Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Journalism and Mass Communications


From Ch. 1:
It is the purpose of this paper, then,to study the impact that H. L. Loucks may have had on three major issues of South Dakota populism already stated: the populist position in the state, the formation of a third party and fusion with the Democrats. Neither major state historian of the period--George Kingsbury nor Doane Robinson--has been kind in his assessment of Loucks and the state's populists. Kingsbury, according to Yale historian Howard R. Lamar, hinted they were "a combination of cranks and demagogues." Robinson has even admitted insinuating that Loucks was a crook--a mistake he later clarified. But it is the opinion of this writer that Loucks was neither; that he was instead a man of lofty and unbending principles. He saw the suffering of Dakota farmers at the hands of the powerful and set out to do something about it. He advocated a government that would intervene on the side of the powerless and help redress the balance, to make the lot of the monopolies a little less comfortable and to make the lot of the farmers a bit more comfortable. But it would also be an open government, one to which all citizens would have equal access. The next chapter will trace the development of what became the two most serious grievances of the farmers: the abuses of monopoly, especially railroads, and the limited· amount -of currency in circulation. The second part of Chapter II will explore these two conditions in Dakota Territory in the ten years preceding formation of the Independent Party in June 1890. Chapters III, IV and V will present a detailed summary of and conclusions about the impact of H. L. Loucks on South Dakota populism through the Ruralist and other writings.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University