William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan

About William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860__ July 26, 1925) was a leading American politician from the 1890s until his death. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States (1896, 1900 and 1908). He served in Congress briefly as a Representative from Nebraska and was the 41st United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson, 1913_1915, taking a pacifist position on the World War. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a supporter of popular democracy, and an enemy of the Gold Standard as well as banks and railroads. He was a leader of the silverite movement in the 1890s, a peace advocate, a prohibitionist, and an opponent of Darwinism on religious grounds. With his deep, commanding voice and wide travels, he was one of the best known orators and lecturers of the era. Because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was called The Great Commoner. In the intensely fought 1896 and 1900 elections, he was defeated by William McKinley but retained control of the Democratic Party. With over 500 speeches in 1896, Bryan invented the national stumping tour.

Contributions by Rjensen, Adam sk, and Rlquall.

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