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  • Populism, whether considered as a political philosophy or the political party or movement associated with the philosophy, is concerned with the rights of individuals and small enterprises and groups in opposition to or in conflict with privileged economic and political elites. While tracing its roots to the motives driving European settlement of North America, populism is descended most immediately from the politics and economics of the Jacksonian era, chronicled in Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America (1835, 1840).

    Early Populism

    Populism arose following the Civil War in response to a growing lack of democratic access to money and credit, the chief means of acquiring and possessing commercial and industrial capital, and of financing development of all forms of capital, including land. The policy of deflating the currency ...

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