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Populism in Alabama

Bullet The Populist Movement of the 1890s was a national farmers' movement. It was preceded in the 1870s and 1880s by farm organizations seeking reform: the Agricultural Wheel, the Farmers' Alliance, and the Colored Farmers' Alliance.

Bullet American farmers faced many economic problems: low prices for cotton and other farm products, debts and mortgages, the crop-lien system, and the national money system.

Bullet Alabama farmers faced additional economic problems:

Bullet Alabama farmers also faced political problems: Bullet The Alabama Farmers' Alliance entered politics and tried to capture the Democratic nomination for governor in 1890. Bullet In 1892 a coalition was formed by the Alliance-supported Jeffersonian Democratic Party, and the People's Party. Together they were known as the "Populists," and were supported by the Republican Party in their struggle with the state Democratic Party.

"Populist" Jeffersonian Democrat candidate Reuben Kolb faced "Bourbon" Democrat Thomas G. Jones in the gubernatorial election of 1892.

Bullet 1894 gubernatorial election had Kolb running against William C. Oates. Bullet In 1892 and 1894 Populists were successful in legislative, congressional, and local elections.

Bullet Election of 1896 last serious campaign for Populists and beginning of their political decline.