It’s important to remember that Populism is a fairly dense concept and does not refer to either end of the political spectrum that ranges, in our vernacular, from “right” to “left,” or from radical to conservative. Indeed, there can be both right-wing and left-wing populists. As my late, dear, friend Lloyd Mueller use to say, “Populism is the cynical manipulating the stupid.”
So this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Populist Party in the United States doesn’t delve very deeply into the broader subject of Populism. It is a short introduction to one manifestation of Populism in the United States in the nineteenth century. It is, however, an introduction to the concept of Populism; moreover, as a short exercise, it will probably suffice to supply students with the information needed to answer the kind of superficial question about the Populist Party that appears on the standardized tests that plague teaching, learning, and intelligence.
If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.