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William Jennings Bryan was born 1860 and lived till 1925. He was a Democratic and a Populist leader. He also tried to run for president three times and failed every time. The “Cross Of Gold” speech was a speech by William which helped propel the convention to nominate him as a Democratic presidential candidate. Bryan also ran in the years 1900 and 1908 which became failures.
The speech was given at the Democratic National Convention, so the audience was pledged delegates from the 50 states of the US so that they can cast their votes.
It was William Jennings Bryan’s Democratic presidential speech.
Bryan believes that “we shall point to their platform and tell them that their platform pledges the party to get rid of the gold standard and substitute bimetallism”. This was Bryan’s whole argument. He was against the gold standard and thought it was destroying American wealth and wanted to change it with silver.
Everyone has different opinions on what to do with wealth. How to get rid of it, how to earn it, and how it should be proceeded. Even now one might hear debates about why cryptocurrency should take over the U. S money. This is what Bryan was arguing, how wealth should be proceeded. He wanted to substitute the wealth of gold with bimetallism. He didn’t want to completely abolish the gold system, but he thought that silver and gold should hold the same amount of value. An interesting point that he claims is “if protection has slain its thousands, the gold standard has slain its tens of thousands”. Bryan shows the difference between what gold has done to America, it has slayed it for tens of thousands. Bryan uses these arguments to argue on what good gold has done for America.
One thing that is very noticeable is that throughout the speech, Bryan uses “my friends, ” as he is relating to his audience because he wants to build that connection. This allows the reader to think that whatever Bryan is saying is going to benefit them. It also allows them to pay more attention to what Bryan has to say because it will greatly affect them. Now, Bryan didn’t want to just abolish the gold system, he didn’t just want to get rid of it. He supported the idea of bimetallism. The idea of bimetallism allows for two metals to co-exist which is what Bryan wanted. He knew how hard gold would be to abolish because of how the U. S uses it to trade with different nations so he decided to have something where gold and silver can converse together. He claims “if the gold standard is a good thing, we ought to declare in favor of its retention and not in favor in abandoning it”. Even though he himself does not like the idea of the gold standard, if the government thinks it helpful to the U. S, that they keep it but add another currency in which holds the same value which is silver.
Bryan thinks having gold for the rest of mankind will have a detrimental effect. To close out his argument, Bryan states, “you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold”. By the word “you” he is referring to the government claiming that if they do not do something about the gold system, it will lead to bad things. Even going as far as saying it will “crucify mankind”. This is such a great closing line because it allows not only the reader but the people who were listening to his speech really question gold. Is it really worth it? Does it really leave that bad of in impact?
That was Bryan’s main goal for this speech, he wanted the reader to question the idea of the gold standard and make them think there was something better. By him doing so, it set up his argument in bimetallism. Even if the gold standard was “helpful” he still wanted silver to co-exist with gold. Bryan sets up his argument by comparing the two systems and allowing them to conjoin each other for the better of America.
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