The Socialist Party of America was formed by a merger of several democratic-socialist political groups. Rejecting industrial capitalism, the party aimed to increase the rights and power of farmers and laborers.
Eugene V. Debs was a railway employee who worked to create the American Railway Union, an industrial union for railway workers. In 1893, the ARU orchestrated the Pullman car boycott in 1894, which led to Debs' arrest and the end of the ARU. Debs later served as a leader of the Socialist Party of America.