The Facts of Reconstruction eBook

John R. Lynch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about The Facts of Reconstruction.

The State of Nebraska, therefore, will always occupy a prominent place in the history of the country, because,—­though young, small, and politically weak,—­it has produced the most remarkable man of whom the Democratic party can boast.  It has also produced a number of very able men on the Republican side, such men, for instance, as C.F.  Manderson, and John M. Thurston,—­who both served the State in the United States Senate, and made brilliant records.  But Mr. Bryan had an advantage over these two when he stood before a popular audience in Nebraska, because they had been identified with the railroad interests, while he had not.

That Mr. Bryan is a strong man and has a wonderful hold upon his party is shown by the fact that he has been three times the party candidate for the Presidency.  While it may be true that he can never be elected to the Presidency, it is no doubt equally true that while he lives no other Democrat can become President who is not acceptable to him and to his friends.

In one respect at least, Mr. Cleveland and Mr. Bryan were very much alike.  As already stated, Mr. Bryan is a Democrat.  The same was true of Mr. Cleveland; and yet they were as radically different as it is possible for two men to be.  They were not only different in temperament and disposition, but also in their views and convictions upon public questions,—­at least, so far as the public is informed,—­with the possible exception of the tariff.  There was another question that came to the front after the Spanish American war,—­the question of “Imperialism,”—­upon which they may have been in accord; but this is not positively known to be a fact.  Indeed, the tariff is such a complicated subject that they may not have been in perfect accord even on that.  Mr. Cleveland was elected President in 1892 upon a platform pledged to a tariff for revenue only.  The Democrats had a majority in both Houses of Congress; but when that majority passed a tariff bill, it fell so far short of Mr. Cleveland’s idea of a tariff for revenue only that he not only denounced it in strong language, but refused to sign it.  Whether or not Mr. Bryan was with the President or with the Democratic majority in Congress in that fight is not known; but, judging from his previous public utterances upon the subject, it is to be presumed that he was in accord with the President.

It is claimed by the friends and admirers of both Mr. Cleveland and Mr. Bryan that each could be truly called a Jeffersonian Democrat; which means a strong advocate and defender of what is called States Rights, a doctrine on which is based one of the principal differences between the Republican and Democratic parties.  Yet President Cleveland did not hesitate to use the military force of the government to suppress domestic violence within the boundaries of a State, and that too against the protest of the Governor of the State, for the alleged reason that such action was necessary to prevent the interruption of the carrying

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The Facts of Reconstruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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