US History (AP) Keeshin Antonakos 591-598

Jeremy Ch# 20 pp. Theme: Shift in Power, Coinage

Themes:

Money $ SO WHAT?
During the years 1896 through 1900, the United States was part of a great economic flux, which corresponded to a great political change as well. The country experienced a recovery from the depressing Panic of 1893 and a shift from Cleveland’s struggling economy to McKinley’s enhanced system. The “battle of the standards” between the gold and silver camps raged on, and the downfall of the Populist party silverites ultimately marked the end of silver as well. The great debate over legal tender throughout the nation was really the fight of everyman for his silver and large companies for their gold, and the success of the latter proved the United States was becoming the industrial powerhouse of the big business. When Cleveland could not properly handle the Panic of1893, he gave even more reason for the country to abandon the Democrats and hop on the Republican bandwagon. William Jennings Bryan’s two consecutive losses to McKinley were exemplary of the ultimate failure of silverites. Although much of the country was backing silver through many different means, it was not the destined coinage of the country. Literature in pamphlet and novel form supported the silver campaign but it was to no avail. Baum’s allegory in the Wizard of Oz to the silver movement as well as William H. Harvey’s Coin’s Financial School were both strong propaganda-like texts, but they could not influence the greedy country. Steady gold was all that the Eastern businessmen called for, and it was they who eventually won out. The triumph of gold was proven by McKinley’s part of progress and improving economy. No one in the country could argue against things that were better than they once were. The final hurrah came in the Gold Standard Act of 1900 when gold was officially declared standard and the silver controversy was over. All of Bryan’s great campaign tactics were for naught, as McKinley’s promotion through the press had much more success. The one arguably faulty decision by the McKinley administration was the passage of the Dingley Tariff to raise taxes to a height never before witnessed by the nation. McKinley’s administration until his assassination in 1901 was a progressive group that accomplished much. It resolved the problem of standards while picking up the

US History (AP) Keeshin Antonakos 591-598

Jeremy Ch# 20 pp. Theme: Shift in Power, Coinage

Themes: economy and it moved the United States to a status of economic and political powerhouse with the Spanish-American War victory. Money made the nation turn back in the late nineteenth century and it still does today, and the importance of the standards decision was vital to the prospering industrial dominion of the nation.

US History (AP) Keeshin Antonakos 591-598

Jeremy Ch# 20 pp. Theme: Shift in Power, Coinage

Themes: Trends/Ideas

New Voting Patterns National Policy Shift Major Party Victory for Republicans Silver vs. Gold

Important Events/Legislation – include date and then a brief definition People’s Party (Populist) Nominates Bryan as well rather than start a separate silver ticket High Voter Turnout 96 Election of 1896 McKinley (R ) over Bryan (D) 1897 Dingley Tariff passes, raises to record tariff level , causes trouble for Reps. Spanish American War 1898 persuades people to accept greater federal power, puts US into position of a world power 1900 Gold Standard Act passes, makes gold standard, ends silver controversy Election of 1900 McKinley (R ) over Bryan (D) again September 6, 1901 McKinley assassinated, dies 14th and vice Theodore Roosevelt becomes pres. “battle of the standards”

US History (AP) Keeshin Antonakos 591-598

Jeremy Ch# 20 pp. Theme: Shift in Power, Coinage

Themes: Significance: elections are one sided, shift towards a more stable econ. With gold , war contributes to making US a global power “Who” – key personalities – a brief and compelling ID William McKinley- Repub. Nominee for 96, favors gold standard, reaches through press, wins, begins first “modern” presidency, automobile, travel, press, etc. William Jennings Bryan- Dem. Presidential Nominee for 96, favors silver, systematic campaigning Frank Baum- writer of Wizard of Oz, allegory to the everyman’s fight for silver