Alliance

Founded in 1889 by Jay Burrows, the Alliance was a publication of the Nebraska Populist movement. Burrows went on to become a major figure in the state's political scenery and used the paper to promote his principles.

The Alliance began on June 12, 1889, as a weekly newspaper published out of Lincoln, Nebraska. The earliest issues listed H. G. Armitage as editor, but by September, Burrows had assumed editorship. In December 1889, the name of the publication was changed to Farmers’ Alliance.

The following year the paper printed a manifesto calling for a convention to nominate Populist candidates for state offices. Farmers’ Alliance was used to spread the party's platform under Burrows, among them to restore silver as a currency, block land monopolies, create public ownership of railroads and telegraphs, and reduce the work day to eight hours. During the subsequent political campaign, the paper became a vehicle for Burrows's rhetoric while he additionally denounced the opposing opinions of competing newspapers.

During his tenure as editor, Gibson began looking beyond the economics of Populism, which he ultimately felt promoted individualism over cooperation. His search for a more equitable and generous society was furthered through his growing interest in communal living and farming cooperatives. In response to his shift in personal philosophy, in 1894 Gibson changed the name of his paper to Wealth Makers of the World. The publication began to lose readership, however, and in 1896 Gibson sold the paper. He moved to Georgia to found the Christian Commonwealth Colony and edit its newspaper, Social Gospel.

Carla W Garner

See also: Bellamy, Edward (1850–1898) ; Burrows, Jay (1833–1900) ; Gilded Age ; Kaweah Colony ; Plains and Midwest, Populism in the ; The Press and Populism ; Rochdale Plan ; Socialism, Christian

References

Fogarty, Robert S. All Things New: American Communes and Utopian Movements, 1860–1914. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Goodwyn, Lawrence. Democratic Promise: The Populist Moment in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976.

McHugh, Christine. “Midwestern Populist Leadership and Edward Bellamy: ‘Looking Backward’ into the Future.” American Studies 19 (2): 57–74.

Pollack, Norman. The Populist Response to Industrial America: Midwestern Populist Thought. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1962.

Watkins, Albert, ed. History of Nebraska: From the Earliest Explorations to the Present with Portraits, Maps, and Tables. Vol. 3. Lincoln, NE: Western Publishing and Engraving, 1913.