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Political Conventions - 1900

As the nation moves deeper into the election season, let your students analyze the two images: then compare the political climate of 1900 to 2016. How do candidates travel to different venues? How do they get “their message to the people”? How are the party’s nominees chosen? Analyze the ticket to the 1900 Democratic National Convention. Why is Jefferson’s picture on the ticket? Where will the 2016 conventions be held? Can anyone attend if they have a ticket? If a citizen is not a delegate, how does he/she have a voice in choosing the parties nominee?

William Jennings Bryan


1920 Democratic Ticket

(click to enlarge)

On the anniversary of his birth, the Post Office issued a stamp for William Jennings Bryan who was born in Salem, Illinois on March 19, 1860. After graduating from college, he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska to practice law and eventually to be elected to the House of Representatives in 1890. Because of his stand for silver over gold, the Democratic party chose Bryan to run for the presidency against William McKinley in 1896. With his great oratory skills, he reached out to all who opposed the gold standard, and the power of big business such as railroads, insurance companies and banks. He “spoke for the little man.” Though he lost to the election, the Democrats chose Bryan to be their nominee again in 1900. Bryan had supported the Spanish-American War, but by 1900 he opposed the growing imperialism movement, especially the colonizing of the Philippine Islands. Bryan said, “The nation is of age and it can do what it pleases; it can spurn the traditions of the past; it can repudiate the principles upon which the nation rests; it can employ force instead of reason; it can substitute might for right; it can conquer weaker people; it can exploit their lands, appropriate their property and kill their people; but it cannot repeal the moral law or escape the punishment decreed for the violation of human rights." Bryan found himself in alliance such notable citizens as Carl Schurz, Andrew Carnegie and Mark Twain. Republicans mocked Bryan as indecisive, or a coward, a point which L. Frank Baum satirized in the Bryan-like Cowardly Lion in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz published in the spring of 1900. Once again Bryan lost to McKinley, but he did serve as President Wilson’s Secretary of State and later as a political lecturer until his death in 1925.

 

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FDC Lessons-­‐-­‐TEACH HISTORY USING FIRST DAY COVERS

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The Battles of Lexington & Concord

James Madison

Sojourner Truth

Civil War Centennial First Day Issue

United States History 1607-1877

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Statue of Liberty First Day Issue

James Montgomery Flagg

FDR First Day Issue

Tear Down This Wall First Day Issue

United States History 1877-2001

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Set Seven – Great Depression through World War II 1933-1945 – 11 Lessons

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Texas Reader – Including and Such As Texans – 20 Biographies of Texans

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