Literature Study GuidesCross Of Gold Speech

Cross of Gold Speech | Study Guide

William Jennings Bryan

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Course Hero. "Cross of Gold Speech Study Guide." Course Hero. 20 Sep. 2018. Web. 10 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cross-of-Gold-Speech/>.

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Course Hero. (2018, September 20). Cross of Gold Speech Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 10, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cross-of-Gold-Speech/

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Course Hero. "Cross of Gold Speech Study Guide." September 20, 2018. Accessed December 10, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cross-of-Gold-Speech/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "Cross of Gold Speech Study Guide," September 20, 2018, accessed December 10, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cross-of-Gold-Speech/.

Overview

Author

William Jennings Bryan

Year Delivered

1896

Type

Primary Source

Genre

History

At a Glance

  • William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925), a former Democratic congressman from Nebraska, gave his "Cross of Gold" speech on July 8, 1896, to close out the Democratic Convention in Chicago, Illinois, in an attempt to grab the presidential nomination from incumbent president Grover Cleveland (1837–1908).
  • Bryan spoke out against the gold standard, which linked the country's paper currency to gold. Bryan also supported some platforms of the Populist Party, which represented the demands of farmers and workers and championed the working class.
  • Bryan's central thesis was that his audience should oppose anyone who claimed the gold standard was good, because it was only good for wealthy Northeastern elites. Further, it hurt farmers and laborers and subjugated the United States to Europe.
  • The speech was received enthusiastically. The delegates adopted a free silver platform, which sought to reauthorize and recirculate silver coins to help workers climb out of debt, and the next day Bryan became the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
  • The address is widely considered one of the greatest political speeches ever made. In his expertly crafted argument, Bryan used biblical images to frame the money question as a moral issue. The speech was also progressive in centering on the economic needs of the masses rather than those of the elite.

Summary

This study guide for William Jennings Bryan's Cross of Gold Speech offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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