Populist Party's Significance


Forum Staff
Jan 2007
If this is the Populist Party we mean -


then the lasting effects on American politics would include direct election of US Senators and a graduated income tax. The Democrats co-opted their issues, to no avail as things turned out. Roosevelt's Progressive Party took states from the Republicans in 1912, but that was 20 years after the Populists got 8.51% of the popular vote in 1892. It was all downhill from there for them.

By all means, I think it's safe to say that things would have been very different if Bryan had been elected president in 1896 and served two terms.