The lesson will begin with a discussion of the issues that are most important in today’s society and how the government could solve these problems. After this, students will work in groups, annotating the topics and issues that arose in the 1896 election, analyzing the primary sources of the platforms of the Republican, Democratic and Populist parties. (Note: The agenda of the Populists merged with the platform of the Democratic Party with William Jennings Bryan as their candidate.) To aid them in their examination of the issues, a chart has been provided that will give a visual breakdown on the major differences between the two parties and their respective candidates. They will then analyze the political cartoons that were published at the height of the 1896 election. By the end of the lesson, students will realize that the roots of political reform began at the end of the 19th century with the Populists and that their platform paved the way for legislation that improved the conditions that were plaguing America from a political, social and economic aspect.