Populist Party: Omaha Platform


The Omaha Platform, which articulated the principles of the Populist movement, was adopted by the Populist Party—more formally, the People's Party—at its founding convention in Omaha, Nebraska, on July 4, 1892. With great fervor, the delegates to the convention embraced the platform, written by a lawyer, farmer, novelist, amateur scientist, and politician from Minnesota named Ignatius Donnelly (1831–1901). Although the Populist Party dissolved in 1908, many of the planks of its platform were adopted during the Progressive era of the early twentieth century and during the New Deal of the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s, and populism remains a vibrant strain in American politics.

The Populist movement emerged during the late 1880s. It represented an alliance between poor cotton farmers in states such as Texas, Alabama, and North Carolina and wheat farmers from the Plains states, primarily Nebraska and Kansas. The movement, which evolved from...

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Populist Party presidential candidate James Weaver (Library of Congress)

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