democrats were responsible for political movements toward greater democracy for the common man established by the seventh American president, Andrew Jackson, in the 1830's. Nineteenth-century populists could be seen as heirs of these Jacksonian Democrats. Both the democrats and the populists shared many of the same ideas with respect to overall objectives and specific proposals for reform.
Jacksonian Democrats sought a greater amount of democracy in American government, mostly white males having the right to vote, and believed heavily in the spoils system,("To the victor belong the spoils"). Jackson established the spoils system to reform the government by removing some federal officeholders. Also, he gave elected officials the right to choose their own followers to public office. Jacksonian Democrats also sought “relaxed property qualifications to vote”. Jacksonian Democrats were all about representing the common man, and, since it represented the powerful and wealthy eastern people trumping over poor farmers, they shut down the “Second Bank of The United States”.
Populists were also about representing the common man. In fact, they wanted “free and unlimited coinage of silver” to help debtor farmers in the west that had borrowed gold from wealthy western Americans. Populists also wanted the people to have the power to directly elect senators, wanted government to have power over the telegraph, the railroads, and telephones, and, additionally, they were great believers of graduated income tax, where those who made more, paid more. Lastly,...