This Day in History – November 25th, 1874

Following the Panic of 1873 the United States Greenback Party was established as a political party on November 25th, 1874 consisting primarily of farmers affected by the stock market crash.

greenback_party_graphicThe Greenback Party (known successively as the Independent Party, the National Independent Party, and the Greenback Labor Party) was an American political party with an anti-monopoly ideology which was active between 1874 and 1889. The party fielded Presidential tickets three times — in the elections of 1876, 1880, and 1884, before fading away.

The party’s name referred to the non-gold backed paper money, commonly known as “greenbacks“, issued by the North during the American Civil War and shortly afterward. The party opposed the deflationary lowering of prices paid to producers entailed by a return to a bullion-based monetary system, the policy favored by the dominant Republican Party. Continued use of unbacked currency, it was believed, would better foster business and assist farmers by raising prices and making debts easier to pay.

26645_lgInitially an agrarian organization associated with the policies of the Grange, from 1878 the organization took the name Greenback Labor Party and attempted to forge a farmer-labor alliance, adding industrial reforms to its agenda, such as support of the 8-hour day and opposition to the use of state or private force to suppress union strikes. The organization faded into oblivion in the second half of the 1880s, with its basic program reborn shortly under the aegis of the People’s Party, commonly known as the “Populists.”

Flourish 3

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