William McKinley versus William Jennings Bryan

The Great Political Rivalry of the Turn of the 20th Century

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About the Book

The clashes between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan during the 1896 and 1900 presidential elections changed the course of American politics. Prior to Bryan’s candidacy, the Democratic Party was slightly more conservative than the Republican Party. At the 1896 Democratic National Convention, Bryan’s dramatic “Cross of Gold” speech stampeded the delegates left-of-center—a position the party has traditionally held since.
Most Americans, though, rejected this new wave, remained conservative and twice elected McKinley. These were dramatic years for the country as it continued its rise to become a major world economic and military power. Significantly, freedom increased for those now within the American orbit.

About the Author(s)

John M. Pafford is a retired professor of history and philosophy at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

John M. Pafford
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 199
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9975-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3935-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. McKinley: The Road to the White House 7
2. The Rise of Bryan 27
3. 1896 Presidential Campaign 31
4. First Term Begins 53
5. War with Spain Looms 67
6. War 75
7. The U.S. a World Power 99
8. The Domestic Scene 104
9. 1900: Rematch 108
10. Second Term 123
11. Bryan’s End as the Dominant Democrat 133
12. Last Years 149
13. Relevance for Today 160
Final Thoughts 169
Chapter Notes 171
Bibliography 179
Index 185