Historians have widely studied the late-nineteenth-century
southern agrarian revolts led by such groups as the Farmers'
Alliance and the People's (or Populist) Party. Much work has also
been done on southern labor insurgencies of the same period, as
kindled by the Knights of Labor and others. However, says Matthew
Hild, historians have given only minimal consideration to the
convergence of these movements.
Hild shows that the Populist (or People's) Party, the most
important third party of the 1890s, established itself most solidly
in Texas, Alabama, and, under the guise of the earlier Union Labor
Party, Arkansas, where farmer-labor political coalitions from the
1870s to mid-1880s had laid the groundwork for populism's
expansion. Third-party movements fared progressively worse in
Georgia and North Carolina, where little such coalition building
had occurred, and in places like Tennessee and South Carolina,
where almost no history of farmer-labor solidarity existed.
Hild warns against drawing any direct correlations between a
strong Populist presence in a given place and a background of
farmer-laborer insurgency. Yet such a background could only help
Populists and was a necessary precondition for the initially
farmer-oriented Populist Party to attract significant labor
support. Other studies have found a lack of labor support to be a
major reason for the failure of Populism, but Hild demonstrates
that the Populists failed despite significant labor support in many
parts of the South. Even strong farmer-labor coalitions could not
carry the Populists to power in a region in which racism and
violent and fraudulent elections were, tragically, central features
You do not have access to this book on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.
Log in to your personal account or through your institution.
Table of Contents
Export Selected Citations
Export to NoodleTools
Export to RefWorks
Export to EasyBib
Export a RIS file
(For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...)
Export a Text file