Cross of Gold Speech

The Cross of Gold Speech was delivered by William Jennings Bryan of the Democratic Party in 1923


  • Problem: NPR describes WJB as stepping up to a microphone
    • There were no microphones in 1896
  • Restored the two-party system (destroyed the populists)
  • Delivered on July 9, 1896 by William Jennings Bryan
  • Issue: Should gold be coined alongside silver?
    • Democratic and Republican parties stood behind a gold-only standard
    • Only the Populist party wanted silver coins
    • This speech changes everything. The (Conservative) Democratic party now takes the Populist stance
      • This destroys the Populist party and restores the two-party system.
      • William Jennings Bryan is nominated as the presidential candidate for the Democratic party in the election of 1896 (he loses).
  • Famous Quote: "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold"
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