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The purpose of this assignment is to analyze the Populist platform as a reform agenda and ascertain when some of its proposals were later adopted (at the state or national level).  Doing so will help you practice skills that are essential to your success in this course and in professional life beyond school, such as chronological reasoning and contextualization.  You will also become more knowledgeable about Populism as a reform movement and how reform movements create change.


First, skim the

following document for analysis:  People’s Party, “Omaha Platform,” July 4, 1892




Second, find in the document the following elements of the Populist platform, and note their location in the platform (e.g., “Transportation”):

Graduated income tax

Guarantee of safe deposit of money in banks.

Adoption of secret ballot.

Initiative and referendum.

Limit President to one term

Direct election of Senators to U.S. Congress

Immigration restriction

Public ownership of railroads, telephone, telegraph.

Third, using an internet search, identify when and where these proposals were adopted in American history. Some were adopted at the national level; some were adopted by some but not all states.

Be sure you explain the importance of the 8 points of the Omaha Platform.


the Omaha Platform was first articulated on July 4, 1892

, so citing examples before that date don’t count because they weren’t brought into effect by the influence of the Populist Party or the Omaha Platform.

Fourth, create a timeline illustrating when and where these proposals were adopted.  You can use


or another free timeline maker if you like, or simply use a Word document if that’s less intimidating.  Include in the timeline:

the location of the idea in the Omaha Platform (e.g., Finance, #3; or Expression of Sentiments #4) and

where and when it was adopted (e.g., 20th Constitutional Amendment; or Wisconsin state government).

If you used a free timeline maker, copy the URL or a screenshot of your timeline into a Word document.  Post your timeline document to the assignment dropbox.

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