Late 19th Century Politics WebPrompt
How did political leaders and movements in the late 1800s reflect the divisions that existed in American society and its beliefs?
There was a plethora of movements and political leaders that reflected the divisions of American society by the time the 1890’s came around. To speak of one fairly important one, there was the Farmer’s Alliance, which was created because of many farmers daunting debt caused by low cotton prices. From this alliance came the Populist Party. Their first presidential candidate was William Jennings Bryan, a 36-year-old democrat. His republican rival saw this as an advantage and played on the people’s fear of an unstable candidate. He drew attention in campaign ads by highlighting Bryan’s young age. In one certain ad that stood out most to me, he shows Bryan in a cradle with a raddle, while he was portrayed in professional uniform fighting the Civil War. The election was ultimately won by McKinley, but only by a small margin (as learned through class discussion). In an article he wrote for the North American Review, President McKinley came under attack by Emilio Aguinaldo. He opposed the annexation of the Philippine Islands, and stated that every heart rejoiced when the US--along with their forces--compelled Spain to surrender. Following this, the United States government started ignoring previous promises and began to treat the Filipino’s as if they were the common enemy. He stated that the US wore