• Third-Party Poopers: James Baird Weaver and the Populist Party

    We're taking a few days to look back at all the important third-party Presidential candidates throughout American history. This one's dedicated to all the hardcore James Baird Weaver fans (now, please stop email-bombing us)…

    In 1892, James Baird Weaver ran for the President under the newly-formed Populist Party, which built its platform around helping "the plain people." In his campaign, Weaver embraced radical ideas like an eight-hour work day and actually voting representatives into Congress.

    Unfortunately, Populism proved to be not nearly as popular as Weaver had hoped — he lost the election to Democrat Grover Cleveland, and only ended up winning a handful of Midwest states that the other two parties had forgotten existed.

    Impressed with Weaver's results, the Democrats absorbed the more unpopular Populist ideas into their the 1896 election platform, and pulled off a stunning loss. Employees continued working 32-hour shifts until the dark day in 1938, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act.

    Tags: Franklin Roosevelt, Third-Party Poopers


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