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charge that the controlling influences
dominating both these parties have per-
mitted the existing dreadful conditions
to develop without serious effort to
prevent or restrain them.

"Neither do they now promise us any substantial reform. They have agreed together to ignore, in the coming campaign every issue but one. They propose to drown the outcries of a plundered people with the uproar of a sham-battle over the tariff, so that capitalists, corporations, national banks, rings, trusts, watered stock, the demonetization of silver, and the oppressions of the usurers may all be lost sight of."

Then followed a series of planks containing those reforms which were considered vital and necessary to the people of the nation. They demanded, first of all, the union of the labor forces of the United States. Regarding currency they urged three measures: a national currency issued by the general government only; the free and unlimited coinage of gold and silver at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1; the immediate increase of the circulating medium to not less than fifty dollars per capita. They favored a graduated income tax and the establishment by the government of Postal Savings banks for the safe deposit of the earnings of the people and for facilitating exchange. They further demanded that the government own and operate the railways, the telephone, and the telegraph systems. Their land policy was as follows:

"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 owner-
ship of land should be prohibited. All

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land now held by railroads and other cor-
porations 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."

Then followed nine resolutions attacking those conditions under which labor was working, favoring the initiative and referendum, favoring constitutional amendments limiting the chief executive to one term, and providing for the election of the Senators by a direct vote of the people, and opposing any subsidy of 4 national aid to any private corporation for any purpose.

This platform represented in 1892 the feelings and attitude of the discontented element in the country. Four years later the Democratic Platform contained within its platform many of the planks contained in this one.

Progressive Movement in Democratic


"The progressive movement in the Dem-
ocratic party began as a well-designed
and well-intentioned attempt to prevent
special interests from continuing to use
the national government for their own
selfish purposes. It was well-designed
because it aimed to array and in a measure
did array, for the first time, laborers
against capitalists, employed against em-
ployers, the poor against the rich, on
the specific proposition that silver should
not be demonetized because it would result
to the advantage of capitalists and bankers
and to the disadvantage of laborers and
farmers. It was well-intentioned because
Bryan and his followers sincerely and hon-

4. National Platforms, pp. 170-174.

estly believed that the advocates of
monometallism wished to enrich them-
selves with the aid of government at
the expense of the masses and that the
first steps in restoring government to
the people was to provide a monetary
system that would supply credit and cur-
rency to all on equal terms. Although the
progressive movement began in the Democrat-
ic party over the money question, its sig-
nificance was far deeper than that. If
the issue of monometallism and free silver
had never arisen, the movement undoubtedly
would have started over any one of a hun-
dred other issues such as railroads, corpor-
ations, etc., all centering around the one
great issue that government is to be used,
not for the few, but for the many. Because
of the silver issue, it came in the Demo-
cratic party earlier than it otherwise
would, since free silver was a cry which
raillied many poorly organized, conflicting
parties and associations; and because of
free silver issue the success of the move-
ment in the party came later than it other-
wise would, since, when the free silver pro-
paganda was rejected, not only that issue
but all issues for which the progressive
elements stood were discredited for a long

5. Benjamin Park De Witt, The Progressive Movement (New York 1915) p. 26.

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