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Author Topic: Bryan, Wilson and Roosevelt?  (Read 1414 times)
TommyC1776
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« on: July 31, 2012, 09:10:55 pm »
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Was William Jennings Bryan the first Democrat to bring forward a more liberal platform than before?  Also, it seems that Wilson continued alot of Bryan's ideas as far as looking out for the common man.  Finally FDR got the government more involved than any Democrat had before.  Anyways, my main question is did Bryan start the liberal revolution (if you want to call it that) that Wilson and FDR adopted?
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2012, 09:34:14 pm »
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Probably. Remember that the Democratic Party of 1896 just absorbed the Populist platform and kicked out the Bourbons.
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2012, 09:36:41 pm »
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I tend to view Wilson and Roosevelt as a far more upper-class, intellectual brand of liberalism, though obviously one still oriented towards helping the "common man". Bryan was much more down-to-earth in that sense. As well, Wilson and Roosevelt were of the a more urban "progressive" background while Bryan was of the "populist" orientation. Though one sort of preceded/worked alongside/was counterpart to the other, there's a divide, IMO. Although, if it weren't for Byan's endorsement at the 1912 DNC, it's unlikely that Wilson would have even been nominated.
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TommyC1776
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 10:50:32 pm »
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I tend to view Wilson and Roosevelt as a far more upper-class, intellectual brand of liberalism, though obviously one still oriented towards helping the "common man". Bryan was much more down-to-earth in that sense. As well, Wilson and Roosevelt were of the a more urban "progressive" background while Bryan was of the "populist" orientation. Though one sort of preceded/worked alongside/was counterpart to the other, there's a divide, IMO. Although, if it weren't for Byan's endorsement at the 1912 DNC, it's unlikely that Wilson would have even been nominated.

Bryan's youth probably helped him in some areas with "common man".
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 10:52:37 pm by TommyC1776 »Logged

Tim Russert: "If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press."  Tim, you will be missed.  (1950-2008)..

Quote from Larry Hagman: "[Bush is a] sad figure: not too well educated, who doesn't get out of America much. He's leading the country towards fascism."

"It's all the same to me, he wouldn't understand the word fascism anyway."

Ted Kennedy (1932-2009).
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2012, 06:23:37 am »
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I tend to view Wilson and Roosevelt as a far more upper-class, intellectual brand of liberalism, though obviously one still oriented towards helping the "common man". Bryan was much more down-to-earth in that sense. As well, Wilson and Roosevelt were of the a more urban "progressive" background while Bryan was of the "populist" orientation. Though one sort of preceded/worked alongside/was counterpart to the other, there's a divide, IMO. Although, if it weren't for Byan's endorsement at the 1912 DNC, it's unlikely that Wilson would have even been nominated.


So Bryan's closest political heir was probably Truman, though Hubert Humphrey might have been even closer had he reached the White House.
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2012, 12:42:55 pm »
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I tend to view Wilson and Roosevelt as a far more upper-class, intellectual brand of liberalism, though obviously one still oriented towards helping the "common man". Bryan was much more down-to-earth in that sense. As well, Wilson and Roosevelt were of the a more urban "progressive" background while Bryan was of the "populist" orientation. Though one sort of preceded/worked alongside/was counterpart to the other, there's a divide, IMO. Although, if it weren't for Byan's endorsement at the 1912 DNC, it's unlikely that Wilson would have even been nominated.


So Bryan's closest political heir was probably Truman, though Hubert Humphrey might have been even closer had he reached the White House.

I'd never thought of it that way, but good point. Both were from an area much closer to Bryan's, namely the area right around where the Mid-West becomes the West. Truman especially IMO, though it seems they lost the Christian Democrat thing along the way and it became more solely economics than was Bryan's style. From what I remember reading, Truman actually served as a page at one of the DNC's that nominated Bryan, and later credited Bryan with saving liberalism in the Democratic party.
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2012, 03:04:05 am »
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I'd never thought of it that way, but good point. Both were from an area much closer to Bryan's, namely the area right around where the Mid-West becomes the West. Truman especially IMO, though it seems they lost the Christian Democrat thing along the way and it became more solely economics than was Bryan's style. From what I remember reading, Truman actually served as a page at one of the DNC's that nominated Bryan, and later credited Bryan with saving liberalism in the Democratic party.


Was it so much saving as reviving from the dead?

Had the Democratic Party been liberal by any reasonable definnition since about the 1850s?
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2012, 10:02:47 am »
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I'd never thought of it that way, but good point. Both were from an area much closer to Bryan's, namely the area right around where the Mid-West becomes the West. Truman especially IMO, though it seems they lost the Christian Democrat thing along the way and it became more solely economics than was Bryan's style. From what I remember reading, Truman actually served as a page at one of the DNC's that nominated Bryan, and later credited Bryan with saving liberalism in the Democratic party.


Was it so much saving as reviving from the dead?

Had the Democratic Party been liberal by any reasonable definnition since about the 1850s?

Eh, that's a whole 'nother argument about what the meaning of liberalism, who was truly conservative, who was truly liberal, yaddah yaddah yaddah. That requires a look back all the way to post-revolutionary politics, IMO.
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 10:52:55 am »
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Possibly.
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 08:01:24 pm »
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Bryan and Wilson may have helped set the framework, but it wasn't until the Great Depression and the election of FDR that it made Democrats the majority party, a position they have never relinquished (except possibly for a bred time during the presidencies of Reagan and Bush I.)  I just came up with an illustration of the party alignment since both major parties have been in existence:

1854-1920
Republicans: Fiscally and Socially Liberal
Democrats: Fiscally and Socially Conservative

1920-1980
Republicans: Fiscally Conservative and Socially Liberal
Democrats: Fiscally Liberal and Socially Conservative

1980-present
Republicans: Fiscally and Socially Conservative

Democrats: Fiscally and Socially Liberal

Of course issues change, as do the meanings of "liberal" and "conservative", but this is just a summary.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 08:03:09 pm by Oldiesfreak1854 »Logged

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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2012, 08:17:42 pm »
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Oldie, I think it depends on the President. I mean, from what I remember, Grant upheld gold even in the face of the 1873 Panic. But Eight years after his re-election, a vehemently pro-silver Republican, James Garfield, was elected. Harrison as well counts as pro-silver while McKinley was a moderate on the issue. As for socially conservative, that comes down to defining the term, though I'd define McKinley as "socially liberal", but in '20's, I think it's safe to say the GOP was socially conservative, especially when they were up against Al Smith.
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2012, 01:41:08 am »
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Oldie, I think it depends on the President. I mean, from what I remember, Grant upheld gold even in the face of the 1873 Panic. But Eight years after his re-election, a vehemently pro-silver Republican, James Garfield, was elected. Harrison as well counts as pro-silver while McKinley was a moderate on the issue. As for socially conservative, that comes down to defining the term, though I'd define McKinley as "socially liberal", but in '20's, I think it's safe to say the GOP was socially conservative, especially when they were up against Al Smith.

This.

Regions also had a part to play in the whole dynamic as well.  Referring to 19th Century-early 20th Century:  While Southern Democrats were obvious authoritarians Northern Democrats were quite "liberal" on issues like alcohol (with the exception of Bryan), immigration (with the exception of Bryan), morality (with the exception of Bryan), and trade (yes, even Bryan).  Republicans, in general, were more likely to support Prohibition, limits on immigration, criminalization of prostitution, and a Protectionist trade policy.  Pretty illiberal views at that.

New Deal onward Republicans were more of a "moderate" party compared to the big tent populism of the Democrats.  Hate elitists?  Vote Democratic!  Don't like anti-Civil Rights Southern politicians but also don't like pretentious intellectual drug users?  Vote Republican!

1980 onward is probably the only era in which the major parties could really be summarized as having set ideologies.  Before then parties were usually a collection of groups who could stand each other more than (insert group a here and group b here).  For example:  Blacks and Northern WASPs vs. Catholic Immigrants and Southern WASPs, white collars vs. blue collars and intellectuals, etc. etc. etc.
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 07:14:31 am »
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Oldie, I think it depends on the President. I mean, from what I remember, Grant upheld gold even in the face of the 1873 Panic. But Eight years after his re-election, a vehemently pro-silver Republican, James Garfield, was elected. Harrison as well counts as pro-silver while McKinley was a moderate on the issue. As for socially conservative, that comes down to defining the term, though I'd define McKinley as "socially liberal", but in '20's, I think it's safe to say the GOP was socially conservative, especially when they were up against Al Smith.

This.

Regions also had a part to play in the whole dynamic as well.  Referring to 19th Century-early 20th Century:  While Southern Democrats were obvious authoritarians Northern Democrats were quite "liberal" on issues like alcohol (with the exception of Bryan), immigration (with the exception of Bryan), morality (with the exception of Bryan), and trade (yes, even Bryan).  Republicans, in general, were more likely to support Prohibition, limits on immigration, criminalization of prostitution, and a Protectionist trade policy.  Pretty illiberal views at that.

New Deal onward Republicans were more of a "moderate" party compared to the big tent populism of the Democrats.  Hate elitists?  Vote Democratic!  Don't like anti-Civil Rights Southern politicians but also don't like pretentious intellectual drug users?  Vote Republican!

1980 onward is probably the only era in which the major parties could really be summarized as having set ideologies.  Before then parties were usually a collection of groups who could stand each other more than (insert group a here and group b here).  For example:  Blacks and Northern WASPs vs. Catholic Immigrants and Southern WASPs, white collars vs. blue collars and intellectuals, etc. etc. etc.
Maybe not now, but they were liberal for that time.
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 12:09:18 pm »
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It's possible that many things now viewed as socially conservative would have been "progressive" during that time.
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 01:24:52 pm »
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It's possible that many things now viewed as socially conservative would have been "progressive" during that time.

Yes, "progressive" but not "liberal".

There is a reason why historians rarely refer to politicians like Theodore Roosevelt and Bob LaFollette as "liberals".
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2012, 01:38:38 pm »
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It's possible that many things now viewed as socially conservative would have been "progressive" during that time.

Yes, "progressive" but not "liberal".

There is a reason why historians rarely refer to politicians like Theodore Roosevelt and Bob LaFollette as "liberals".

Eh, I see your point.
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2012, 01:40:33 pm »
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Oldie, I think it depends on the President. I mean, from what I remember, Grant upheld gold even in the face of the 1873 Panic. But Eight years after his re-election, a vehemently pro-silver Republican, James Garfield, was elected. Harrison as well counts as pro-silver while McKinley was a moderate on the issue. As for socially conservative, that comes down to defining the term, though I'd define McKinley as "socially liberal", but in '20's, I think it's safe to say the GOP was socially conservative, especially when they were up against Al Smith.

This.

Regions also had a part to play in the whole dynamic as well.  Referring to 19th Century-early 20th Century:  While Southern Democrats were obvious authoritarians Northern Democrats were quite "liberal" on issues like alcohol (with the exception of Bryan), immigration (with the exception of Bryan), morality (with the exception of Bryan), and trade (yes, even Bryan).  Republicans, in general, were more likely to support Prohibition, limits on immigration, criminalization of prostitution, and a Protectionist trade policy.  Pretty illiberal views at that.

New Deal onward Republicans were more of a "moderate" party compared to the big tent populism of the Democrats.  Hate elitists?  Vote Democratic!  Don't like anti-Civil Rights Southern politicians but also don't like pretentious intellectual drug users?  Vote Republican!

1980 onward is probably the only era in which the major parties could really be summarized as having set ideologies.  Before then parties were usually a collection of groups who could stand each other more than (insert group a here and group b here).  For example:  Blacks and Northern WASPs vs. Catholic Immigrants and Southern WASPs, white collars vs. blue collars and intellectuals, etc. etc. etc.
Maybe not now, but they were liberal for that time.

No they were not.

Protectionism was considered basic conservative economic theory at the time.  "Free Trade" was considered a very radical economic idea that was put down by industrialists who were afraid it would empower foreign businesses.  Protectionism was not back then a liberal mentality in anyway you could possibly think of it.  While Unions do support higher tariffs on a number of products now days, those tariff rarely on average go over 20%.  Republicans in the old day supported 40% or more tariffs, what we would call a "heavy tariff".  Tariffs that high exist only to protect domestic businesses from competition, in other words Economic Nationalism (which is right up the alley of most Hamiltonians).  There is a reason why people say they support "trade liberalization" when they refer to lowering tariffs and/or supporting free trade.
Immigration control was definitely not thought of as liberal.  There is a reason why relaxing immigration controls was/and still is referred to as "immigration liberalization".  A number of "Progressives" (emphasis) might've had some support for immigration control but by and large it was supported mostly by those on the traditional economically nationalist wing of American politics (which was thought of as "right wing").  This is quite evident by a number of nativist groups (the American Protection League, former Know Nothings, and large numbers of the 1920's KKK) who wont to support Republican politicians.  The liberal position at the time was, like it still is now, freer immigration.
Prohibition might've been "Progressive", but I wouldn't argue that banning a substance that individuals used to only harm themselves would've been a "liberal" position.  Again, "liberalism" at the time had a strong emphasis on personal freedoms but not a lot of focus on government activism (at least relative to the New Deal).  "Progressivism" and "liberalism" of the time were a lot more at odds back then they are today.  There are some exceptions to this, like William Bryan and his crew who were considered to be both "liberal" and "progressive".  Otherwise, they wouldn'tve bothered calling it the "Progressive Era".
Ditto for Prostitution.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 01:42:05 pm by James Badass Monroe »Logged



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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2012, 03:06:22 pm »
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Quote
Protectionism was considered basic conservative economic theory at the time.  "Free Trade" was considered a very radical economic idea that was put down by industrialists who were afraid it would empower foreign businesses.  Protectionism was not back then a liberal mentality in anyway you could possibly think of it.  While Unions do support higher tariffs on a number of products now days, those tariff rarely on average go over 20%.  Republicans in the old day supported 40% or more tariffs, what we would call a "heavy tariff".  Tariffs that high exist only to protect domestic businesses from competition, in other words Economic Nationalism (which is right up the alley of most Hamiltonians).  There is a reason why people say they support "trade liberalization" when they refer to lowering tariffs and/or supporting free trade.

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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2012, 11:20:56 pm »
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Bryan was a Protestant fundamentalist (not very progressive in that respect Tongue )and he basically watered down the Populist ideas for usage for the Democratic Party. Also, he didn't take a stand against white supremacy.

Wilson was an...erm...interesting figure. He probably thought himself some sort of Jeffersonian/Jacksonian Democrat (his signature issue was lowering tariffs to increase competition in the economy), but the conditions of the time forced him to adopt some Progressive reforms. He was both very much an intellectual, but also very much a Southerner of his time. Horrible on racial issues.

Teddy Roosevelt...an authoritarian, activist Republican leader who had unusually nuanced views of the capitalist economy for his time, yet very fiercely anti-"radical", xenophobic, and also rather racist. He moved further to the political left later in life (1912 Roosevelt was very different from President Roosevelt).





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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2012, 11:26:40 pm »
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Also, everybody was racist until about August 28th, 1944 at 2:55 PM and 3 seconds Eastern Standard Time.

Everyone.

No exceptions.
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2012, 02:43:19 am »
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Bryan was a Protestant fundamentalist (not very progressive in that respect Tongue )and he basically watered down the Populist ideas for usage for the Democratic Party. Also, he didn't take a stand against white supremacy.

Wasanybody taking much of a stand against white supremacy in the period 1896 through 1912?
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