William Jennings Bryan Essay, Research Paper
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was a lawyer and a statesman who changed our nation for the better. Although he had many failed attempts at becoming president, he managed to change government with his innovative ideas. He showed the nation it s problems and fixed them; all the while meeting the publics needs.
Bryan was born in Salem, Illinois in 1860. His father was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress and was a Democrat. He sent William Jennings to an Academy and to college. Bryan went to law school and by the end of his first year out he had made connections with all the right people.
In 1890, he became a democratic candidate for Congress. By 1894 he was trying to become part of the U.S. Senate. His bid for election was unsuccessful so he turned to journalism. He worked as editor-in-chief of the Omaha World Harold. He then developed a knack for making speeches so he went around making speeches about the free coinage of silver. He felt very strongly about this issue. With the support of his listeners he decided to run for president against McKinley. This was unsuccessful. He went along two more times to again run and not be elected for the presidency.
Bryan did, however, manage to accomplish many good things. He brought about income taxes, which helped everyone and also the vote for women. He put the law that Senators would be appointed directly by the people into effect. He also advocated for government regulation of business practices. Bryan published The Commoner a weekly newspaper in which he sought to carry on his fight against the influences of wealth in politics. Bryan negotiated 30 treaties, of which, 28 were ratified.
William Jennings Bryan believed strongly in the bible and the literal interpretation of it and prohibition. Because of this, he decided to aid the prosecution in the John Scopes or Monkey Trial. This was his last trial he fought, and it was against the famous lawyer Clarence Darrow. He believed that John Scopes, a teacher, was not being morally right when he taught Darwin s theory of evolution in his classroom. Bryan was part of the prosecution team for the state of Tennessee. The state won.
After the trial, five days to be exact, William Jennings Bryan died in his bed. William Jennings Bryan lived a full and active life as one of America s top leaders. He improved American life with his creative ideas and incredible wits. He will go down in our history as a great man who helped shape our country into what it is today.