Public Figure Profiles

William Jennings Bryan

William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was an American lawyer, orator and politician. Beginning in 1896, he emerged as a dominant force in the Democratic Party, running three times as the party's nominee for President of the United States in the 1896, 1900, and the 1908 elections. He served in the House of Representatives from 1891 to 1895 and as the Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson. Because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was often called "The Great Commoner," and because of his rhetorical power and early notoriety "The Boy Orator."Born and raised in Illinois, Bryan moved to Nebraska in the 1880s. He won election to the House of Representatives in the 1890 elections, serving two terms before making an unsuccessful run for the Senate in 1894. At the 1896 Democratic National Convention, Bryan delivered his "Cross of Gold" speech which attacked the gold standard and the eastern moneyed interests and crusaded for inflationary policies built around the expanded coinage of silver coins. In a repudiation of incumbent President Grover Cleveland and his conservative Bourbon Democrats, the Democratic convention nominated Bryan for president, making Bryan the youngest major party presidential nominee in U.S. history. Subsequently, Bryan was also nominated for president by the left-wing Populist Party, and many Populists would eventually follow Bryan into the Democratic Party. In the intensely fought 1896 presidential election, Republican nominee William McKinley emerged triumphant. At age 36, Bryan remains the youngest person in United States history to receive an electoral vote. Bryan gained fame as an orator, as he invented the national stumping tour when he reached an audience of 5 million people in 27 states in 1896.

Bryan retained control of the Democratic Party and again won the presidential nomination in 1900. After the Spanish–American War, Bryan became a fierce opponent of American imperialism and much of his campaign centered on that issue. In the election, McKinley again defeated Bryan, winning several Western states that Bryan had won in 1896. Bryan's influence in the party weakened after the 1900 election and the Democrats nominated the conservative Alton B. Parker in the 1904 presidential election. Bryan regained his stature in the party after Parker's resounding defeat by Theodore Roosevelt and voters from both parties increasingly embraced some of the progressive reforms that had long been championed by Bryan. Bryan won his party's nomination in the 1908 presidential election, but he was defeated by Roosevelt's chosen successor, William Howard Taft. Along with Henry Clay, Bryan is one of the two individuals who never won a presidential election despite receiving electoral votes in three separate presidential elections held after the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment.

After the Democrats won the presidency in the 1912 election, Woodrow Wilson rewarded Bryan's support with the important cabinet position of Secretary of State. Bryan helped Wilson pass several progressive reforms through Congress. In 1915 he thought Wilson was too harsh on Germany and resigned after Wilson sent Germany a note of protest in response to the sinking of Lusitania by a German U-boat. After leaving office, Bryan retained some of his influence within the Democratic Party, but he increasingly devoted himself to prohibition, religious matters and anti-evolution activism. He opposed Darwinism on religious and humanitarian grounds, most famously in the 1925 Scopes Trial. Since his death in 1925, Bryan has elicited mixed reactions from various commentators, but historians agree he was one of the most influential figures of the Progressive Era.

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Some of their strengths

William Jennings Bryan has many admirable traits.

Based on spiritual traditions from around the world, they are someone who can be described as Intelligent, Smart, Creative, Intuitive, Altruistic, Analytical, and Innovative.

Soulful and Understanding

According to Mysticism’s Astrology tradition, William Jennings Bryan is someone who is a soulful, understanding, and conscious person, who combines smarts with a deep talent for creativity and imagination. A person who is ambitious and motivated.

Passionate and Intense

Based on Daoism’s Ba-Zi or ‘Chinese Zodiac’ tradition, people who know William Jennings Bryan well know them as someone who can be passionate, proud, and intense, like the sun or a blazing fire.

Productive and Perseverent

According to Hinduism’s Jyotisha or ‘Vedic Astrology’ tradition, many would also describe William Jennings Bryan as someone who is productive, persevering, deliberate, and direct.

A person who is creative, has good luck with work and money, good listening skills, good relationships with people at work, is a good teacher or counselor, and who is good at organizing groups, teams, or causes.

Emotionally Intelligent and Intuitive

Based on the Mayan Tzolk’in or ‘Mayan Astrology’ tradition, William Jennings Bryan is someone who tends to have strong emotional intelligence and intuition, and who can be a catalyst of change for others.

They are also someone who is balanced, stable, and energetic, who likes the idea of home and family, and who is very comfortable being the person in charge.

Creative and Imaginative

According to Judaism’s Kabbalah tradition, William Jennings Bryan tends to be someone who is sensitive, imaginative, creative, and somewhat of a dreamer. Who is intuitive and compassionate, and who has a friendly, easygoing, calming and relaxing effect on people and for whom friends and family mean the world.

Some of William Jennings Bryan's challenges

While William Jennings Bryan has many strengths, nobody is perfect. They also have some challenging traits they need to manage.

For example, William Jennings Bryan can be Self-centered, Stubborn, Indecisive, Unrealistic, Rebellious, Emotionally Distant, and Hypocritical.

Indecisive and Unrealistic

One of William Jennings Bryan's key challenges is that they are someone who can come across as indecisive and unrealistic.

William Jennings Bryan must also exercise caution as they can be short-tempered and aggressive.

Possessive and Stubborn

William Jennings Bryan is someone who can be possessive, jealous, inflexible, and stubborn, can have a habit of being a frivolous spender, and who can feel insecure or cynical in romantic relationships and have difficulty forming productive personal and professional partnerships.

Lethargic and Unrealistic

Finally, William Jennings Bryan also can be too soft, lazy and lethargic, and who can have difficulty finding others who share a similarly dreamy outlook on life.

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