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William Jennings Bryan was a known debater and Nebraska Congressman in 1890. He was a liberal leader who was unsuccessful in running for presidency three times. The Cross of Gold speech at the Democratic National Convention made him famous.
For more information on the William Jennings Bryan read the fact file below or download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- William Jennings Bryan was born in Salem, Illinois, in 1860. His parents were loyal supporters of the Democratic Party. He graduated from Illinois College and Union Law School before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1887.
- In 1890, Bryan was elected in the Congress until his re-election two years later. He led the free silver Democrats through his gifted oratorical skills.
- In 1896, Bryan became famous for his Cross of Gold speech at the Democratic Convention.
“The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. I come to speak to you in defense of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty—the cause of humanity.”
- Bryan captured the presidential nomination by the Populists after his free silver speech. He was then called “The Boy Orator of the Platte”. Bryan agreed with the plan of the Populists that the government should protect the people. He travelled up to the smallest towns and delivered hundreds of speeches.
- William Mckinley defeated Bryan and started the dominance of the Republican government. After the Spanish-American war, he condemned Pres. Mckinley’s Philippine policy.
- In 1900, Bryan was nominated again by the Democrats, but he was defeated once more by Mckinley due to his insistence on free silver and the control monopolies.
- William Jennings Bryan established the newspaper the Commoner. He used both the newspaper and lectures to continue his advocacy on equality, people’s governmental participation, opposition to monopolies, and importance of faith.
- His third campaign for presidency was in 1908, when he lost against William Howard Taft. He used “Shall the People Rule?” as his watchword during the campaign.
- Bryan served as the Secretary of State during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency. He made notable contributions, such as the “cooling-off” negotiations with 30 countries to avoid any conflict of war.
- When World War I broke out in 1914, America was a neutral state until the sinking of the Lusitania by the Germans. Bryan resigned from office after Wilson’s decision to join the war.
- He remained active on his advocacies regarding peace, women’s suffrage, and Christian fundamentalism. In 1925, he took part in the trial against John Scopes. Scopes was a Tennessee schoolteacher accused of violating the law due to teaching about in a public school. The prosecution won, leaving Bryan ridiculed after his take at the witness stand. The defence attorney, Clarence Darrow, proved his shallow knowledge on science and archaeology.
- Bryan died in 1925, a week after the trial. During his lifetime, he was considered as a dedicated public servant because of his charisma as a political figure.
William Jennings Bryan Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use William Jennings Bryan Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about William Jennings Bryan who was a known debater and Nebraska Congressman in 1890. He was a liberal leader who was unsuccessful in running for presidency three times. The Cross of Gold speech at the Democratic National Convention made him famous.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- William Jennings Bryan Facts
- The Boy Orator of the Platte
- Presidential Rivals
- Democrats v Republicans
- The Philippine Policy
- Quotable Quotes
- Statesman Acrostics
- Trial of Scopes
- Cross of Gold Speech
- Campaign for Bryan
- My Speech
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Link will appear as William Jennings Bryan Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 7, 2017
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