An address by the presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan to the national convention of the Democratic party in 1896. Bryan criticized the gold standard and advocated inflating the currency by the free coinage of silver, a measure popular among the debt-ridden farmers whom Bryan championed. “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns,” said Bryan; “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.” The speech stirred the convention, and Bryan was nominated for president.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.