6. Gene Clanton, (Boston, 1991), 149-50. Fred Erisman, "L. Frank Baum and the Progressive Dilemma," 20 (1968): 616-23, made a similar point, but outside the context of Littlefield's analogies.
1. Henry M. Littlefield, "The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism," American Quarterly 16 (1964): 47-58 (quotation on 54); L. Frank Baum, (Chicago, 1900).
8. Littlefield, "Parable on Populism," 58. For a brief discussion of how he came to write the essay, see Henry M. Littlefield, "The Wizard of Allegory," 36 (Spring 1992):24-25. The Baum Bugle is published by the International Wizard of Oz Club.
Even Toto fit into Littlefield’s narrative: His name was a play on the word “teetotaler,” because Prohibitionists were political allies of Populists.
17. Littlefield, "Parable on Populism," 49.
“Many people in post-Watergate, post-Vietnam America were fascinated to learn that their favorite children’s story was something of a subversive document, an anti-establishment fairy tale,” Parker wrote in his 1994 study of Littlefield’s theories.
This era, gold was the type of currency the country used.
Bryan embraced the issue of free coinage of silver in the 1896 campaign. In his acceptance speech at the Democratic national convention, Bryan claimed that farmers being unfairly burdened by a monetary policy that relied solely on the gold standard. With religious fervor he argued that farmers were being crucified on a “cross of gold.” For farmers to maintain their livelihood, Bryan argued that the money supply needed to be increased by concurrently employing the gold and silver standards, or “bi-metallism.” Bi-metallism was one of the main priorities of the Populists, but was not popular with industrial workers because it would cause inflation. Because of this, the Populists were not able to create a national movement. Bryan lost the election and the Populists would never again be a major force in American politics.
The City of Oz The Yellow Brick Road leads them to the city of Oz.
Populism was a big topic in the 1890's. Populism was the movement of the people. Farmer's during this time were very frustrated, they faced economic distress due to the loans being paid with greenbacks and they started to recieve less money for crops. This created the Farmer's Alliances, these would push for reforms. To help out some of the isolated farm families with social and educational issues, Oliver Hudson Kelley started an organization called the Grange.
The economy was divided during this time between the agricultural and industrial societies. The agricultural side were the farmers who were in bad shape economically, while the industrial society were the more industrialized side who were more advanced economically.
Populism had major effects on American society amd politics. The society was affected by the creation of many public acts being made around this such as movies. For example, the Wizard of Oz, this movie included a lot of symbols politically to provide a political statement. Some of these symbols are the Wicked Witch of the East, which represents bankers who have nothing for farmers. The Wicked Witch of the West represents nature, and the Good Witch of the North represents educated Northern buisnesses during this time. Movies are a great example of how populism affected the American society. Politics were influenced by the Populist's party platform by how there goals were towards the direct election of senators, single terms for President, and also the creation of the Vice President secret ballot. The Populists social goals were that they wanted an 8 hour workday and immigration restrictions. In an overall perspective of populism in the 1890's, it greatly influenced American society and politics during this time.
6th Period: Wizard of Oz and Populism Assignment -Greg Williams
Populism in the 1890’s
During the civil war, the government began to pay farmers in a new currency called greenbacks. The farmers started to lose money, because when greenbacks were taken out of circulation it increased in value. To solve the problem the farmers organized a group called “Farmers Alliance”. The farmers’ alliance pushed for reforms. Agricultural society faced a loss in the value of their currency, due to it being taken from circulation. Industrial society faced a huge loss as well, with many railroad companies going bankrupt. The wizard of Oz is a political statement because everything in the movie is a symbol to represent a part of American populism.
that it can be used as a parable on populism as ..The Populist movement began in the late 1800’s. It was spurred on by economic problems farmers were dealing with, like deflation. As a result of this they created the Farmer’s Alliance, in which organized farmers pushed for reforms, which led to social and economic outlets for farmers. After a while they began to push political reforms and became known as the Populist Party. Some of their goals were for the direct election of senators, single presidential terms, 8 hour work days, immigration restrictions and graduated income tax. The Scarecrow represents the farmers because many people thought they had no brains, but in fact they were able to make an impact on American politics (like levying an income tax and direct election of senators). The yellow brick road, which was a fairly dangerous journey, represented the gold standard, which was considered risky to Democrats because of the troubles it caused in the Panic of 1893. The Yellow Brick Road and Dorothy’s silver slippers together represented bimetallism. The lion is William Jennings Bryan because he won the presidential election of 1896, just like the lion became “king” at the end of the movie.
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