A Populist was elected governor and was re-elected in 1900.
In 1891 the Populist party was organized, but it never succeeded in securing a majority of the votes in the state.
After 1873 he practised law in Chicago, was the Democratic candidate for governor of Illinois in 1880, became a Populist in 1894, and defended the railway strikers in Chicago in the same year.
Following the repeal of the Sherman Law and other acts and tendencies unfavourable to silver coinage in 1893 and thereafter, the silver question became the dominant issue in politics, resulting in the success of the Populist-Democratic fusion party in three successive elections, and permanently and greatly altering prior party organizations.
It has since been consistently Democratic. The supremacy of the party was threatened for a time by the growth of Populism, but the danger was ayoided by the acceptance of free silver, and the partial adoption of the Populist local programme.