Prairie Populism: The Fate of Agrarian Radicalism in Kansas,Nebraska,and Iowa,1880-1892

Overview

The Plains states in the late 1800s flung open their political doors to the Populist Party while their fellow midwestern neighbors to the east left it standing on the porch. Why the contrasting receptions? Traditionally the disparity has been solely attributed to economic differences. A superficially logical answer, says Jeffrey Ostler, but too simple.

In the past, scholars of Populism have simply assumed that the People's Party thrived in areas where farmers suffered severe and...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $30.00   
  • New (4) from $37.17   
  • Used (4) from $28.94   
Sending request ...

Overview

The Plains states in the late 1800s flung open their political doors to the Populist Party while their fellow midwestern neighbors to the east left it standing on the porch. Why the contrasting receptions? Traditionally the disparity has been solely attributed to economic differences. A superficially logical answer, says Jeffrey Ostler, but too simple.

In the past, scholars of Populism have simply assumed that the People's Party thrived in areas where farmers suffered severe and unique economic hardship and that prosperous areas had no need for a third party. But Ostler contends that the distinction historians have made between "hardship" on the Plains and "prosperity" to the east is overdrawn. All farmers were affected by the deflationary economy of the 1870s and 1880s, and for indebted farmers everywhere, trapped between the money market and the market for crops, the late nineteenth-century economy worked like a vise.

Through a comparison of economics and politics in two Populist states--Kansas and Nebraska--and one non-Populist state--Iowa--Ostler shows that economic conditions alone cannot explain why the People's Party flourished or floundered. The contours of the existing political order, he shows, played a key role. Although all three were staunchly Republican after the Civil War, they had gone their own political ways by the mid 1880s. Iowa's system evolved into a two-party competition between Republicans and Democrats while Kansas and Nebraska remained dominated by the Republicans, making them ripe for a political challenge.

This book not only helps explain why Populism failed to become a national movement but also illuminates the perennial question of why third parties have met with little success in the United States.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700606061
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Series: Rural America Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Tables

Acknowledgments

1. Insurgency and Its Limits

2. Deflation and the Geography of Economic Hardship

3. Antimonopoly and the Emergence of Party Competition in Iowa

4. The Iowa Farmers' Alliance and the Politics of Railroad Reform

5. Bastions of Republicanism: Kansas and Nebraska in the 1880s

6. In Search of "The Way Out": The Farmers' Alliance in Kansas and Nebraska

7. From Schoolroom to Political Party: Third-Party Formation in Kansas and Nebraska

8. Party Competition and the Incorporation of the Iowa Farmers' Alliance

9. Why Was There No Populism in Iowa?

10. The Fate of Populism

Appendix A: Farmers' Alliance Membership

Appendix B: Regression-based Estimates for Iowa Elections, 1880-1892

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)