Economist Edward Kellogg was an early advocate of fiat money.
William Jennings Bryan carried on the shoulders of delegates after giving the speech
Charles W. Macune, one of the leaders of the Farmers' Alliance
Congressman Richard P. Bland
People's Party candidate nominating convention held at Columbus, Nebraska, July 15, 1890
The Chicago Coliseum
1892 People's Party campaign poster promoting James Weaver for President of the United States
Former Iowa Governor Horace Boies was a major contender for the Democratic nomination for president in 1896.
1892 electoral vote results
In a 1900 engraving, former Massachusetts Governor William E. Russell is shown preceding Bryan in addressing the convention.
In 1896, the 36-year-old William Jennings Bryan was the chosen candidate resulting from the fusion of the Democrats and the People's Party.
The 1896 Democratic National Convention
People's Party campaign poster from 1904 touting the candidacy of Thomas E. Watson
Judge magazine criticized Bryan for sacrilege in his speech. He is shown with crown and cross, but trampling the Bible.
Bryan campaigning on stage a few months after the speech
A "Bryan dollar" issued by his opponents to illustrate the difference between the size of a silver dollar and the amount of bullion that could be purchased with a dollar.

Some people, for the most part Democrats, joined the far-left Populist Party.

- Cross of Gold speech

Meeting later in the year, the 1896 Democratic National Convention nominated William Jennings Bryan for president after Bryan's Cross of Gold speech galvanized the party behind free silver.

- People's Party (United States)
Economist Edward Kellogg was an early advocate of fiat money.

5 related topics

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William Jennings Bryan

American lawyer, orator and politician.

American lawyer, orator and politician.

Bryan's birthplace in Salem, Illinois
Attorney Mary Baird Bryan, the wife of William Jennings Bryan
A young Bryan
"UNITED SNAKES OF AMERICA" "IN BRYAN WE TRUST" political satire token of 1896, known as "Bryan Money"
Bryan campaigning for president, October 1896
1896 electoral vote results
The United States and its colonial possessions after the Spanish–American War
Conservatives in 1900 ridiculed Bryan's eclectic platform.
1900 electoral vote results
William J Bryan in 1906 as Moses with new 10 commandments; Puck 19 sept 1906 by Joseph Keppler. Tablet reads: l-Thou shalt have no other leaders before me. II—Thou shalt not make unto thyself any high Protective Tariff. Ill—Eight hours, and no more, shalt thou labor and do all thy work. IV—Thou shalt not graft. V—Thou shalt not elect thy Senators save by Popular Vote. VI—Thou shalt not grant rebates unto thy neighbor. VII—Thou shalt not make combinations in restraint of trade. VIII—Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's income, but shall make him pay a tax upon it. IX—There shall be no more government by injunction. X—Remember Election Day to vote it early. P.S.— When in doubt, ask Me.
Bryan speaking at the 1908 Democratic National Convention
Presidential Campaign button for Bryan
1908 electoral vote results
Bryan attending the 1912 Democratic National Convention
Bryan served as Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson
Cartoon of Secretary of State Bryan reading war news in 1914
Villa Serena, Bryan's home built in 1913 at Miami, Florida
Charles W. and William J. Bryan
At the Scopes Trial, William Jennings Bryan (seated, left) being questioned by Clarence Darrow (standing, right).
Statue of Bryan on the lawn of the Rhea County courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee

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.

Subsequently, Bryan was also nominated for president by the left-wing Populist Party, and many Populists would eventually follow Bryan into the Democratic Party.

1896 United States presidential election

The 28th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 3, 1896.

The 28th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 3, 1896.

McKinley/Hobart campaign poster
Bryan's famous "cross of gold" speech gave him the presidential nomination and swung the party to the silver cause
The National "Gold" Democratic Convention
Palmer/Buckner campaign button
Conservatives said that Bryan (the Populist snake) was taking over (swallowing) the Democratic Party (the mule). Cartoon from "Judge" magazine, 1896.
Bryan's imposing voice and height made a deep impression on many who thronged to hear him.
Bryan traveled 18,000 miles in 3 months, concentrating on the critical states of the Midwest.
The National "Gold" Democratic Party undercut Bryan by dividing the Democratic vote and denouncing his platform.
Map of presidential election results by county
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Results by county, shaded according to winning candidate's percentage of the vote
Map of Republican presidential election results by county
Map of Democratic presidential election results by county
Map of "other" presidential election results by county
Cartogram of presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Republican presidential election results by county
Cartogram of Democratic presidential election results by county
Cartogram of "other" presidential election results by county
650px

Bryan, an attorney and former Congressman, galvanized support with his Cross of Gold speech, which called for a reform of the monetary system and attacked business leaders as the cause of ongoing economic depression.

Bryan then won the nomination of the Populist Party, which had won several states in 1892 and shared many of Bryan's policies.

Republican campaign poster of 1896 attacking free silver

Free silver

Major economic policy issue in the United States in the late 19th-century.

Major economic policy issue in the United States in the late 19th-century.

Republican campaign poster of 1896 attacking free silver
"The free silver highwayman at it again" in 1896
Cartoon from Puck showing a silverite farmer and a Democratic donkey whose wagon has been destroyed by the locomotive of sound money
1896 editorial cartoon equating the free silver movement with Frankenstein's monster.
Entitled, "A down-hill movement" by C.J. Taylor in 1896

Free silver was the central issue for Democrats in the presidential elections of 1896 and 1900, under the leadership of William Jennings Bryan, famed for his Cross of Gold speech in favor of free silver.

The Populists also endorsed Bryan and free silver in 1896, which marked the effective end of their independence.

Nominees Bryan and Sewall

1896 Democratic National Convention

The scene of William Jennings Bryan's nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate for the 1896 U.S. presidential election.

The scene of William Jennings Bryan's nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate for the 1896 U.S. presidential election.

Nominees Bryan and Sewall
The convention was held at the Chicago Coliseum
Seating arrangement for delegates at the convention
Former Representative William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska
Former Representative Richard P. Bland of Missouri
Former Governor Robert E. Pattison of Pennsylvania
Senator Joseph Blackburn of Kentucky
Governor Horace Boies of Iowa
Newspaper Publisher John R. McLean of Ohio
Governor Claude Matthews of Indiana
Former Governor Sylvester Pennoyer of Oregon
Former Governor William E. Russell of Massachusetts
Senator John W. Daniel of Virginia
Former Representative Joseph C. Sibley of Pennsylvania
<center>1st Presidential Ballot</center>
<center>2nd Presidential Ballot</center>
<center>3rd Presidential Ballot</center>
<center>4th Presidential Ballot</center>
<center>5th Presidential Ballot</center>
President of the Maine Central Railroad Arthur Sewall of Maine
Former Representative George F. Williams of Massachusetts
State Associate Justice Walter Clark of North Carolina
Representative Nominee J. Hamilton Lewis of Washington (Ineligible, not yet 35 years of age)
Former Representative George W. Fithian of Illinois
<center>1st Presidential Ballot</center>
<center>2nd Presidential Ballot</center>
<center>3rd Presidential Ballot</center>
<center>4th Presidential Ballot</center>
<center>5th Presidential Ballot</center>

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.

Bryan was also nominated for president by the Populist Party and the Silver Republican Party.

Croeseid bimetallic equivalence: 1 gold Croeseid of 8.1 grams was equivalent in value to 10 silver Croeseids of 10.8 grams.

Bimetallism

Monetary standard in which the value of the monetary unit is defined as equivalent to certain quantities of two metals, typically gold and silver, creating a fixed rate of exchange between them.

Monetary standard in which the value of the monetary unit is defined as equivalent to certain quantities of two metals, typically gold and silver, creating a fixed rate of exchange between them.

Croeseid bimetallic equivalence: 1 gold Croeseid of 8.1 grams was equivalent in value to 10 silver Croeseids of 10.8 grams.
Achaemenid bimetallic equivalence: 1 gold Daric was equivalent in value to 20 silver Sigloi. Under the Achaemenids the exchange rate in weight between gold and silver was 1 to 13.
1896 Republican poster warns against free silver.

The latter element—"free silver"—came increasingly to the fore as the answer to the same interest groups' concerns, and was taken up as a central plank by the Populist movement.

Bryan, the eloquent champion of the cause, gave the famous "Cross of Gold" speech at the National Democratic Convention on July 9, 1896, asserting that "The gold standard has slain tens of thousands."