Title

The infamously heroic William Jennings Bryan

Authors

Alex Ramon

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Abstract

William Jennings Bryan was born in 1860 and died in 1925. William Jennings Bryan was nominated three times by the Democratic Party to run for President. Bryan failed all three times. His failures in 1896, 1900, and 1908 were not for lack of trying. Bryan was a colorful and prolific speaker and frequently traveled across the country to lecture to his country men about the virtues of bimetallism, anti-imperialism, and the anti trust platform. In an age in which public speaking was the dominant form of entertainment in the United States it is meaningful that all observers, conservative and progressive, agreed that William Jennings Bryan stuck out as the very best of all professional speakers. He was known as ?The Great Commoner? despite the fact that he grew up in an upper middle class home and he first worked as an attorney, collecting debts for creditors, mostly from the common people. However, his unwavering belief in the people?s right to govern themselves and his commitment to his own ideals and principles would make him a public figure of his time that was both infamous and heroic.

Advisor

David Axeen

Department

american_studies

Support

Ford Research Endowment

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