American Populism

The reasons for the rise of populism in America in the twenties, as explained by Robert McMath in his book, “American Populism: A Social History.”

The paper analyzes Robert McMath’s American Populism: A Social History which provides an insightful and trenchant analysis of the reasons why a wave of populism swept over the United States during the late teens and twenties, only to die away in the 1930s. This paper discusses how the book helps us to understand this particular period of American history, as well as the reasons that political movements in general rise and fall.
Although it might be hard for any observer of contemporary American politics to believe it, in fact there were supporters of Progressive ideals in the Republican as well as the Democratic party. The two parties found themselves splitting into conservative and progressive groups (this should not surprise the viewer of contemporary American politics, who sees the same thing going on today in the Democratic Party). Indeed, when the conservative William Taft in was renominated for the presidency 1912, a group of progressives split off to form the Progressive Party and to run Theodore Roosevelt as their candidate for office.