Saturday, September 14, 2019

American Parties Essay

The Republican secession affected the vote in some of the Western States but the Democratic â€Å"bolt† was more significant. It took two forms: one, the nomination of separate candidates for President and Vice President known as gold Democrats, and the other votes given directly to McKinley as the surest means of beating Bryan. There is no question that business was much depressed publicans had hoped to charge this condition to the Democratic administration and to the Tariff bill of 1894, and therefore McKinley, who represented protection more than any other man in the country, was the logical candidate. He was the â€Å"advance agent of prosperity† and promised the â€Å"full dinner pail†; prosperity was to be secured by a return to the protective tariff of the Republican party. A few Gold Democrats made a vigorous campaign, especially in the border states where the vote was likely to be close, but in general the party suffered from the closeness of the contest. A rumor on election eve that labor was swinging heavily to Bryan led many thousands of Democrats to shift their votes from Palmer to McKinley. Cleveland advised Gold Democrats to support Republican electors in doubtful states; and Palmer declared publicly that he did not consider it â€Å"any very great fault† if his hearers voted for McKinley. The result was a pitiful 131,000 votes for Palmer, less than 1 per cent of the total and 10,000 fewer than the Prohibition party polled. Even so, many Gold Democrats were well satisfied. Atkinson claimed it as an acknowledged fact that McKinley had been elected by the Gold Democrats. Wheeler insisted that they had polled enough votes in Indiana, Kentucky, and Maryland to give those states and a majority in the electoral college to McKinley, though others have doubted whether this was true in any state but Kentucky. Certainly a nucleus of â€Å"true† Democracy had been preserved for 1900. Leaders like Atkinson were sanguine. â€Å"Heretofore,† he wrote, â€Å"both the old political parties have truckled to the ilver states; hereafter, the National Democratic party will, like the old Free Soil party, hold the balance of power, and although small in number, they will in a forceful manner control events. † In the campaign of 1884, the Republicans again vigorously advocated the doctrine of Protection, protesting against indiscriminate horizontal reduction, but pledging themselves to correct the irregularities of the Tariff and reduce the surplus â€Å"without injuring the laborer or the great productive interests of the country. † The Democrats carefully avoided their blunder of 1880, when they flatly favored a tariff for revenue only. They devoted a long paragraph to the customary abuse of the opposing party and then explained that they meant to reduce taxation so that it â€Å"shall not exceed the needs of the Government economically administered,† and that this â€Å"can and must be effected without depriving American labor of the ability to compete successfully with foreign labor. † McKinley carried the New England States, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania by large majorities. The Middle Western States gave him their electoral votes. He invaded the solid South, carrying Delaware, Kentucky, West Virginia and Maryland, Maryland by an imposing plurality. Bryan carried Kansas and Nebraska, all the mining States except California, and also Washington, while Oregon voted for McKinley. North Dakota did likewise, while South Dakota gave her electoral vote to Bryan by a small plurality. Ohio, the State of McKinley and Hanna, was a disappointment to the Republicans. While they never regarded seriously the boasts of the Bryanites that they would carry the State, yet her plurality, being less than that of Michigan and about one third that of Illinois, showed that Ohio was somewhat uncertain. For, in the August forecast, Michigan was set down as very doubtful and, while Illinois was considered less doubtful, she was not regarded, like Ohio, as safe beyond peradventure for McKinley. Bibliography Binning, William C. 1999. Encyclopedia of American Parties, Campaigns and Elections. Greenwood Press: Westport, CT. Boller, Paul. 1984. Presidential Campaigns. New York: Oxford University Press. Felt, Thomas E. 1960. â€Å"The Rise of Mark Hanna†, Unpublished Ph. D. Dissertation, Michigan State University. Kelly, Patrick J. 2003. The Election of 1896 and the Restructuring of Civil War Memory. Civil War History 49 (3).

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