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American Political Tradition.docx

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HIST 221
Gil Troy

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American Political Tradition Richard HofstadterWilliam Jennings Bryan The Democrat as RevivalistCross of Gold speech 1896religious imagery revivalist fervour electric reaction upon the audiencehis typical constituent was the longsuffering staple farmer of the West and Southinflation meant that debts cost more to pay back nowsilver campaign was a struggle between those who wanted money cheap and those who wanted it deara dollar approaches honesty as its purchasing power approaches stabilitycontent to stress free silver to the exclusion of everything else freezing the popular cause at its lowest level of understanding freesilver obsession running for President on the strength of monomaniaI dont know anything about free silversimplicity saw nothing to be ashamed of in thisthe people cared so he advocated for themnot go far out of his war to capitalize n the bitter working class discontent of the campaign year never sponsoring a positive program of labour legislationfaith in Jeffersonian principlessocial problems are essentially moral that is to say religiousEqual rights to all and special privileges to nonefelt he represented a cause that did not need special assistance from governmentthe man who is employed for wages is as much a business man as his employernever really a rebellacked a sense of alienationlacking in detachment and intellectuality incapable of confronting opponents in the arena of his own mindattempted to revive the state silver issue during campaign which backfiredwent back to government ownership of railroadspromised he would not force government ownership upon the country against the will of the peoplewellmeant gestures willingness under stress or confusion to drop ideas he had once been committed toinability to see things through to hold steadily to a line of principlelacked steadfast and selfconfident intelligencedecayed rapidly in his closing yearsfailed to stand up to the KKKfearing a further decline in his influence delivered a weak appeal not to rend the Christian Church nor destroy party unityas an agrarian leader whose strength lay in his appeal to a certain type of Protestant mind in the hinterland the growing urbanism of the country was submerging himfight against evolution
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