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tv   The Contenders  CSPAN  August 3, 2016 8:00am-9:32am EDT

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was viewed as revolutionary which was campaigning for the office as opposed to the strategy in ohio. >> they had a lot of money. he was able to get checks from john a. rockefeller. there was no restrictions on campaign donations. ryan could not get that kind of money. he had to go out and campaign for himself. he could not campaign on a large machine. he was a wonderful person and he loved to speak. he made necessity as a virtue. he had to go on passenger trains. he spoke as many as 6000 times and that campaign.
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for him, this was an opportunity to become known. also the only chance he had to reach americans directly. >> he is the first campaigner to use the road in this way and campaign across the country. stephen douglas had done something similar in 1860. he was trying to take up campaigns through the south and through parts of the north. for the most part, american presidential candidate sat on their front porch and other people campaigned for them. brian campaigned at every town in illinois, ohio, virginia and traveled all over america bringing his campaign to the people pu.
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>> as always, we want to hear from you. we are and lincoln, nebraska. this is referred to as fairview. let's take a step back. he ran for the house of representatives, and yet he was born in salem, ill.. how did the end up in nebraska? >> he was born in 1860 into a world that was being transformed. the civil war that followed, 18621865. he was too young to serve in the civil war. -- the civil war that followed, 1862-1865. he did not have that opportunity. instead, he read for the bar and
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went into practice as a lawyer in lincoln, nebraska. he started his own law firm, a partnership. he practiced basic law in a growing urban environment. that is when he became active in politics. >> at the time and in many ways still, going to law school is good training to go into politics. his father was a judge in illinois. a very close associate of stephen douglas. really, politics was in his blood. he never thought of doing anything else but in politics. he became a lawyer because he wanted to get involved in politics. he came to nebraska because he
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knew that the democratic party was very weak here. >> let me go back to the way he was able to capture the imagination of the country. have you received nomination and he lost all three times? >> henry clay received the nomination. this was a little bit different 100 years ago. there was a lot more voters, and a lot more media. more money involved. clay had a pretty small country. america was not just a country, this was a modern campaign. >> as you write in your book, for 14 million americans of voted in that election.
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that was 80%. >> they voted in colorado. that is the highest percentage of voters. we have never had that a high percentage of voters again. >> can you touch on his senate bid in 1894? >> cher. he started out to get the populist and democratic nomination. the populist was an insurgent movement in american politics rapidly rising. they had secured the house in nebraska. the irony of his 1894 senate campaign was that the republicans win for the legislature and the democratic candidate actually wins the governorship.
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there was two debates, one in lincoln and 1 in omaha. 7000 people turned out for the debate in october of 1894. ryan started out talking about the income tax. this is the first income-tax in 1894. on the rich, and they started his debate with john thurston on that issue. the issue is down on the list in
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1894. >> in 1895, the supreme court ruled that the income tax was unconstitutional. congress passed a law, this is not constitutional. this helped to enflame the things on brian's side. -- on bryan's side. the republican majority alexa john thurston to be the senator from nebraska.
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bryan runs for president and gets the nomination and demand that he ran against was the republican committee chair for mckinley. >> does this home reflect william jennings bryan? >> it was considered quite nice for the time. it was a prize for his career. he worked here. the work here with his wife. he and his wife were partners in his career. >> we're joined by a --
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how long was he in that study writing? >> he would have used that probably daily. the study was the heart of the home. whaty don't you show us the desk and look like. -- desk looked like. >> these are the partner desks that he and his wife shared. they would exchange conversation, they would compose letters, and they would formulate some of the positions he would want to take. >> on the top of the desk, a copy of "the commoner."
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why was that significant? >> it can best be stated right and a quote in a first edition. "it would be to set aside if by kennedy to the common people and proves to its right to the name which it has chosen." >> it would be set aside if by the community to the common people. >> how does this reflect him when he moved in in 1892? >> this reflects the life style of mr. bryant and their family. -- of mr. bryan and their family. >> the two sat directly across from each other and work on
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everything, correct? >> they certainly did. his wife was a beloved wife and help make. >> how much of the material there is original? >> very few of the pieces are original furnishings. these furnishings and this office have been collected to represent what was originally in the room based on some very fine photographs. >> he was seated in that chair, would it feel like his study at the turn a century? >> it would feel very much like his office at the turn of the century. >> we will check in with you throughout the program. thank you for opening up this home to c-span cameras. we're joined from west virginia. we welcome your calls and participation.
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caller: i would like tyou to talk about thomas nast. >> he was a cartoonist who was responsible for the image that we have of santa claus. by the time that bryan ran, besides those images, he is best known for these really a fact is images of the corrupt boss of tammany hall in new york. his images of boss tweed looking
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like a cd devil really helped to bring tweed down. there was a prosecutor who was able to bring down the tweed ring. >> we will go now to sacramento, calif. caller: my question originates from the american presidents series. there was a question about what grover cleveland thought of volumes jennings bryan -- of william jennings bryan. i am curious what he hated him for and if that was true. >> i will start. you can follow up. grover cleveland was a hard
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money democratic president. he did not like bryan's position. it was the silver at issue and the breaking of the cleveland administration of the purchase act that most got the ire of clover cleveland -- of grover cleveland. >> the democratic party, especially from the east where cleveland was from. people who believed in thomas jefferson and that the government should not do very much in the economy. during the depression of the 1890's, grover cleveland said that the people should support the government but the government should not support the people. this is different from what
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bryan believed. he was a liberal. he believed the government should help those who could not help themselves. he wanted to reset the balance between corporate power and the power of workers and small farmers. cleveland had broke the strike with federal troops. the cleveland attorney general was grover's attorney. for bryan, cleave the thought that he represented all that he did not like about politics. -- cleveland thought that he represented all that he did not like about politics. >> they're filled with convictions and bereft of charisma who are willing to lead a charge against secular forces.
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>> bryan was a champion of those who needed help. he was a man of great conviction. one of the things he was trying to do that was most difficult was to take on the economic powerful class that had emerged in american politics in a way that did not look like class for their -- class warfare. he was trying to speak to the people without tearing down but instead attempting to build up. that was a very hard case to make. he did it beautifully but it was a very difficult attempt to repeal the inadequacies of american society at the time without looking like someone who
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was just tearing down the american ideal. >> those are your words. they are parallel to someone today an american politics? >> i'm not sure. there are people who want to be william jennings bryan. sarah palin, might try to be. they believe that a small greedy elite is after the majority of americans. bryan was representative of a movement. a movement that people believe that corporate america was taking the country in a revolutionary direction. we have come to grips and come to peace with big business. we cannot imagine a society where that is not there. >> we just looked at the desk that he worked with mary side by
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side. most businesses were like that in the 1870's and 1860's and 1850's. they were small partnerships and firms. that time before 1896 was a time of enormous industrial growth. 0 colossal corporations. these were corporations with enormous resources, and thomas wolfe, enormous power. -- enormous wealth, a enormous power. the change was arresting. bryan was speaking to that massive transition and american society and life. >> i want you to listen to the
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1900 campaign in which william jennings bryan talk about the issue of transparency. >> on election is a public affair. this is held for the benefit of the public and as a means through which the people select their officials. there is no sound reason for secrecy in regards to campaign methods and publicity will prove a purifying influence in politics. the people of to know what influences are at work in the campaign. they will decide whether any party has made it impossible to protect the rights of the people.
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>> has anything changed a century later? >> that sounds like the base of citizens united. obviously, people love money. they want the government to do the things they want the government, too. there is a lot of influence if you have a lot of money. bryan was in favor of public financing. he did not want private individuals to give any money to elections. he realized that would not fly at the time. his idea was to let least publicize the donations. let's make sure that everyone knows it is above board. standard oil was involved. he wanted that to be known.
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the first campaign finance law which had passed which banned corporations from taking money directly. influence and money is still something we argue about all the time and fight about all the time. >> good evening, how are you today? >> just fine. >> i have a question i wanted to ask. i just got the program and i wanted to understand, william jennings bryan, was he a supporter of the gold and silver standard for currency in america? >> prices would have gone up,
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but that also meant that people who produced crops would have also been able to see what they made for their crop go up. the interest rate would have gone down if more was in circulation. it sounds archaic to us today, but the best way to think of it is just, as cheaper money, more money in people's pockets, interest rates will go down. he got the nomination in 1886. he is renominated in 1900. what happened in 1904? >> >> the democrats decided to go for a candidate who they thought could appeal to a more traditional, conservative electric -- electorate. they chose a man who did not go against -- around the country giving speeches.
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politics,e of brian's but none of his charisma, none of his appeal to ordinary americans, and he got killed in a landslide. >> and then the party comes back to william jennings bryan in 1908. why? >> the party is in great need of a leader. it is a party that is divided by region. it had a great deal of difficulty united around -- uniting around a candidate in making its voice heard in a national election. william jennings bryan was a tremendous charismatic figure. >> teddy roosevelt becomes president and and william howard taft is elected in 1908. let's go back to something else that was rather revolutionary, the debate that took place and how that occurred, technically speaking, in 1908.
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>> it was not a debate the way we have debates now. it was the first time in which both candidates recorded on wax cylinders. you can still see very scratchy rendition of them. perhaps you apply one. the library of congress on some of these copies. it was like the original short length records. they did not last very long, two-three minutes. william jennings bryan sold them to campaign supporters. it was a way that his staff could go out and get you directly. we take that for granted now, but that was a novel idea at the time. >> we are going to begin with the words of william howard taft followed by william jennings bryan. >> i have known a good many people who were regular attendance at church.
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religious people, if you choose to use that term. i did not realize the immense importance of foreign men. the truth is we have to wake up in this country. there are lots of people who are dependent on us to help them on in the world. >> imperialism is the policy of an empire. a republic cannot be an empire, for republic rests upon the theory that government derives its power from the consent of the government. our experiment in colonialism has been unfortunate. instead of profit it has brought loss. instead of strength that has brought weakness. instead of glory, it has brought
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humiliation. >> the words of william mckinley and william howard taft. jennings bryan change as a candidate -- of course taft went on to win the election. did william jennings bryan go on to change as a candidate? >> in 1900, the big issue was imperialism. the u.s. was fighting in the philippines to try to stop the philippine independent movement from winning a war of the insurrection against u.s. occupation of those islands, and that was a big issue of that campaign. william jennings bryan tried to make the power of the trust, the power of big corporations the issue. he said let the people rule. taft was perceived as progress of the time. and secretary of war under teddy
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roosevelt. teddy roosevelt was a progressive president. many of your viewers may remember george h. of the bush in 1988 running as the hand- picked successor -- george h. w. bush in 1988 running as the hand-picked successor to ronald reagan. he was not a charismatic figure, but people felt, i liked reagan, i guess i can vote for bush. people who like roosevelt felt they would be safe with taft, and that is why he won. william jennings bryan tried to use some of the same rhetorical techniques. he talked as he had done before, but it was not very successful. the country was prosperous again after a sharp recession in 1907. times looked really good. taft was popular because he is the handpicked successor to a
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very popular president, theodore roosevelt. >> his closest race was 1896. for the election results, we're joined by marie in connecticut. welcome to the conversation. >> i wanted to know, how did williams jennings bryan come to live in miami, fla.? >> in fact, coral gables, florida. >> he contracted really bad, crippling arthritis. -- his wife contracted really bad, crippling arthritis. she could not live in the winter climate anymore. miami was beginning to be a place for older people to go if they could afford to. also, he had business out there. he had a lot of supporters there. they would go to miami, stay in france houses. they decided to move there.
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it was a very good move for her, certainly. >> you tell a story in the book about how the venetian school in florida is still there today. >> after he had given up all hope of becoming president, he began to make some money giving speeches for promoters. this is now one of his more honorable adventures, perhaps, but he needed to make money, and he did. >> we move to 1912 and the democrats finally win the white house, but it is not william jennings bryan. it is woodrow wilson. >> the democrats has struggled for some time and he had led much of the struggle against the republican party, working for the votes of working people and
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the broad middle class. the republicans were able to call what many of the issues the populists and democrat -- coopt many of the issues that the populists and democrats had brought forward. william jennings bryan and the democrats had a very difficult time reaching the broad middle class and convincing those that they could bring progressive change, not radical change, but progressive change. wilson was able to do that. he was a professor at princeton. he had been governor of new jersey. he was a very moderate reformer, but a progressive reformer. he was able to succeed where land jennings bryan was not. >> some believe that the only reason will drill wells and one was because the republican party split 19 -- woodrow wilson won was because the republican party split in 1912.
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if republicans had stayed united -- we will never know what would have happened, but it is quite possible that wilson would not have been elected. >> author of "the godly hero, the life of williams jennings bryan." josh is joining us from phoenix. good evening. welcome to the program. >> thank you. great show. thank you for your show. i wanted to add something a little different. i wonder if the gentleman could speak to his foreign policy and what he thought about, say, the spanish-american war or american colonialism, and if he ever went abroad. what did the gentleman think about how he would handle, for example, afghanistan and iraq
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and the invasion? what was his mind set back then in terms of hal -- how the major colonial powers around the world were going into other countries and occupying them and such? in general, his foreign policy. >> thank you for the call. he served as our 41st secretary of state. what best reflects his views on foreign policy? >> he served in the spanish- american war. he was opposed to the occupation of the philippines. he did travel around the world the whole year with his family from 1905-1906.
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as he went around the world,, egypt was then controlled by the dutch. india was controlled by the british. at each stop, he would see european powers. in principle, he was opposed to rich countries dominating and controlling poor countries. he was opposed to what he thought of as unjust wars. he resigned as secretary of state because he thought the united states was about to enter world war i. after the lusitania had been torpedoed by a german u boat. he resigned because he was so opposed to the war. he thought world war i was an insane war that the united
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states should not be a part of. >> what was his campaign like with woodrow wilson in 1912 and in his tenure as secretary of state? >> he supports william -- supports wilson and helped put him over the top. it was a very old stock convention, 46 ballots. ian wilson never were close. wilson -- he and wilson were never close. wilson had not supported him in earlier elections. the two did not really trust each other. wilson was an intellectual, and william jennings bryan was not. the two were not close. william jennings bryan became secretary of state in large part because a political opponent at
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that time was not at all unusual when the leading figure in the party was not the nominee. in many ways, he expected to be secretary of state. one of the reasons he was unhappy as secretary of state is because he did not get the kind of responsibility would have wanted. but one thing he did do, of which showed his views about war and peace, he convinced foreign powers to sign peace treaties with one another saying they would not go to war. these were pretty much symbolic, but he gave each of them a little bronze plaque with a line from isaiah about plowshares as a symbol of the trees. in the and, of course, the treaties did not stop world war i. as a christian, showing his
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humanitarian face to the world was one way to practice. >> welcome to the program. >> thank you. i do have a religious question about his religion. first, let me say that i applaud his efforts to level the playing field for the common man against big business. free enterprise defeated communism and i expect it will defeat democracy. what impact you think his fundamental christian religious police had on his election results? >> thank you for the call. we should point out too that the bible is opened to the book of ezekiel. what about the role of religion in his wife and his wife's life? >> is a good question.
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one of the things about him that is very important is that he never really separated it from politics. we think about that now with some more conservative people thinking we should have a christian government and a christian nation. but for him, christianity was the social gospel. he believed that if you're a good christian, you wanted to go out and save the world, help the poor, health workers, level the playing field as the caller mentioned. for him, religion and politics were not separate. some people were not evangelical product -- evangelical protestants. most americans were, at the time. he was a crusader. also, prohibition beginning in 1910. he was a great supporter of what became the 18th amendment of the constitution. this is a very divisive issue in american life.
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he came to prohibition because he wanted to purify the american body politic. that meant that a lot of people from 1910 on did not trust him, even people who voted for him, because he was a prohibitionist. he did not drink, but he did enjoy eating. >> 0 yes. sometimes he is many as six meals a day. he was known to devour three chickens at one sitting. >> if you're just joining in, we are looking at 14 candidates for the presidency. all 14 lost, but in their own way they shaped american politics and many of the issues they put forth resonate today. we are coming to you from lincoln, neb., now part of the center here in the state castle -- state capital. our phone lines are now open.
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this is an exterior view of what the home looks like. you can see the center directly adjacent. this home is open to the public. it does offer tours for those of you who travel through lincoln, nebraska. we're joined from palm springs, california. >> hello, i'm from desert hot springs near palm springs. i have a kodak picture in my files. he had a relationship with my family. i am not a mormon. it is just my hobby. i researched my family. i have 60 two hundred names. -- 6200 names.
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i would like to know about buying the book, where it is, and where i send the money. >> what is your connection to william jennings bryan, through your family research? >> he is in a car in this picture. it is like a kodak picture. it is a single-seater with the top down. i know is thought that the other man was the one whose name -- always thought that the other man was the one whose name i can remember who believed and religion. i can remember his name now. but he is in my family. i have 60 two hundred names i have researched on my computer. i do not say, i would like to
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have that one. i researched them to be sure they are my relatives. >> i'm going to ask you to stay on the line and get your phone number so that we can get you connected to the book. stay on the line. we will get your phone number. she brings up another part of his life. dayton tennessee, the monkey scopes trial and clarence darrow. >> we have put all of his speeches on line on our digital project. if she would like to use her computer to look at those speeches, there are hundreds of them. every speech he gave is online. >> all of the material from this series is available on-line. 14 weeks, looking at the
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presidential contenders. the scopes trial. >> william jennings bryan is known, if at all, to most americans because he was one of the prosecutors in tennessee. he was prosecuting a teacher named john scopes who was teaching the theory of evolution in high school in dayton, tennessee. what is interesting about this is that this issue is still pretty much alive. a large number of americans believe that the bible, the book of genesis, is the truth. is how the earth was formed. bryant believe that too, but it is important to remember that
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he believes in social darwinism, survival of the fittest, might makes right. he put out a series of lectures about evolution before the scopes trial. for him, to be a good christian meant that you could accept the social theory of evolution. he did not understand the science very well, but he believes, rightly or wrongly, that the way the science was being applied was to say that those who were doing well in society were those that should do well. this is one of the things he disliked about the theory. but again, he was a fundamentalist. he believed what the bible said was true and that people should not be learning something that should counteract that. >> there is an iconic photograph of clarence darrow and william jennings bryan in tennessee. how did the two come together
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for this historic moment in american history? >> bryan was asked by the prosecution to help in the trial. the state law was just passed that year in tennessee. they knew if he helped them, it would draw a lot of attention to the case. similarly, clarence darrow was a great defense lawyer, a defense lawyer for labor. when he heard the william jennings bryan was going to work for the prosecution, clarence dara said he had to work for the other side. -- darrow said he had to work for the other side. many people might have seen inherit . . . . ind, the famous movie. unlike what the movie shows you, scopes' never went to jail.
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scopes' agreed to be a defendant because he knew a trial was going to take place some time -- somewhere in tennessee and he wanted to bring business to tennessee. that is why the trial took place there, because scopes' agreed to be the defendant. >> technology was a factor in the trial. cameras were allowed in the courtroom and it was broadcast nationwide on the radio. >> one of the things that is so remarkable about this trial, not only that it was broadcast on the radio and tens of thousands of americans listen to it, but it was a court room. for bryan to try to defend his christianity in creationism in the courtroom -- and was the context of the courtroom in cross-examination that made it so difficult for him to say what he meant and what was so poor
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and about creationism in his thinking and about the social darwinism logic that he thought was infecting american society. it was a very difficult context in which to make that argument. bryan and his life, really, as sort of a man -- ends his life, really, a sort of a man out of context. the context of the courtroom in dayton, tenn., proved very challenging for him. >> peter is on the phone from new jersey. welcome. >> how're you doing? >> what is your question? >> i would like to make one point. then i will get off. you are a douche bag. >> we will go to mark in arlington, texas. >> i am calling because i have
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noticed that the gold standard debate seems to have come back recently. people are arguing against the gold standard and against the federal reserve and for the government ability to print it sound currency. those people in particular almost seem to "william jennings bryan to support their argument. -- quote william jennings bryan to make their argument. he seems to be making a comeback. >> let's bring it to the 2012 campaign, because ron paul is talking about the federal reserve, and even governor carey has been critical of ben bernanke, making -- perry has been critical of ben bernanke, making some of the same points that william jennings bryan was making a century ago. >> the legacy of that debate
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was the federal reserve system. we got off the gold standard eventually in the early 1930's. what people on that side wanted was a more flexible money supply. in hard times, interest rates would go down and more money would be in circulation. in prosperous times, they would go up. it is kind of like the fed today. at the time, it was seen as a great reform. of course, when we get in economic trouble like we're now, people look for a panacea, going back to the gold standard, for example. as an historian, one of the reasons we have been able to avoid serious economic downturn between the great depression and now is because we have had a flexible money supply that has been able to take charge when necessary. >> one of the big issues that william jennings bryan was
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trying to confront with the silver issue and the gold standard was the great contraction of the american economy. we have lived through a similar contraction recently. i think it is not surprising that some of these issues are coming forward when they are renowned. i think the difference is, of efforts toat bryan's broaden the money supply were mainly aimed at trying to rescue a class of americans who were struggling deeply with their financial well-being and their situation. so, i do not see that quite playing out today in the same way when the gold standard is being brought up. >> our history professor representing georgetown university and the university of nebraska, lincoln. we also have the author of "the
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iron out way: railroads to the civil war and the making of modern america's." we're joined from ohio. good evening. >> it seems rather ironic, many of the parallels from his day and hour day. it is just amazing. again, we're arguing soft money versus hard money. we do see class warfare. there is a class warfare argument. except this time, the argument is coming from the rich against the poor as opposed to the poor against the rich. the irony in my mind is just amazing. >> who would like to take that point? >> well, it isfor bryan making t about the income tax and the
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monopoly power he sought and the corruption in politics and the trust, all of those things to gather -- he was accused by the republicans of practicing a form of class warfare, of opening the door to class warfare by even mentioning these things, so he was trying to lead americans to see that a class in power was not necessarily looking out for their own interests. that was his main argument, and americans did not want a class warfare. the fear of class warfare is
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very vital to the 1890's when brian is campaigning it turns out with the militia and federal government blowing down and new workers, that did not sit well with american people, so brian was walking this thin line, trying to raise the issue but not trying to start a class warfare. >> he moved here as an adult, where he practiced law, ran for congress. he moved to this home in 1902 with his wife mary. my question is how did they use of home when they first moved here. >> it is an interesting
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combination of uses. the second floor with a family bedrooms and sleeping when chambers. the first floor was primarily for entertaining. you can see the open spaces where they would entertain friends, and the lower level was a family area with a dining room and the office and we have seen earlier. >> as you research the home, who would have been here? >> there were a number of prominent guest says. a number of social acquaintances as well as political figures would have been used to the house. >> we talked about home of fairview because it gave you a picture of the nebraska landscape. now it is the medical center. >> bryan said it was one of the
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most beautiful vistas. he acquired land east of lincoln and chose the site for their home in 19 01. >> what is his legacy in nebraska? >> i think he is one of the most famous sons. i think his name is widely recognized. i think nebraska and are proud we have generated people of his stature, even though he did not win the presidency. he was an important us but in nebraska's political life to have such a character. >> his legacy? >> i think he does bring the democratic party into nebraska's history. there were democrats here before the campaign, but he
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elevates the democratic party in its stature in nebraska. dodi he is a major figure in nebraska history, but local legacy is his home and the hospital which bears his name. >> as we look at life and political career of william jennings bryan. caller: bryan publicly supported the coup kluck's claremont. did he also support clinching in the south? >> he did not support the klan. the democratic convention was about whether to denounce the klan by name. he believed the democrats should win it over rather than to
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announce them. -- rather than denounce them. it is unfair to say he was a supporter of the clan. he was a racist, but he did not support violence against them. he was a white supremacist. i want to clarify his racial views are not so simple as to say he was a klansman or in favor of lynching people without a trial. he supported the test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test test policewoman m c political figure in the senses that
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. . . he broadly believes in white supremacy, and he is appealing to voters in a democratic south on those terms as well. >> when would he think about the democratic party today, which counts so many african-americans as its constituency? >> he would have been surprised. he was a democrat with a small d. the most of the democrats were white. he did not know very many black people. there was a group of african american republicans who supported him in that campaign. publicly, he wanted to stay as far from the issue as he could.
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bryan did not want to acknowledge his support because he was afraid he would lose parts of the white south, and he did. >> our next caller chuck is on the phone. caller: this series has been fascinating, and your guests are interesting. i heard at one time "the wizard of oz" was an allegory of the william of 1896 shawermwhere jennings bryan was depicted as the cowardly lion. i would be interested in your thoughts. >> have any your guests felt on that. >> either of you heard that. >> i used to give lectures about this. >> it is a wonderful way to
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teach students of 1986. different figures in that first oz book corresponding to figures in that campaign. if you look at frank biography's it does not bear out, he's a window dress. he dressed windows at department stores. the design of his department store windows was one way he saw american society. for him, "the wizard of oz" was sort of in that sense. surprised by the allegory and meetings of people. >> let me put another parallel in the table, in 1899, you sat
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down with carl -- can you touch on that. >> he established the republican party. most congressional, too. there is no majority party in the guiltd age. >> and also a pretty hetero genius group of middle class of american voters. one of the ways he want to do that was to include a large group of the population growing. similarly, mckinly, tried to appeal to european immigrants at the time which is a very large expanded group of population.
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he was able to win over german voters who had the most part democrats before. they became republicans for various reasons. so, rose saw, mckinly's career and his campaign producing this new republican majority. it did not happen and george bush was not a successful president as william mckinley. >> jenningenerajennings served . the age of 36. go ahead, please, the hometown of williams jennings brian. >> go ahead. >> caller: my question is how
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much influence did wj have in giving his brother the nomination in 1924 of the vice presidential candidate? >> yes, that's a side that people don't know about. 1924 -- the governor of nebra a nebraska, i am forgetting his first name. charles brian. the younger brother of william james brian was for the democrats coming out of the convention in 1924. he was more because of his name than because of william james brian. at that time, james brian was a decisive figure in the party because of the clan they fought for other reasons but brian's
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name was still faith, the democratic hope to be able to win a lot of rural and in the midwest of progressive rules. they're -- charles brian, his nomination as have the president by the democrats was attempt to keep the progressive farm book but for the most part it did not work. >> kerry is joiniterry is joini. >> caller: gentlemen, very interesting talk. you stated that the william jennings brian was a fundamentalist. i believe states like nebraska had large population during his days of very progressive. today they are extremely
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conservative, what has happened to cause this train? >> wi tomas, what did happen? >> well, that's a great question. the progressivism that brian had a great deal to deal with the economic condition of his debt and the prosperity that came forward in the american lives changed that in the 20th century in ways that brian could not predicted. in term of today's conservativism, he also for shadows some of that in commitment of faith of public life. his faith as michael already pointed out was based around the gospel movement and applied christianity and helping those in the cities and helping those in need and that branch of
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christian thought and experience did not grow in the same way as the fundamentals did >> chris is joining us. oh, did you want to follow? >> one question for austin. both liberalism and conservat e conservativisms change their rules and especially white l liberals became more identify with the cities and pluralistic and conservatives who were not and evangelicals became identified with the christians and 1970s going after. the issues is different, too with abortion and gay marriage
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were not issued for brian. the work of michael cason and the iron way, railroad and the civil war, the work of will tomas from the university of nebraska here at lincoln. chris, you have been patience, thank you for waiting from a austin texas, go ahead. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. and there was a similar move as the christian democracy going on as well. it seems there is no really outlet for a position like that in today's two major parties. i was wondering, you know, i think they're actually a big constituent for that. i want to get your take on the
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possibility of brian type position would have today in american politics. >> thank you for the call and question. >> well, you know every politician today of whatever their position in the sense has to be, you know, has to appear to be a religious person whether they go to church or not. so in that sense every body who has a chance to become president is a religious person. but, i think though that most people on the liberal side of politics mistrust people talk too much about their religion in politics and most people on the conservative side wants that religious talk focused primarily on issues of the body and issues of personal piety and personal
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responsibility and same-sex marriage and abortion and this kind of thing and stem cells and so forth. the kind of social christianity as you say many christian democrats stood for and brian stood for, i don't see that really as a real possibility at least in the near future. one actual figure is important to realize, is monokeefe king jr. in some ways, he's a lot different. it is interesting we actually have a holiday somebody who tried to put together which you might call the conservative sense of biblical tooth and also a very left wing belief of
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economic issues. >> on a separate note the connection of william jennings brian and abordane, what is it? >> this goes to nebraska, a man lead figure and never elected in his own right became the father of abordane and a way to bring, a way to bring more business really to this part of the plains. >> larry is join us from everett, washington, good evening. >> caller: my question of the australian ballot or the lack of one of 1996 or 1900 or 1908. does brian talk about the need for a secret ballot for that time would affect the outcome.
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is that true and does brian ever talk about it? >> thank you for the call. >> brian did talk about the secret ballot, it was a subject of a discussion in 1894 and 1896. it was a major issue. it came up in context of bringing in voters for elections or require voters to vote for a certain way, that's employees. >> these accusations made in nebraska with regarding to the burlington railroad. th brought the men in omaha and lincoln and told them which way to vote. so that kind of activity led politicians like brian and others to object and call for the kind of secret ballot that
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would allow individuals to vote who they wanted without the pressure of corporate interest in the election. >> our next caller comes to us from reno nevada, go ahead, please, you are on the air. >> caller: oh -- [ inaudible ] >> are you with us? >> we'll try one more time, we are getting some feedback. let's go to nancy next, joining us another time, dayton, tennessee. go ahead, nancy. >> caller: i am nancy sawyer and i am from dayton, tennessee. i am not old enough to remember it, i am just 70 something. and, i know several people that were there and it was a carnival and the drugstore was there for
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many years and the table where it all started and i understand it started as lets do something exciting or unusual, lets do this and that's how it got started. the older people have told me and dayton has grown into a booming little town. it had a play on the anniversary depicting the trial and it is a very interesting play for people to come from all over the united states to see and i just wanted to say that -- now, we were done as home of the scope's trial.
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i did not know, i did make clarance dale, we are glad that it happened there. as i was told, it was kind of started for chattanooga, chattanooga really did not want it. they decided to bring it today t dayton. >> calle >> nancy, thank you for calling and thank you for sharing your first account to that famous trials. thoughts from either of you. >> well, it is a very good museum about the trial and the sections around the world.
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you can visit the judge's chair and the famous examination of daryl cross examiniing darren. you think about it as many as 2,000 people in attendance and watching. we don't have that kind of trial today. it was a carnival and it did help the economy, dayton, a good deal. it was a economy that needed help at the time >> lets talk about the legacy of williams jennings brian of wo n women's rights and the popular election of u.s. senatsenator. will tomas. >> well, i think bryan's legacy,
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depicts bryan as a back country kind of misguided figure in 1924 and 1925. so his legacy is tarnished by the end of his career by this. michael's book recovers bryan's legacy beautifully. all of the reforms, women's right and the right to vote and suffrage which was an agent tct issue and brian was at the forefront of it and other issues as well where you just mentioned where ones he's deeply involved in from the beginning. >> one of the legacies of bryan were important. without bryan you would not get roosevelt or others. those that don't like the big
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government party. for those who like it more economic liberal party. he does mention in '08 for the first time of a strong relationship with organized labor and the democratic party and relationship for the most party has remained between those movement and that party. so, you know he was not the only figure who did this, he was the key figure in the 1890s, helping to make of the democratic party that we think of today and that's wanting the government to be stronger sharing the interest of the people who are down on their luck. that's a very important legacy which he does not often get credit for. >> had he been elected president, what kind of president would he have been? >> i don't think a good one. his skills and his order, his skill was someone that could put
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forth ideas and rally people to support those ideas. he was probably not a good administrator, secretary of state and he would have been a decisive figure and difficult for him to work directly with the party in congress. >> i have time for one more call, marcus is joining us in dallas, go ahead, please. >> caller: in 1900, did heit ti with him, can you tell him about that after running with jennings william. >> it was not a close contest, it was decided by the time they got into the convention which was unusual at that time. conventions back in that day were, you know, the nomination
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was decided. by the time they got to kansas city where the convention was held, it was clear that the nomination would go to bryan again. >> 1984 of the keynote and in 2004, senator barack obama delivered the address. are there parallels to bryan jennings william? >> bryan was getting results in the country. you know of the great convention speech and hubert humphries gave a favorite civil speech for the democratic convention which puts the u.s., putting the democratic
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party on civil rights which never been before. we had no parallel of the american history where someone giving a great speech and gets a nomination at the same convention. >> what about today, are there parallels to modern? >> i think obama speech. michael's right. bryan had achieve much of that. the sense of party unity that both of them brought to those speeches and the kind of sincerity and speaking across the broad range of public and speaking outside the party as well. both of them are able to do that in those settings. they're different in other ways but there is a similarity. >> william tomas is the chair of history of department here in
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nebraska and michael cason who teaches history, you put the book together when? >> i started doing research on it around 1996, about 100 years after and it was published in 2006. >> we thank you for your perspective of the life and career of williams jennings bryan. >> we thank you to our staffs here and the medical center which makes us the campus. we want to leave you more of the words of williams jennings bryan. what made an ideal republic, here is what he had to say. >> a republic of pertaining to
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the world. self evidence and proposition that all men are created equal. that governments are instituted among men to secure these rights and the government derive their just power. before the republic of civil and religious liberties. -- >> we'll air this program tonight at 8:00 a.m. eastern right here on c-span 3. the c-span radio app makes it easy for you to follow the 2016 election where ever you are.
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it is free to download the app store or google play. get up to the minute information of c-span television and podcast time. stay up to date of all the collection coverage, c-span radio app means you will always have c-span on the go. >> next a look at our visit to william jennings bryan house in lincoln nebraska. you are watching american history tv all weekend o
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. a republic to the world, self evidence proposition that all men are created equal that they are endowed -- government are instituted among men to securi secure these rights and government derive of their power from the consent of the government. >> william james bryan was one of nebraska's most famous and prominent politicians. he was nominated three times by the major party by the democratic party, he lost an election of all three times. they moved to lincoln of 1887. bryan was a lawyer in central illinois and he went into kansas to collect some debt and law practice, he said i am going to
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stop at lincoln to visit an old law school friend of mine from the law school in chicago. and, he saw where lincoln and the state of nebraska were just booming of some of the fastest growing area of the country at the time. he saw the democratic party and he saw some opportunities there and he started construction of this house in 1901. he and mary would drive way out of the country in a buggy and they fell in love with the hill that the house is built on. construction were started at 1901, it took two years. construction were finished in 1903. it is 11,000 square feet. it is a beautiful house.
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the main level of the home were used for entertaining and political events and receptions and etcetera, they would host a number of and world leaders would come here. the most being woodrow wilson coming out here giving bryan support when he was trying to get nomination for the 1912 convention. there were a lot of people international and national leaders that would come and stop by and see bryan at this home >> right now we are in the lower level where it is the main activity of the family took place. we are in the office area right now and this was where bryan and mary had their office and did their work and she was a very active partner in his career. a very accomplished lady, valedictorian of her college
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class and got a law degree at the university of nebraska and studied in german so she could read the european newspaper to see what they were saying about bryan. she was a very active participant in his political career. this desk is a replica of the desk in his tstudy. you can see the two chairs, mary sat in one chair and mabryan sa in the other. there is a couple of telephones at the time, there were two independent telephone companies in lincoln, if you subscribe to one, you could not talk to somebody just subscribe to the others so they had to subscribe to both, of course. here is an example of a political newsletter that they published foreclose to 20 years, which is similar to the standard or the nation or the national
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review. had a huge circulation of the country and probably adjusted for population changes and greater than those magazines mentioned. he got a chance to tell his political views in that circulation. he's also famous for being one of the greatest in the country at the time. he's the most famous by far of the speech he gave in 1896. the famous cross the gold speech which really turned nomination over to him. >> the gold standard, we'll
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restore by medalism. if they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard is a good thing, we'll fight them. having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laborering interelabo laborer interests, we'll answer their demands for the gold stander by saying to them, you shall not push down of the labor. >> bryan had this huge voice that you can hear all over the hall. in those days, of course, there were not any microphones and laud speakers and etcetera, he was in a huge hall and most speakers could not be heard by a lot of people. bryan had this booming voice so
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they can hear him and he gave this arousing speech. again, it was the main issue of that election of the monetary policy and whether we stay on the gold standard or add silver to the money supply. and, after he made that speech, people got so excited that they carried him out on his shoulders and low and be hold he was nominated as president as the age of 36. the impact bryan had on our country, i think few people realize both on the democratic party and policy in general, when he came on the scene, the democratic party was a conservative party. bryan was a liberal in politics
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and extensive activiconservativ. he was ready the predecessor to franklin roosevelt and new deal president johnson's great society and the wall street journal. >> our profile of presidential candidat candidates continues tonight with a look at william jenningss bryan, he also served as secretary of state under president woodrow wilson. that's at 8:00 p.m. eastern time here on c-span 3. coming up next on american history tv, author edward o'
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donnel talks about the gilded age. the gotham center hosted this hour of 20 minute event. >> well, thank you very much, thank you suzanne and the gotham center and i know some of you coming out tonight, i know some of you are saying republican debate, henry george. i am gratified that you chose hen henry george. it is great to come back to new york and gotham center, place that i have done other talks and people that i work with. i finally got to talk about this hen coventry george book. let me jump right in by showing you a photo,


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