A Sample Example-- Not written by Sarah so you can trust it:P

-The Populist Party's period of prominence represents a unique epoch in American history. From humble beginnings among the sharecroppers of the Farmers' Alliances and the Plains states in the 1880s, it rocked to a position of national prominence before plunging even more rapidly back into obscurity and, shortly thereafter, disintegration. Yet it left its mark on American politics, and ironically the speed of its demise was directly related to the impact it had.

It had its beginning as the political vehicle of the Farmers' Alliances, groups of poor farmers who felt themselves hopelessly mired in the system of share-cropping, crop-liens, and low farm commodity prices. They tended to feel that the deck was stacked against them economically, and they desired government intervention in their favor. The Populist Party was to be their means of gaining this. Many of the farmers were in debt, and in order to make it easier for them to get out, they wanted the government to create inflation. Some toyed with the idea of achieving this with paper money, but the party eventually hit on the more politically acceptable scheme of getting the government to monetize silver and increase the money supply in that manner. The idea had the added bonus of bringing with it the support of Western silver-mining interests. So "free-coinage of silver" became the mainstray of the Populist program. The rest of the party's program was also designed to appeal to "the plain people" and included a graduated income tax, public ownership of railroads, and direct election of senators. In 1892 the party's presidential nominee, James B. Weaver, gained over a million votes, and the aprty made impressive shoinwgs in some state races.

However, in 1896 William James Jennings Bryan and the free-silver wing of the Democrats captured that party's presidential nomination. The Populists were faced with the choice of campaigning against a proponent of their chief issue or throuwing their support behind Bryan. They chose the latter course, and this was the key to their hasty demise: a major party had successfully incorporated their main issue. Bryan lost the election of 1896, but the Populist party could not be resurrected. In a sense it was a victim of the flexibility and responsiveness of the American two party system. Its adherents eventually drifted into one of the two major parties, mainly the Democratic party. How demonstrated by the fact that both a graduated income tax and direct election of senators were established in 1913.

Ths, the Populist Party made a remarkable impact in the course of American politics, but as a party it failed and rapidly disappeared because one of the already existing parties was able to absorb its ideological thrust and most of its support.