Read The Cross of Gold: Speech Delivered before the National Democratic Convention at Chicago, July 9, 1896 by William Jennings Bryan Free Online
Book Title: The Cross of Gold: Speech Delivered before the National Democratic Convention at Chicago, July 9, 1896|
The author of the book: William Jennings Bryan
Edition: University of Nebraska Press
Date of issue: September 1st 1996
Loaded: 1654 times
Reader ratings: 7.9
ISBN 13: 9780803261310
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 33.30 MB
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William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925) moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1887 as a young lawyer and rose rapidly in local Democratic Party affairs. In 1890 he was elected to the U.S. Congress in a Democratic landslide and was reelected in 1892, although he failed in a bid for the U.S. Senate in 1894. After the 1894 campaign, Bryan became editor of the Omaha World-Herald, continued his activities as a proponent of “free silver,” and began a successful stint as a Chautauqua lecturer, honing his already considerable oratorical skills. His reputation as a free-silver advocate was such that his delivery of the “Cross of Gold” speech at the 1896 Democratic Convention won him the nomination for president at the age of thirty-six.Bryan’s proposal for the unlimited coinage of silver gained him support in the agrarian South and West and opposition in eastern states where banking and mercantile interests were paramount. During the 1896 campaign, Bryan traveled over eighteen thousand miles and made six hundred speeches in twenty-seven states, an unprecedented effort. Bryan lost to McKinley by ninety-five electoral votes, a result that conceals a relatively close popular vote. Although he twice more ran for president, served as Woodrow Wilson’s secretary of state, and ended his career at the Scopes “Monkey Trial,” he will always be best remembered for his galvanic address in 1896.
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Read information about the authorWilliam Jennings Bryan was the Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States in 1896, 1900 and 1908, a lawyer, and the 41st United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson. One of the most popular speakers in American history, he was noted for a deep, commanding voice. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a supporter of popular democracy, a critic of banks and railroads, a leader of the silverite movement in the 1890s, a leading figure in the Democratic Party, a peace advocate, a prohibitionist, an opponent of Darwinism, and one of the most prominent leaders of populism in the late 19th - and early 20th century. Because of his faith in the goodness and rightness of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner."
In the intensely fought 1896 and 1900 elections, he was defeated by William McKinley but retained control of the Democratic Party. For presidential candidates, Bryan invented the national stumping tour. In his three presidential bids, he promoted Free Silver in 1896, anti-imperialism in 1900, and trust-busting in 1908, calling on Democrats, in cases where corporations are protected, to abandon states' rights, to fight the trusts and big banks, and embrace populist ideas. President Woodrow Wilson appointed him Secretary of State in 1913, but Wilson's handling of the Lusitania crisis in 1915 caused Bryan to resign in protest.
He was a strong supporter of Prohibition in the 1920s, and energetically attacked Darwinism and evolution, most famously at the Scopes Trial in 1925. Five days after winning the case but getting bad press, he died in his sleep.