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that it could be instrumental in inducing the Populists to join in such alliance. Moreover, it was felt that it would be. good practical politics to unite all the Populistic and Free Silver party strength under the Bryan Democratic banner, since all agreed that the question of free silver coinage at the ratio of 16 to i was a paramount issue, and since the doctrine had found unequivocal sanction in the Democratic platform at Chicago.
Opposed to this sentiment was another, whose strength could not be ascertained till a test was made in Convention, which opposed the endorsement of Bryan and favored the nomination of straightout Populistic candidates. This sentiment found its strongest supporters in the Southern States, where the Populists had in many places fought their way to victory over the heads of the old Democratic party. They claimed that an alliance with the Democrats, and a contribution of direct support to Bryan, would eliminate the Populist party in the South by subordinating it wholly to that tyranical dominion whence it had escaped only after superhuman exertion. As '' middle-of-the-road'' men they claimed the right to perpetuate their organization in spite of all questions of expediency.
A test of strength came on the second day of the Convention over the question of electing a permanent chairman. The Bryan supporters nominated Senator William V. Allen, of Nebraska, for the place, and the "middle-of-the-road" men nominated Mr. Campion, of Maine. A test of strength on this crucial question showed 758 votes for Allen and 564 for Campion, thus placing the convention at the disposal of a Bryanite majority, and committing it to an alliance with the Democracy, at least so far as the head of the ticket and the cardinal plank in the platform went.
Committees were now raised in both the sitting conventions to confer with one another over the special terms of alliance. It does not appear that these committees proved useful for the purposes intended, at least the Silver party went ahead and placed the Chicago nominees upon their ticket and then adjourned, leaving the Poupulists to take their own course.
The convention was thrown into confused and acrimonious debate over the question of indorsing Bryan and Sewall, the Democratic nominees at Chicago. As the dispute lengthened it became evident that the disposition was to throw Sewall off the ticket, and the order of business was changed so as to nominate the Vice President first.
Several names were placed in nomination for Vice President, the most conspicuous of which were Mr. Sewall and Hon. Thos. E. Watson, of Georgia. Notwithstanding the manifestation of Bryan strength on former tests, which strength, it was supposed, could be transferred to Sewall, a vote disclosed the fact that Mr. Watson had secured the nomination for Vice President by a fair majority.
By this heroic action the convention had rendered a cloudy situation more obscure, for it became doubtful whether Mr. Bryan would accept either a nomination or indorsement after the defeat of his Chicago running mate. This, however, did not defer earnest work in his behalf, and when nominations for President were reached his name was eloquently placed before the convention by General Weaver. The name of Col. S. F. Norton, of Illinois, was also placed in nomination. A ballot disclosed the fact that the Bryan sentiment was overwhelming, and his nomination was secured by a vote of 1,042 to 321 for Norton. As the platform had already been adopted, the convention adjourned on July 25.
PEOPLE'S PARTY PLATFORM FOR 1896
"The People's Party," assembled in National convention, reaffirms its allegiance to the principles declared by the founders of the Republic, and also to the fundamental principles of just government as enunciated in the platform of the party in 1892.
"We recognize that through the connivance of the present and preceding administrations, the country has reached a crisis in its National life as predicted in our declaration four years ago, and that prompt and politic action is the supreme duty of the hour.
"We realize that while we have political independence, our financial and industral independence is yet to be attained by restoring to our country the Constitutional control and exercise of the functions necessary to a people's government, which functions have been basely surrendered by our public servants to corporate monopolies. The influence of European money-changers has been more potent in shaping legislation than the voice of the American people. Executive power and patronage have been used to corrupt our Legislatures and defeat the will of the people, and plutocracy has been enthroned upon the ruins of Democracy.
'' To restore the government intended by the fathers, and for the welfare and prosperity of this and future generations, we demand the establishment of an economic and financial system which shall make us masters of our own affairs, and independent of European control by the adoption of the following Declaration of Principles:—
"First.—We demand a National money, safe and sound, issued by the general Government only, without the intervention of banks of issue, to be a full legal tender for all debts, public and private; also, a just, equitable and efficient means of distribution direct to the people, and through the lawful disbursements of the Government.
1' Second.—We demand the free and unrestricted coinage of silver and gold at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1, without waiting for the consent of foreign nations.
"Third.—We demand the volume of circulating medium be speedily increased to an amount sufficient to meet the demands of the business population of this country, and to restore the just level of prices of labor and production.
'Fourth.—We denounce the sale of bonds and the increase of the public interest-bearing-bond-debt made by the present Administration as unnecessary and without authority of law, and that no more bonds be issued except by specific act of Congress.
"Fifth.—We demand such legal legislation as will prevent the demonetization of the lawful money of the United States by private contract.
"Sixth.—We demand that the Government, in payment of its obligations, shall use its option as to the kind of lawful money in which they are to be paid, and we denounce the present and preceding Administrations for surrendering this option to the holders of Government obligations.
"Seventh.—We demand a graduated income tax, to the end that aggregated wealth shall bear its just proportion of taxation; and we denounce the Supreme Court, relative to the income tax law, as a misinterpretation of the Constitution, and an invasion of the rightful powers of Congress over the subject of taxation.
"Eighth.—We demand that postal saving banks be established by the Government for the safe deposit of the savings of the people, and to facilitate exchange.
"Transportation being a means of exchange and public necessity, the Government should own and operate the railroads in the interest of the people, and on nonpartisan basis, to the end that all may be accorded the same treatment in transportation, and that the tyranny and political power now exercised by the great railroad corporations, which result in the impairment, if not the destruction of the political rights and personal liberties of the citizen^ may be destroyed. Such ownership is to be accomplished gradually, in a manner consistent with sound public policy.
'' Second.—The interest of the United States in the public highways built with public moneys and the proceeds of extensive grants of land to the Pacific railroads should never be alienated, mortgaged or sold, but guarded and protected for the general welfare, as provided by the laws organizing such railroads. The foreclosure of existing liens of the United States on these roads should at once follow default in the payment thereof of the debt of companies, and at the foreclosure sales of said roads the Government shall purchase the same if it becomes necessary to protect the interests