Wizard Of Oz Allegory

511 Words3 Pages
1. How did Baum's life prepare him to write this allegory? L. Frank Baum’s early life inspired his writing of this political allegory. He was born to a rich family in New York in 1856, which gave him a close view of the lifestyle and economic situation in the North, which he would later compare with West. By the age of 26, he married the daughter of one of the leading suffragettes and later moved to South Dakota with his family. By moving, he had a more open view of the frontier life that resulted in the rise of the populist movement. In 1890, he and his family moved to Chicago, where the debate over the free coinage of silver was heard about all over. Talk about the topic only increased in 1896, when William Bryan Jennings, supporter of the free silver movement, made his famous “Cross of Gold Speech” at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Baum’s exposure to an atmosphere in which the free silver movement was imperative influenced his writing of The Wizard of Oz as a political allegory. 2. What economic problems were the Populists responding to? The Populists were responding to the changes brought by industrialization. There was a strong need for additional money balances. Farm prices were declining drastically due to the decline in the price of farm products. The Populists were responding to the needs of the farmers, who were mostly in debt. They sought a solution through the unlimited coinage of silver to inflate money supply to ease the debts. 3. Why was bimetallism a valid solution to these economic problems? Bimetallism was thought of to boost up the falling economy. The widespread deflation, especially in the West, caused panic when farmers were unable to pay off their debts. Bimetallism would consist of silver making up for nonexistent amounts of gold to elevate the gold standard.
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