Kansas City Conference (1901)

The Kansas City Conference was held on June 19, 1901, as an attempt to inaugurate a third-party movement in Missouri. It resulted in the creation of the Allied Third Party, to be used as a way to increase the role of the public in the legislative process and to promote Populist issues on the state level.

The members of the executive committee approved a platform that endorsed direct legislation of the people by ballot initiative and referendum, along with the direct election of president, vice president, federal judges, and senators. The conference also supported the creation of a department of labor and equitable arbitration, the public ownership of all public utilities such as railroads and telegraphs, a progressive income tax, and more local control for cities in the state.

While William Jennings Bryan did not officially endorse the new party, party leaders did travel to his home in Lincoln, Nebraska, to discuss the new party, and their platform endorsed many of the same measures he supported in his previous campaigns. The party originally hoped to expand to other states with the goal of nominating a candidate in the 1904 presidential election, but it did not move beyond some unsuccessful congressional and local contests in Missouri.

Michael A. Ridge Jr.

See also: Bryan, William Jennings (1860–1925) ; People's Party ; Silver Republicans ; Third Parties


Coletta, Paolo E. William Jennings Bryan: I: Political Evangelist, 1860–1908. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1964.

Langland, James. The Chicago Daily News Almanac for 1902. Chicago: The Chicago Daily News Company, 1902.

Townsend, Malcolm. Handbook of United States Political History for Readers and Students. Boston: Lothrop, Lee & Shepherd Co., 1905.