At their national convention in 1896, the Populists chose Bryan as their presidential nominee. Bryan’s campaign laid bare the diverging interests of those whose livelihoods were linked to urban institutions and those who lived by the land in rural America. McKinley received a little more than seven million votes, Bryan a little less than six and a half million, about 800,000 in excess of the Democratic vote in 1892. A sizable bolt did indeed occur upon the nomination of Joshua Levering by the Prohibition Party to the Presidency, with Charles E. Bentley and former Kansas Governor John St. John leading a walkout of "Broad-Gaugers" from their convention, St. John himself exclaiming that the regular convention had been "...bought up by Wall Street." Major McKinley was the last veteran of the American Civil War to be nominated for president by either major party. Francis Newlands was elected to the U.S. House with 72.5% of the vote. But in an unexpected turn of events, the young Democratic Nebraska lawyer and former congressman Bryan challenged McKinley in 1896. Election of 1896: It Came Down to a Question of Money Download MP3 ... Several men spoke in support of President Cleveland and the gold standard. Bryan traveled nearly 20,000 miles by rail around the country during his campaign and gave hundreds of speeches, often out of the back of his railroad car. More so than any election since Rutherford B. Hayes’ 1876 victory ended Reconstruction, the election of 1896 had long-term consequences. On election day the results from the Pacific Coast and Upper South would be the closest of the election. His campaign mastermind, Cleveland businessman Mark Hanna, attracted 750,000 people to Canton during the campaign and enlisted thousands of speakers to stump elsewhere on McKinley’s behalf. This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 11:40. Republicans managed to attract some urban progressive voters by attacking Bryan as a religious fanatic, in addition to painting a dire picture of what abandoning the gold standard would mean for the economy. ", Increasingly, the Republicans personalized their attacks on Bryan as a dangerous religious fanatic. He was the first presidential candidate since Stephen Douglas in 1860 to canvass directly, and the first ever to criss-cross the nation and meet voters in person. The 1896 Democratic National Convention repudiated the Cleveland administration and nominated Bryan on the fifth presidential ballot. The pro-gold Democrats reacted to Bryan's nomination with a mixture of anger, desperation, and confusion. Had the election occurred in the heart of the Panic of 1893, the results may have differed. Morgan noted, "full organization, Republican party harmony, a campaign of education with the printed and spoken word would more than counteract" Bryan's speechmaking.. The presidential campaign of 1896 was one of the most exciting in American history. Bryan however, opted to concentrate in the Mid-West and to launch a unity tour into the heavily Republican Northeast. As a result, Hanna raised a staggering $3.5 million for the campaign and outspent the Democrats by an estimated 5-to-1 margin. A two-thirds vote was required for the nomination and the silverites had it in spite of the extreme regional polarization of the delegates. Bryan, with practically no staff, gave much the same talk over and over again. With the nation mired in the aftermath of a serious economic depression and a deeply unpopular Democrat incumbent—Grover Cleveland—in the White House, the GOP had surged back in the most recent midterms to win control of both the House and Senate. The Democratic Party's repudiation of its Bourbon faction largely gave Bryan and his supporters control of the Democratic Party until the 1920s, and set the stage for Republican domination of the Fourth Party System. "You would laugh yourself sick could you see old Palmer," wrote lawyer Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Silver leaders met in Washington DC on January 22 to discuss holding a national convention. Outspent and shut out of the party's traditional newspapers, Bryan decided his best chance to win the election was to conduct a vigorous national speaking tour by train. The 1896 election was particularly detrimental to the Populist Party in the South; the party divided itself between members who favored cooperation with the Democrats to achieve reform at the national level and members who favored cooperation with the Republicans to achieve reform at a state level. At just 36 years of age, Bryan was only a year older than the minimum age required by the Constitution to be president. Silverites welcomed their hero with all-day celebrations of parades, band music, picnic meals, endless speeches, and undying demonstrations of support. They showed little enthusiasm for Bryan, although many were worried that a Republican victory would bring prohibition into play. The Populists, who had won several states in the 1892 election, also nominated Bryan, who shared their free silver views. National Archives and Records Administration. McKinley won some 600,000 more popular votes than Bryan, the widest margin since 1872, while his win in the electoral college (271 to 176) was even more decisive. The national popular vote was rather close, as McKinley defeated Bryan by 602,500 votes, receiving 51% to Bryan's 46.7%: a shift of 53,000 votes in California, Kentucky, Ohio and Oregon would have won Bryan the election despite McKinley winning the majority of the popular vote, but due to the joint Democratic-Populist ticket, this also would have left Hobart and Sewell short of the 224 electoral votes required to win the vice-presidency, forcing a contingent election for vice-president in the Senate. This sum would be equivalent to approximately $85 million, according to the inflation calculator of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Word Count: 605; Approx Pages: 2; Save Essay ; View my Saved Essays ; Downloads: 14; Grade level: High School; Login or Join Now to rate the paper Problems? Incumbent Democratic President Grover Cleveland did not seek election to a second consecutive term, leaving the Democratic nomination open. In the Southern states, including Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, the wins were obtained by electoral fusion with the Republicans against the dominant Bourbon Democrats, whereas in the rest of the country, fusion, if practiced, was typically undertaken with the Democrats, as in the state of Washington. 6 1896 Election Democrats –1890s Republicans –1890s •Southerners •Wealthy farmers •Supported low tariffs (wanted other countries to buy their crops) •Northerners •Wealthy business men (connected to the … The McKinley campaign gave special attention to skilled workers, especially in the Midwest and adjacent states. Southern cities, with few exceptions, were. By the time it came to the Party's nomination for president, many of the "Broad-Gaugers" were already openly considering bolting and running their own candidate as it became increasingly apparent that the "Narrow-Gaugers" had brought a majority of the convention under their influence, formal action was deferred until after the nomination for president was made. (b) Sewall was Bryan's Democratic running mate. The National Democrats did not carry any states, but they did divide the Democratic vote in some states and helped the Republicans flip Kentucky; Gold Democrats made much of the fact that Palmer's small vote in Kentucky was higher than McKinley's very narrow margin in that state.
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