What Are the Accomplishments of the Populist Party?

Although the Populist Party failed as a viable third party, its work helped raise awareness and concern for the plight of farmers and workers. Many of the platforms advanced by the Populist Party were adopted by the Democratic Party and subsequent political movements.

The limited electoral success and heavy campaigning of the Populist Party led the national Democratic Party to adopt many populist causes, such as bimetallism, corporate regulation and workers’ rights. The 1896 loss of the Populist-Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan to Republican William McKinley gave the People’s Party a blow from which it did not recover. Nevertheless, the pro-worker, anti-corporate mindset that permeated populism persisted, becoming part of the progressive movement that produced extensive regulation during the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.