Essay on Presidential Election of 1896:
The Presidential election of 1896 was called by some scientist the first modern election. This fact is explained by number of innovations in tactic policy introduced by Mark Hanna, McKinley manager. This election is also called a realigning one. Republican William McKinley formed a coalition of businessmen, prosperous farmers and workers making an accent on the Midwest and Northeast. His opponent and main enemy was Democrat William Jennings Bryan. He was oriented on the Silver Republicans, the Democrats and representatives of the Populist Party. He got majority in the South, Rocky Mountain States and the Midwest.
The main conflict and significant issues before the election was the question of the gold standard and the free silver. McKinley wanted to remain the gold standard, while supposed that silver instead of gold would introduce more paper money. It was evident that in the case of currency depreciation paper currency will greatly loose its value and it will become a great threat to the economy of the USA.
McKinley won this election of 1896 due to Hanna’s innovative policy. First of all, using modern campaign techniques he comprised a budget of $3.5 million for the election campaign with the businessmen’s support. His tactic was well-planned and he analyzed the political situation and acted taking into account its peculiarities. “He “marketed” McKinley as if he were a product. Big Bill’s robust physique and character was pitched as a metaphor for a recovering robust American economy” (Kelly, 2003, p. 49). This method worked and brought McKinley a victory. He raised three million voices in comparison with Bryan who raised only 600,000.
The two candidates have chosen different methods of attracting the voters’ attention. William Bryan traveled around all the country performing his candidacy.
His speeches were herd in all corners of America, because of this fact he was blamed of lacking dignity but he did not pay much attention to this fact.
McKinley in his turn stayed at home and great number of people came to hear his speech.
His main audience was businessmen, prosperous workers and professional workers, so later he was called “the tool of business”. Bryan oriented his campaign on democrats and so was called a “radical and socialist”. Both opponents chose their own tactics and followed them.
The election of 1896 is also called the most dramatic in the American history. The competition was so strong and serious that it was difficult to predict the result of this elections. Only due to the modern campaign technologies and innovations used by McKinley’s manager Mark Hanna the Republican candidate was able to get a greater number of voters and so win the election.
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