There is overwhelming scholarly evidence to support the idea that L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was actually a clever allegory about money and the Populist movement that was born out of American financial insecurity. The Emerald City represented greenbacks. The Yellow-Brick Road represented the populist-preferred gold standard. Dorothy's famous ruby slippers were originally silver, which represented the anti-inflation free-silver movement. The scarecrow represented the Populist Midwestern farmer, perceived to be brainless by Northern bankers. The Tin Man represented dehumanized factory workers, whom populists saw as little more than humanoid machines who would benefit from joining their movement.
Williams Jennings Bryan, who populists didn't believe had the courage to buck the status quo and campaign against William McKinley on the gold standard, was the Cowardly Lion, while the Wizard represented McKinley. Dorothy was the average middle American, who had the power to kill an evil witch (the existing monetary system) as long as she believed in herself.
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