The Mugwumps were Republican political activists who switched parties from the Republican Party by supporting Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland in the presidential election of 1884. They switched because they rejected the financial corruption associated with Republican candidate James G. Blaine. In a close election, the Mugwumps made the difference in New York state and swung the election to Cleveland; the jocular word "mugwump", noted as early as 1832, is from Algonquian mugquomp, "important person, kingpin", implying that they were "sanctimonious" or "holier-than-thou" in holding themselves aloof from party politics. After the election, "mugwump" survived for more than a decade as an epithet for a party bolter in American politics. Many Mugwumps became Democrats or remained independents and most continued to support reform well into the 20th century. During the Third Party System, party loyalty was in high regard and independents were rare. Theodore Roosevelt stunned his upper class New York City friends by supporting Blaine in 1884 and by rejecting the Mugwumps kept alive his Republican party leadership, clearing the way for his own political aspirations.
New England and the Northeast had been a stronghold of the Republican Party since the Civil War era, but the Mugwumps considered Blaine to be an untrustworthy and fraudulent candidate. Their idealism and reform sensibilities led them to oppose the political corruption in the politics of the Gilded Age. Political patronage known as the spoils system, was the issue that angered many reform-minded Republicans, leading them to reject Blaine's candidacy. In the spoils system, the winning candidate would dole out government positions to those who had supported his political party prior to the election. Although the Pendleton Act of 1883 established the United States Civil Service Commission and made competency and merit the base qualifications for government positions, its effective implementation was slow. Political affiliation continued to be the basis for appointment to many positions. In the early 1880s, the issue of political patronage split the Republican Party down the middle for several consecutive sessions of Congress.
The party was divided into each with creative names. The side that held the upper hand in numbers and popular support were the Half-Breeds, led by Senator James Blaine of Maine; the Half-Breeds supported civil service reform and blocked legislation and political appointments put forth by their main congressional opponents, the Stalwarts, led by Roscoe Conkling of New York. Blaine was from the reform wing of his own party; this division among Republicans may have contributed to the victory in 1884 of Grover Cleveland, the first President elected from the Democratic party since the Civil War. In the period from 1876 to 1892, presidential elections were contested at the national level, but the states themselves were dominated by a single party, with Democrats prevailing in the South and the Republicans in the Northeast. Although the defection of the Mugwumps may have helped Cleveland win in New York, one of the few contested states, historians attribute Cleveland's victory nationwide to the rising power of urban immigrant voters.
Several historians of the 1960s and 1970s portrayed the Mugwumps as members of an insecure elite, one that felt threatened by changes in American society. These historians focused on the social background and status of their subjects and the narratives they have written share a common outlook. Mugwumps tended to come from old Protestant families of New York and New England and from inherited wealth, they belonged to or identified with the emerging business and professional elite and were members of the most exclusive clubs. Yet they felt threatened by the rise of machine politics, one aspect of, the spoils system, they excelled as authors and essayists, yet their writings indicated their social position and class loyalties. In politics, they tended to be ineffectual and unsuccessful and unwilling to operate in a political environment where patronage was the norm. In his 1998 work, historian David Tucker attempts to rehabilitate the Mugwumps. According to Tucker, the Mugwumps embodied the liberalism of the 19th century and their rejection by 20th-century historians, who embraced the government intervention of the New Deal and the Great Society, is not surprising.
To Tucker, their eloquent writings speak for themselves and are testament to a high minded civic morality. During the 2017 United Kingdom general election, Conservative Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson by writing in The Sun accused Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn of being a threat to the United Kingdom and described him as a "mutton-headed old mugwump". Dictionaries report that "mugguomp" is an Algonquian word meaning "person of importance" or "war leader". Charles Anderson Dana, the colorful newspaperman and editor of the now-defunct New York Sun, is said to have given the Mugwumps their political moniker. Dana derided them as amateurs and public moralists. During the 1884 campaign, they were portrayed as "fence-sitters", with part of their body on the side of the Democrats and the other on the side of the Republicans, their "mug" on one side of the fence, their "wump" on the other. Angry Republicans like Roscoe Conkling sometimes hinted they were homosexual, calling them "man milliners"; the epithet "goody-goody" from the 1890s goo-goo, a corruption of "good government", was used in a similar derogatory manner.
Whereas "mugwump" has become an obscure and forgotten political moniker, "goo-goo" was revived, especial
Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, lawyer and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He had served as the second vice president of the United States from 1797 to 1801; the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation. Jefferson was of English ancestry and educated in colonial Virginia, he graduated from the College of William & Mary and practiced law, with the largest number of his cases concerning land ownership claims. During the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration, drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator, served as the 2nd Governor of Virginia from 1779 to 1781, during the American Revolutionary War, he became the United States Minister to France in May 1785, subsequently the nation's first secretary of state under President George Washington from 1790 to 1793.
Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. With Madison, he anonymously wrote the controversial Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 and 1799, which sought to strengthen states' rights by nullifying the federal Alien and Sedition Acts; as president, Jefferson pursued the nation's shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. He organized the Louisiana Purchase doubling the country's territory; as a result of peace negotiations with France, his administration reduced military forces. He was reelected in 1804. Jefferson's second term was beset with difficulties at home, including the trial of former vice president Aaron Burr. American foreign trade was diminished when Jefferson implemented the Embargo Act of 1807, responding to British threats to U. S. shipping. In 1803, Jefferson began a controversial process of Indian tribe removal to the newly organized Louisiana Territory, he signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves in 1807.
Jefferson, while a planter and politician, mastered many disciplines, which ranged from surveying and mathematics to horticulture and mechanics. He was an architect in the classical tradition. Jefferson's keen interest in religion and philosophy led to his presidency of the American Philosophical Society. A philologist, Jefferson knew several languages, he corresponded with many prominent people. His only full-length book is Notes on the State of Virginia, considered the most important American book published before 1800. After retiring from public office, Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Although regarded as a leading spokesman for democracy and republicanism in the era of the Enlightenment, Jefferson's historical legacy is mixed; some modern scholarship has been critical of Jefferson's private life, pointing out the contradiction between his ownership of the large numbers of slaves that worked his plantations and his famous declaration that "all men are created equal." Another point of controversy stems from the evidence that after his wife Martha died in 1782, Jefferson fathered children with Martha's half-sister, Sally Hemings, his slave.
Despite this, presidential scholars and historians praise his public achievements, including his advocacy of religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia. Jefferson continues to rank among U. S. presidents. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at the family home in Shadwell in the Colony of Virginia, the third of ten children, he was of English, Welsh and was born a British subject. His father Peter Jefferson was a surveyor who died when Jefferson was fourteen. Peter Jefferson moved his family to Tuckahoe Plantation in 1745 upon the death of William Randolph, the plantation's owner and Jefferson's friend, who in his will had named him guardian of his children; the Jeffersons returned to Shadwell in 1752, where Peter died in 1757. Thomas inherited 5,000 acres of land, including Monticello, he assumed full authority over his property at age 21. Jefferson began his childhood education beside the Randolph children with tutors at Tuckahoe. Thomas' father, was self-taught, regretting not having a formal education, he entered Thomas into an English school early, at age five.
In 1752, at age nine, he began attending a local school run by a Scottish Presbyterian minister and began studying the natural world, for which he grew to love. At this time he began studying Latin and French, while learning to ride horses. Thomas read books from his father's modest library, he was taught from 1758 to 1760 by Reverend James Maury near Gordonsville, where he studied history and the classics while boarding with Maury's family. During this period Jefferson came to know and befriended various American Indians, including the famous Cherokee chief, who stopped at Shadwell to visit, on their way to Williamsburg to trade. During the two years Jefferson was with the Maury family, he traveled to Williamsburg and was a guest of Colonel Dandridge, father of Martha Washington. In Williamsburg the young Jefferson met and came to admire Patrick Henry, eight ye
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was an American soldier, civil engineer, railroad executive, politician. A graduate of West Point, McClellan served with distinction during the Mexican War, left the Army to work in railroads until the outbreak of the Civil War. Early in the war, McClellan was appointed to the rank of major general and played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army, which would become the Army of the Potomac in the Eastern Theater. Although McClellan was meticulous in his planning and preparations, these characteristics hampered his ability to challenge aggressive opponents in a fast-moving battlefield environment, he chronically overestimated the strength of enemy units and was reluctant to apply principles of mass leaving large portions of his army unengaged at decisive points. McClellan organized and led the Union army in the Peninsula Campaign in southeastern Virginia from March through July 1862, it was the first large-scale offensive in the Eastern Theater.
Making an amphibious clockwise turning movement around the Confederate Army in northern Virginia, McClellan's forces turned west to move up the Virginia Peninsula, between the James and York Rivers, landing from the Chesapeake Bay, with the Confederate capital, Richmond, as their objective. McClellan was somewhat successful against the cautious General Joseph E. Johnston, but the emergence of General Robert E. Lee to command the Army of Northern Virginia turned the subsequent Seven Days Battles into a partial Union defeat. General McClellan failed to maintain the trust of President Abraham Lincoln, he did not trust his commander-in-chief and was derisive of him. He was removed from command in November after failing to decisively pursue Lee's Army following the tactically inconclusive but strategic Union victory at the Battle of Antietam outside Sharpsburg and never received another field command. McClellan went on to become the unsuccessful Democratic Party nominee in the 1864 presidential election against Lincoln's reelection.
The effectiveness of his campaign was damaged when he repudiated his party's platform, which promised an end to the war and negotiations with the southern Confederacy. He served as the 24th Governor of New Jersey from 1878 to 1881, became a writer, vigorously defended his Civil War conduct. Most modern authorities have assessed McClellan as a poor battlefield general; some historians view him as a capable commander whose reputation suffered unfairly at the hands of pro-Lincoln partisans who made him a scapegoat for the Union's military setbacks. After the war, subsequent commanding general and 18th President Ulysses S. Grant was asked for his opinion of McClellan as a general. George Brinton McClellan was born in Philadelphia, the son of a prominent surgeon, Dr. George McClellan, the founder of Jefferson Medical College, his father's family was of Scottish heritage. His mother was Elizabeth Sophia Steinmetz Brinton McClellan, daughter of a leading Pennsylvania family, a woman noted for her "considerable grace and refinement".
The couple had five children: Frederica. McClellan was the great-grandson of Revolutionary War general Samuel McClellan of Woodstock, Connecticut. McClellan attended the University of Pennsylvania in 1840 at age twelve, resigning himself to the study of law. After two years, he changed his goal to military service. With the assistance of his father's letter to President John Tyler, young George was accepted at the United States Military Academy in 1842, the academy having waived its normal minimum age of sixteen. At West Point, he was an energetic and ambitious cadet interested in the teachings of Dennis Hart Mahan and the theoretical strategic principles of Antoine-Henri Jomini, his closest friends were aristocratic Southerners such as James Stuart, Dabney Maury, Cadmus Wilcox, A. P. Hill; these associations gave McClellan what he considered to be an appreciation of the Southern mind and an understanding of the political and military implications of the sectional differences in the United States that led to the Civil War.
He graduated at age nineteen in 1846, second in his class of 59 cadets, losing the top position to Charles Seaforth Stewart only because of poor drawing skills. He was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. McClellan's first assignment was with a company of engineers formed at West Point, but he received orders to sail for the Mexican War, he arrived near the mouth of the Rio Grande in October 1846, well prepared for action with a double-barreled shotgun, two pistols, a saber, a dress sword, a Bowie knife. He complained that he had arrived too late to take any part in the American victory at Monterrey in September. During a temporary armistice in which the forces of Gen. Zachary Taylor awaited action, McClellan was stricken with dysentery and malaria, which kept him in the hospital for nearly a month; the malaria would recur in years—he called it his "Mexican disease". He served as an engineering officer during the war, was subject to enemy fire, was appointed a brevet first lieutenant for his services at Contreras and Churubusco and to captain for his service at Chapultepec.
He performed reconnaissance missions for Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott, a close friend of McClellan's father. McClellan's experiences in the war would shape his political life, he learned that flanking movements are bette
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history; the causes of the French Revolution are still debated among historians. Following the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution, the French government was in debt, it attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes, which were regressive.
Leading up to the Revolution, years of bad harvests worsened by deregulation of the grain industry and environmental problems inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the established church. Some historians hold something similar to what Thomas Jefferson proclaimed: that France had "been awakened by our Revolution." Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates General in May 1789. During the first year of the Revolution, members of the Third Estate took control, the Bastille was attacked in July, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was passed in August, the Women's March on Versailles forced the royal court back to Paris in October. A central event of the first stage, in August 1789, was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges left over from the Ancien Régime; the next few years featured political struggles between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.
The Republic was proclaimed in September 1792 after the French victory at Valmy. In a momentous event that led to international condemnation, Louis XVI was executed in January 1793. External threats shaped the course of the Revolution; the Revolutionary Wars beginning in 1792 featured French victories that facilitated the conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries and most territories west of the Rhine – achievements that had eluded previous French governments for centuries. Internally, popular agitation radicalised the Revolution culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins; the dictatorship imposed by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, from 1793 until 1794, established price controls on food and other items, abolished slavery in French colonies abroad, de-established the Catholic church and created a secular Republican calendar, religious leaders were expelled, the borders of the new republic were secured from its enemies. After the Thermidorian Reaction, an executive council known as the Directory assumed control of the French state in 1795.
They suspended elections, repudiated debts, persecuted the Catholic clergy, made significant military conquests abroad. Dogged by charges of corruption, the Directory collapsed in a coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution through his popular military campaigns, established the Consulate and the First Empire, setting the stage for a wider array of global conflicts in the Napoleonic Wars; the modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. All future revolutionary movements looked back to the Revolution as their predecessor, its central phrases and cultural symbols, such as La Marseillaise and Liberté, fraternité, égalité, ou la mort, became the clarion call for other major upheavals in modern history, including the Russian Revolution over a century later. The values and institutions of the Revolution dominate French politics to this day; the Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, emancipation of the individual, a greater division of landed property, abolition of the privileges of noble birth, nominal establishment of equality among men.
The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not only national, for it intended to benefit all humanity. Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of democracies, it became the focal point for the development of most modern political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism and secularism, among many others. The Revolution witnessed the birth of total war by organising the resources of France and the lives of its citizens towards the objective of military conquest; some of its central documents, such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, continued to inspire movements for abolitionism and universal suffrage in the next century. Historians have pointed to many events and factors within the Ancien Régime that led to the Revolution. Rising social and economic inequality, new political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment, economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt, political mismanagement on the part of King Louis XVI have all been cited as laying the groundwork for the Revolution.
Over the course of the 18th century, there emerged what the philosopher Jürgen Habermas called the idea of the "public sphere" in France and elsewhere
Kentucky the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, Kentucky is one of four U. S. states constituted as a commonwealth. A part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 26th most populous of the 50 United States. Kentucky is known as the "Bluegrass State", a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil. One of the major regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky, which houses two of its major cities and Lexington, it is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, the greatest length of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River. Kentucky is known for horse racing, bourbon distilleries, coal, the "My Old Kentucky Home" historic state park, automobile manufacturing, bluegrass music, college basketball, Kentucky Fried Chicken.
In 1776, the counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known as Kentucky County, named for the Kentucky River. The precise etymology of the name is uncertain, but based on an Iroquoian name meaning " the meadow" or " the prairie". Others have put forth the possibility of Kenta Aki, which would come from Algonquian language and, would have derived from the Shawnees. Folk etymology states that this translates as "Land of Our Fathers." The closest approximation in another Algonquian language, Ojibwe translates it more-so to "Land of Our In-Laws", thus making a fairer English translation "The Land of Those Who Became Our Fathers." In any case, the word aki comes out as land in all Algonquian languages. Kentucky is situated in the Upland South. A significant portion of eastern Kentucky is part of Appalachia. Kentucky borders seven states, from the Southeast. West Virginia lies to the east, Virginia to the southeast, Tennessee to the south, Missouri to the west and Indiana to the northwest, Ohio to the north and northeast.
Only Missouri and Tennessee, both of which border eight states, touch more. Kentucky's northern border is formed by the Ohio River and its western border by the Mississippi River. However, the official border is based on the courses of the rivers as they existed when Kentucky became a state in 1792. For instance, northbound travelers on U. S. 41 from Henderson, after crossing the Ohio River, will be in Kentucky for about two miles. Ellis Park, a thoroughbred racetrack, is located in this small piece of Kentucky. Waterworks Road is part of the only land border between Kentucky. Kentucky has a non-contiguous part known at the far west corner of the state, it exists as an exclave surrounded by Missouri and Tennessee, is included in the boundaries of Fulton County. Road access to this small part of Kentucky on the Mississippi River requires a trip through Tennessee; the epicenter of the powerful 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes was near this area causing the river to flow backwards in some places. Though the series of quakes did change the area geologically and affect the inhabitants of the area at the time, the Kentucky Bend was formed because of a surveying error, not the New Madrid earthquake.
Kentucky can be divided into five primary regions: the Cumberland Plateau in the east, the north-central Bluegrass region, the south-central and western Pennyroyal Plateau, the Western Coal Fields and the far-west Jackson Purchase. The Bluegrass region is divided into two regions, the Inner Bluegrass—the encircling 90 miles around Lexington—and the Outer Bluegrass—the region that contains most of the northern portion of the state, above the Knobs. Much of the outer Bluegrass is in the Eden Shale Hills area, made up of short and narrow hills; the Jackson Purchase and western Pennyrile are home to several bald cypress/tupelo swamps. Located within the southeastern interior portion of North America, Kentucky has a climate that can best be described as a humid subtropical climate, only small higher areas of the southeast of the state has an oceanic climate influenced by the Appalachians. Temperatures in Kentucky range from daytime summer highs of 87 °F to the winter low of 23 °F; the average precipitation is 46 inches a year.
Kentucky experiences four distinct seasons, with substantial variations in the severity of summer and winter. The highest recorded temperature was 114 °F at Greensburg on July 28, 1930 while the lowest recorded temperature was −37 °F at Shelbyville on January 19, 1994, it has four distinct seasons, but experiences the extreme cold as far northern states, nor the high heat of the states in the Deep South. Temperatures seldom drop below 0 degrees or rise above 100 degrees. Rain and snowfall totals about 45 inches per year. There are big variations in climate within the state; the northern parts tend to be about 5 degrees cooler than those in western parts of the state. Somerset in the south-central part receives 10 more inches of rain per year than, for instance, Covington to the north. Average temperatures for the entire Commonwe
1896 Democratic National Convention
The 1896 Democratic National Convention, held at the Chicago Coliseum from July 7 to July 11, was the scene of William Jennings Bryan's nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate for the 1896 U. S. presidential election. At age 36, Bryan was the youngest Presidential nominee in American history, only one year older than the constitutional minimum. Bryan's keynote "Cross of Gold" address, delivered prior to his nomination, lambasted Eastern monied classes for supporting the gold standard at the expense of the average worker; this was a repudiation of Cleveland administration's policy, but proved popular with the delegates to the convention. Bryan secured the nomination on the fifth ballot over Richard P. Bland. Bryan declined to choose a Democratic vice presidential nominee, leaving the choice to his fellow delegates. Arthur Sewall of Maine was nominated on the fifth ballot. Bryan and Sewall lost to the Republican candidates, William McKinley and Garret Hobart. For three years the nation had been mired in a deep economic depression, marked by low prices, low profits, high unemployment, violent strikes.
Economic issues silver or gold for the money supply, tariffs, were central. President Grover Cleveland, a Bourbon Democrat was pro-business and a staunch supporter of conservative measures such as the gold standard. Opposed to him were the agrarian and silver factions based in the South and West, empowered after the Panic of 1893. A two-thirds vote was required for the Democratic Party nomination and at the convention the silverites just had it despite the extreme regional polarization of the delegates. In a test vote on an anti-silver measure, the Eastern states, with 28% of the delegates voted 96% for gold; the delegates from the rest of the country voted 91% against gold, so the silverites controlled 67% of the delegates. Bryan had an innate talent at oratory, he gave speeches, organized meetings, adopted resounding resolutions that culminated in the founding of the American Bimetallic League, which evolved into the National Bimetallic Union, the National Silver Committee. At the time many inflationist farmers believed that by increasing the amount of currency in circulation, the crops they grew would receive higher prices.
They were opposed by banks and bond holders who feared inflation, by urban workers who feared inflation would further erode their purchasing power. The ultimate goal of the League was to garner support on a national level for the reinstatement of the coinage of silver. With others, he made certain that the Democratic platform reflected the now strengthening spirit of the silverites. With his support, Charles H. Jones, of the St Louis Post-Dispatch, was put on the platform committee and Bryan's plank for free silver was adopted sixteen to one and silently added to the Chicago Democratic Platform, in order to avoid controversy; as a minority member of the resolutions committee, Bryan was able to push the Democratic Party from its laissez-faire and small government roots towards its modern, liberal character. Through these measures, the public and influential Democrats became convinced of his capacity to lead and bring change, resulting in his being mentioned as a possible chairman for the Chicago convention.
Bryan delivered speeches across the country for free silver from 1894 to 1896, building a grass-roots reputation as a powerful champion of the cause. At the 1896 convention, Bryan lambasted Eastern moneyed classes for supporting the gold standard at the expense of the average worker, his "Cross of Gold" speech made him the sensational new face in the Democratic party. At the start of the convention, former Missouri Congressman Richard P. Bland, a strong supporter of bimetallism, was viewed as the favorite. However, Bland was opposed by many in the South, in part because his wife and daughter were Catholics; some bimetallist supporters tried to draft Republican Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado, but his candidacy never got off the ground. Several state delegations from the Northeast, supported the gold standard and refused to take part in the nomination process. Many conservative Democrats looked to former Senator David B. Hill of New York or Governor William Russell of Massachusetts for leadership, but Russell was in poor health and Hill did not gain support for a presidential bid.
Eight names were placed in nomination: Richard P. Bland, William J. Bryan, Claude Matthews, Horace Boies, Joseph Blackburn, John R. McLean, Robert E. Pattison, Sylvester Pennoyer; the only major candidate that did support the gold standard was former Pennsylvania Governor Pattison. After five ballots, Bryan triumphed over Pattison. Bryan was nominated for president by the Populist Party and the Silver Republican Party. After the selection of Bryan, the convention turned its attention to picking a running mate. Newspaper publisher John Roll McLean of Ohio was viewed as a possible candidate, in part because his fortune could help fund the ticket. Former Congressman George F. Williams of Massachusetts, businessman Arthur Sewall of Maine, former Attorney General Augustus Hill Garland of Arkansas were all mentioned as possible candidates. Eight names were placed in nomination: Arthur Sewall, John R. McLean, Joseph C. Sibley, George F. Williams, Walter Clark, J. Hamilton Lewis, George W. Fithian, Sylvester Pennoyer.
After being placed in nomination, McLean and Fithian made it known to the convention that they were not candidates for the vice presidency. Sewall received the nomination on the fifth ballot; the Populist Party and the Silver Republican Party both nominated Bryan for president, but the Populists nominated former Georgia Congressman Thomas E. Watson instead of
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American orator and politician from Nebraska. Beginning in 1896, he emerged as a dominant force in the Democratic Party, standing three times as the party's nominee for President of the United States, he served in the United States House of Representatives and as the United States Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson. Just before his death he gained national attention for attacking the teaching of evolution in the Scopes Trial; because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner". Born and raised in Illinois, Bryan moved to Nebraska in the 1880s, he won election to the House of Representatives in the 1890 elections, serving two terms before making an unsuccessful run for the Senate in 1894. At the 1896 Democratic National Convention, Bryan delivered his "Cross of Gold speech" which attacked the gold standard and the eastern moneyed interests and crusaded for inflationary policies built around the expanded coinage of silver coins.
In a repudiation of incumbent President Grover Cleveland and his conservative Bourbon Democrats, the Democratic convention nominated Bryan for president, making Bryan the youngest major party presidential nominee in U. S. history. Subsequently, Bryan was nominated for president by the left-wing Populist Party, many Populists would follow Bryan into the Democratic Party. In the intensely fought 1896 presidential election, Republican nominee William McKinley emerged triumphant. Bryan gained fame as an orator as he invented the national stumping tour when he reached an audience of 5 million people in 27 states in 1896. Bryan retained control of the Democratic Party and won the presidential nomination again in 1900. In the aftermath of the Spanish–American War, Bryan became a fierce opponent of American imperialism, much of the campaign centered on that issue. In the election, McKinley again defeated Bryan, winning several Western states that Bryan had won in 1896. Bryan's influence in the party weakened after the 1900 election, the Democrats nominated the conservative Alton B. Parker in the 1904 presidential election.
Bryan regained his stature in the party after Parker's resounding defeat by Theodore Roosevelt, voters from both parties embraced the progressive reforms that had long been championed by Bryan. Bryan won his party's nomination in the 1908 presidential election, but he was defeated by Roosevelt's chosen successor, William Howard Taft. Along with Henry Clay, Bryan is one of the two individuals who never won a presidential election despite receiving electoral votes in three separate presidential elections held after the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment. After the Democrats won the presidency in the 1912 election, Woodrow Wilson rewarded Bryan's support with the important cabinet position of Secretary of State. Bryan helped Wilson pass several progressive reforms through Congress, but he and Wilson clashed over U. S. neutrality in World War I. Bryan resigned from his post in 1915 after Wilson sent Germany a note of protest in response to the sinking of Lusitania by a German U-boat. After leaving office, Bryan retained some of his influence within the Democratic Party, but he devoted himself to religious matters and anti-evolution activism.
He opposed Darwinism on humanitarian grounds, most famously in the 1925 Scopes Trial. Since his death in 1925, Bryan has elicited mixed reactions from various commentators, but he is considered to have been one of the most influential figures of the Progressive Era. William Jennings Bryan was born in Salem, Illinois, on March 19, 1860, to Silas Lillard Bryan and Mariah Elizabeth Bryan. Silas Bryan had been born in 1822, had established a legal practice in Salem in 1851, he married Mariah, a former student of his at McKendree College, in 1852. Of Scots-Irish and English ancestry, Silas Bryan was an avid Jacksonian Democrat, he won election as a state circuit judge, in 1866 moved his family to a 520-acre farm north of Salem, living in a ten-room house, the envy of Marion County. Silas served in various local positions and sought election to Congress in 1872, but was narrowly defeated by the Republican candidate. An admirer of Andrew Jackson and Stephen A. Douglas, Silas passed on his Democratic affiliation to his son, who would remain a life-long Democrat.
Bryan was the fourth child of Silas and Mariah, but all three of his older siblings died during infancy. Bryan had five younger siblings, four of whom lived to adulthood. Bryan was home-schooled by his mother until the age of ten. Demonstrating a precocious talent for oratory, Byran gave public speeches as early as the age of four. Silas was a Baptist and Mariah was a Methodist, but Bryan's parents allowed him to choose his own church. At age fourteen, Bryan had a conversion experience at a revival, he said. At age fifteen, Bryan was sent to attend Whipple Academy, a private school in Jacksonville, Illinois. After graduating from Whipple Academy, Bryan entered Illinois College, located in Jacksonville. During his time at Illinois College, Bryan served as chaplain of the Sigma Pi literary society, he continued to hone his public speaking skills, taking part in numerous debates and oratorical contests. In 1879, while still in college, Bryan met Mary Elizabeth Baird, the daughter of an owner of a nearby general store, began courting her.
Bryan and Mary Elizabeth married on October 1, 1884. Mary Elizabeth would emerge as an important part of Bryan's career, managing his correspondence and helping him prepare speeches and articles. After graduating from college at the top of his class, Bryan studied law at Union Law College (which became Northwestern University