The “Cross of Gold” speech was delivered by William Jennings Bryan, a former United States congressman from Nebraska, at the Democratic National Conventionin Chicago on July 9, 1896. In the address, Bryan supported bimetallism or “free silver“, which he believed would bring the nation prosperity. He decried the gold standard, concluding the speech, “you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold”. Bryan’s address helped catapult him to the Democratic Party’spresidential nomination; it is considered one of the greatest political speeches in American history.
For twenty years, Americans had been bitterly divided over the nation’s monetary standard. The gold standard, which the United States had effectively been on since 1873, limited the money supply but eased trade with other nations, such as the United Kingdom, whose currency was also based on gold. However, many Americans believed bimetallic (making both gold and silver legal tender) was necessary to the nation’s economic health. The financial Panic of 1893 intensified the debates, and when Democratic President Grover Cleveland continued to support the gold standard against the will of much of his party, activists became determined to take over the Democratic Party organization and nominate a silver-supporting candidate in 1896.
Bryan had been a dark horse candidate with little support in the convention. His speech, delivered at the close of the debate on the party platform, electrified the convention and is generally credited with getting him the nomination for president. However, he lost the general election to William McKinley and the United States formally adopted the gold standard in 1900.
My Take On The Article –
This extract l cannot take credit for as it was simply copied and pasted from Wikipedia and my reason for posting was simply how interesting l find this type of article. The words ” you should not crucify a man upon a cross of gold” seems so apt in today’s world and the way we judge others who look to prosper but are not looking to benefit by greed! As to benefit by greed whether it be stealing, lying and want is the downfall of every man who has seen what others have and wanted it!
The mere mention of “free” so long ago seemed real! Though now we look for a catch, thus we could open the heart of the provider! My favourite words come to mind like what is in it for them and is it honest! So ” free silver” and the fact the ” gold standard ” was decried when, was a portent for these days of people having the ” midas touch” or how much money or gold they can make for us! As if they really care for us,we are as this attests, just sheep to be shorn!
So maybe the Nebraskan congress man was not so far from the truth when he decried gold, just maybe he was telling us all listening ” Be Careful Of False Prophets” using the spelling PROFIT for them not us who only seek to prosper!
- Joe Weisenthal: Ben Bernanke vs. the Gold Standard (delong.typepad.com)