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Published by Emily Gong

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Published by: Emily Gong on Oct 05, 2008
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William Jennings Bryan
Emily Gong
AP US History
Period 2
September 29, 2007
Chapter 19: From Stalemate to Crisis
DQ #8: Discuss the convergence of factors which produced a political crisis for the U.S. in the 1890s. Analyze the
election of 1896 in terms of the candidates, campaign, issues, and outcomes.
Factors leading to the Political Crisis
A.Specie Problems

\u2022Practice ofbi metallis m2was obsolete by 1873
\u2022Farmers wanted \u201cfree silver\u201d (16:1)2after Panic 1893 (gold was the official standard for determining value of dollar)
\u2022Silver miners demanded silver to be accepted b/c silver marketing prices deflated\u2013 wanted to exchange silver for a

higher price than marketing amount
\u2022Crime of \u201973- gov\u2019t refused silver coinage due to law passed in 1873\ue000outraged farmers who wanted inflation to pay
\u2022Gold reserves dropped- economy expanding too rapidly in comparison to the limited gold amount
\u2022viewpoint on silver as standard: a larger supply available than gold and high fluctuation of dollar value
\u2022usage of silver- hurtful for corporations and upper class businessmen\ue000the return of money w/less value than amount
\u2022Farmers, debtors, and start-up businessmen : soft money | Bankers, creditors, investors: hard money
B.Panic of 1893- caused by the restriction of only gold as standard basis for dollar (believed by soft mo
ney advocates)

\u2022many corporations and small businesses closed\ue000 sudden herds of unemployed workers
\u2022Effect: social unrest: Coxey\u2019s Army2 (led by Jacob Coxey),Homestead &Pull man strikes
\u2022Farmers\u2019 loss of both foreign and domestic business: depression in both America &Europe\ue000lowered need and selling

of agricultural goods
\u2022caused high fervor over specie issue\ue000 possible outlet to instability of federal monetary system? Farmers (soft
money): yes , Businessmen (hard money): No
C.Governmental Actions
\u2022gov\u2019t passed useless enforcement laws that were never regulated or imposed on aimed offenders (ex.Sher man
Antitrust Act*, Interstate Commerce Act*)
\u2022passing of tariffs ex. McKinley Tariff *
\u2022All this attacked farmers\u2019 purchasing power and farming business
\u2022Repeal of Silver Purchase Act (Grover Cleveland1\u2019s attempt to relieve drainage of gold from fed. treasury)- stop
investors from trading silver dollars for gold, but abruptly prohibiting silver coinage
D.Populist Party
\u2022Many of members outraged at governmental favoritism towards corporations and inadequate federal response to
money issue
\u2022Created further tensions among parties over free silver question as it took on the topic to attract more members other
than farmers (ex. laborers)
\u2022Held firmly on the silver question also b/c they needed financial assistance from silver mine-owners (needed to hold
on position advantageous to contributor)
Election of 1896
Democrats (in fusion w/ Populist Party)
William Jennings Bryan- orator of \u201cCross of Gold\u201d2 Speech
(candidate for prosilver Demo.)
William McKinley- author of McKinley Tariff

-first presidential candidate to do active campaign- held political
orations throughout states
-known little outside in most states
-antagonized Protestants who held tightly to the old ways &
Catholic immigrants who detested his rural, Protestant morality\ue000
less votes & criticism hurtful for election

-traditional \u201cfront-porch\u201d campaign- did not actively
campaign for office
-Marcus Hanna- prosperous businessmen- potent
financial power behind campaign- raised publicity for
candidate through ads in newspaper & magazines (mass

Tariff reduction, income tax, stricter regulations on railroads &
trusts, and free silver (representations or farmers\u2019 ideals)
oppose free coinage of silver except by agreement with
leading commercial nations (ex. Britain)
Outcomes-End of People\u2019s party- disintegrated; last powerful union of farmer protest

-Rep. victory- McKinley president\ue000gold officially the standard specie
-end of political stalemate
-urban dominance in America\ue000triumph of modern and urban powers over traditional agrarian political influence

CONCLUSION: The apex of the political tensions between farmers and urban corporations were consequences of several economical
problems before and during the 1890s. The conspiracy over the silver issues led to it being the primary issues during the election of 1896,
William McKinley
*- Found in DQ #1
1- Found in DQ #3 & 4
2- Found in DQ #6 & 7

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