When you think of the word populism, images of American history might come to mind. Recently, ideas behind populism are in our current events as well.

What is Populism?

Populism was a brief movement during the late-1800s. It has roots with farmers and others who felt battered by the rising power of big business and corporations.

Populism was eventually swept up by a larger movement known as Progressivism. The early 20th-century movement was a wide scale effort to reform society due to the negative effects of capitalism, industrialization, and consumerism. Progressivism vanished during the 1920s (partially) due to the economic boom that came out of World War I.

However, the Populist inspiration has reemerged in the 21st century–not only in the U.S., but around the world.

Populism in the 21st Century

Today’s Populism is not a farmers-only movement, but a wider phenomenon that is reacting to ongoing socio-cultural, political, and economic issues in our increasingly globalized society.

A great way to study for the AP European, U.S., and World History exams is to compare current events with the past. Through compare and contrast, you are practicing the critical thinking skills of not only comparison, but also

  • causation,
  • contextualization,
  • continuity and change over time,
  • periodization, and
  • synthesis.

Through this practice, you will identify larger concepts, perspectives, and themes that provide a richer understanding of the historical past.

Populism in the News

Check out these news articles about current Populist movements. While skimming these articles, see how you can make comparisons to what is going on now and what possible connections you can make to the historical past. You might be surprised with what you come up with!

Need help preparing for the AP History exams? Does this seem all too daunting? Contact Ryan at Histropolis Teaching & Learning to see how personalized tutoring can work for you!

About Histropolis Teaching & Learning | HTL was created out of a drive to develop purposeful, responsive, and transformative learning for all students through personalized student tutoring, teacher coaching, and curriculum development services.

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