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Case #854

Four farmers unleash a major movement


130 years ago, around a kitchen table in Lampasas, Texas, four down-on-their-luck farmers got together to talk about their plight at the hands of rapacious railroads and greedy middlemen. Before the evening was over they had planted seeds that would blossom as the Populist movement. In a few years the movement had 10,000 organizers across the Midwest and South, talking to people about how things needed to change. This was at a time, much like our own, when any challenge to wealthy powerbrokers seemed futile. But the Populists kept talking - to friends, to neighbors, to anyone who didnâ??t walk away - and before long even industrialists and politicians had to listen. Without the Populist movement, the reforms of the Progressive Era, the labor movement, and the New Deal never would have happened.


This shows how powerful the actions of only a few ordinary people can be.
Location: Texas, US
Action: Political
Setting: Developed World
Extent of Action: National
Year(s): 1870
Outcome successful
Source: Utne Reader July/August 2002, p.6


Prepared By: dp, 06/03
Rating: 1
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