William Jennings Bryan: “Cross of Gold” Speech


On July 8, 1896, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, William Jennings Bryan gave one of the most memorable political addresses in American history. Dubbed the “Cross of Gold” Speech because of its vivid image of crucifying humankind upon a golden cross, the oration propelled Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. In the “Cross of Gold” Speech, Bryan articulated the feelings of Americans from the South and West who felt that the currency system and its effects had injured their financial and cultural interests. These sections saw a more...

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A cartoon from 1896 portraying William Jennings Bryan as an anarchist threat to religion (Library of Congress)

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