'Occupy' movement has precedents in American history






American history is dotted with popular movements like the "Occupy Wall Street" protest -- particularly during times of great economic hardship.

Several movements from the Great Depression of the 1930s and the major economic crises in the 1890s seem to parallel the "Occupy Wall Street" phenomenon, Iowa historians said.

In each case, they said, average people united and called on the federal government to ease financial hardships or correct what they perceived to be structural inequalities caused by the concentration of wealth. Here are a few of them:

Coxey's Army: The protest known as Coxey's Army may hold the strongest parallels to the Occupy movement, said University of Iowa history professor Shelton Stromquist.

The movement, led by Ohio populist Jacob Coxey, united unemployed workers in a march to Washington, D.C., in 1894 to demand that Congress inflate the U.S. currency and use the newly created wealth to create public-works jobs for the unemployed....



comments powered by Disqus
History News Network