« 上一頁繼續 »
number of school children who turned out to see and hear him. At Winside in Nebraska this was especially the case, in spite of an immense placard nailed to a telegraph pole, which screamed an awful warning: —
Chain Your Children To Yourselves
Put Them Under The Bed. MARK HANNA IS IN TOWN
In his speech at Lincoln, Nebraska, he turned on Mr. Bryan. The Democratic candidate had recently declared that the Republicans were raising an enormous corruption fund, with which they were going to intimidate laboring men, bribe election judges and purchase votes. This is the way in which Mr. Hanna dealt with the charge. He said: —
"In regard to that statement, which I have just read, I want to hurl it back in his teeth and tell him it is as false as hell. [Applause.] When it comes to personalities I am willing to stand before the American people on my record as a business man. I have been in business forty years. I employ 6000 men, pay the highest wages, treat the men like men and they all respect me. [Great applause.] When Bryan or any other man charges me in that way — and I am willing to appropriate it all as Chairman of the board of managers of the Republican campaign — I promise as I said to hurl it back and denounce him as a demagog in his own town. [Great applause.] [Continued cheering.] [Voice: 'Hit him again.']"
He went on to say: —
"In 1897, when I had a little singing school down in Ohio, Bryan came down there to help Johnnie McLean defeat me for the Senate. He went across the state, back and forth from one end to the other and through the mining districts, and he told the people of Ohio what a bad man I was. He told the men working in the mines that Hanna was a labor crusher. He forgot that they knew that I was born and always lived in that state, and that my record with organized labor was better than any other man's in that state [applause], because I was the first employer that I know of in the state of Ohio that ever recognized and treated with organized labor. I have done it from that day to this. [Applause.]
"Now I am entitled to tell another story of justification in Mr. Bryan's town. [Voice: 'Tell it to them.'] At the close of that campaign I was at Cincinnati. The meeting was in the great music hall as full as this theatre from top to bottom, — a very intelligent and appreciative audience, I thought, right under the shadow of the Cincinnati Inquirer, who had lied like a thief about me every day in the week and kept that Davenport cartoon on the front page of its paper. I was pictured as a bogie man. That was intended to frighten the workingmen away from supporting the members of the legislature that they knew would vote to send me back to the Senate. Bryan had done his work and left the state, and that was the last night in the campaign, and I thought I would make a little statement there for the benefit of those fellows. So I said: 'Now, gentlemen, this campaign is over. As far as my appearance before the public is concerned it is closed, but I want to make one proposition not only to the people of Ohio, but to the people of the United States. Mr. Bryan, who once aspired to be President of the United States, came to Ohio this fall to tell the people in my own state, who had known me since I was a boy, that I was a bad, wicked man, and that I was a labor crusher, which was worse than all. Now I want to make this proposition. If any man who ever worked for me in any capacity can truthfully say that I have ever knowingly done him a wrong or an injustice; that I have failed to pay the highest rate of wages; that I have ever refused to receive in my presence either individually or by committee any man in my employ, whether members of the union or not; that I have ever questioned a man when employing him whether he belonged to a union or not, or discharged him because he belonged to an organization or union; if that can be brought to me and proved, I will resign as Senator tomorrow.' [Applause.]"
The speeches made by Mr. Hanna during this Northwestern trip constituted a serious and an honest contribution to a discussion of the issues of the campaign. Taken as a whole they contain the best and most comprehensive statement which he ever made of his own personal attitude towards the political and economic problems of the day. He addressed his audiences in a tone of earnest conviction, and he argued his case before them candidly and instructively. He had none of the tricks of the ordinary stump speaker, and none of the insincerity and obliquity of the ordinary partisan advocate. He reasoned with his hearers and tried to persuade them to vote the Republican ticket on what seemed to him absolutely sufficient grounds. When he told one audience that he was not a politician, because he did not know how to tell them what was not so, he was speaking the truth. His hearers went away with the impression that he was speaking the truth; and this fact, taken together with his big, imposing, yet engaging personality, accounts for his success.
That the tour was a success from every point of view, all accounts are agreed. The results vindicated his judgment. The campaign in the Northwest obtained as a consequence a greatly increased momentum, which did much to excite contagious confidence and enthusiasm among the Republicans in the neighboring states. By his personal appearance on the stump he had really helped the ticket, and he had placed his own personality in a much more favorable light among an important section of the American people. Indeed, this trip, more than any other single cause, helped to make Mr. Hanna personally popular throughout the West, just as his first stumping tour in Ohio had made him personally popular in his own state. As soon as he became known, the virulence and malignity with which he had been abused reacted in his favor. When he appeared on the platform, the crowd, instead of seeing a monster, found him to be just the kind of a man whom Americans best understand and most heartily like. He was not separated from them by differences of standards and tastes or by any intellectual or professional sophistication. The roughness of much of his public speaking, and its lack of form, which makes it comparatively poor reading, was an essential part of its actual success. He stamped himself on his speeches just as he had stamped himself on his business. His audiences had to pass judgment on the man more than on the message, and the man could not but look good to them.
When he returned to Chicago the campaign was virtually over. Only a little over a week remained, and during that time there was nothing to be done but to gather the fruits of four months of preparation. During the final weeks the different lines of work came to a head precisely as planned. There were no misgivings at Republican headquarters, and the rank and file of the party were made to feel equally confident. The enthusiasm was not as great as it had been during the final week of the previous campaign, but it did not need to be as great. They had been able to conduct an aggressive campaign from a defensive position, not only because their defences were strong, and their resources in men and money were large, but because the attack upon them never developed much impetus. The American people were expansionist in their general attitude, and they were willing to incur the risks and pay the expenses of a policy of national expansion. They were also satisfied with the prospects of continued prosperity, which the reelection of Mr. McKinley guaranteed; and they were willing to believe that prosperity with the trusts was better than famine without them. So the Republicans won their most overwhelming victory since 1872. McKinley and Roosevelt obtained a plurality of 832,000 over Bryan and a clear majority of 443,000 in a total popular vote of almost 14,000,000. In the North Bryan carried only the mining states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Nevada. In South Dakota Richard F. Pettigrew lost his seat in the Senate and was replaced by a Republican. Bryan was beaten in his own state. The Populist agitation, which had so long dominated the agricultural states west of the Mississippi River, was done to death. The Democrats were so weakened and discredited that they ceased for the time being to constitute even an effective opposition. The Republicans had received a clear mandate to govern the country in the interest of business expansion.
The triumphant reelection of President McKinley consolidated the work with which the political leadership of Mark Hanna was peculiarly, if not exclusively, associated. For the first time since Mr. Cleveland made a serious attack upon the protective tariff in 1887, the business of the country was in all its branches guaranteed at least for a time against the disconcerting effects of inimical political agitation. The election of 1896 had not completely restored confidence, because his previous misfortunes had unstrung the nerves of the average business man, and because, after the Spanish War was over and business began to revive, there loomed up in the near future another disconcerting election. Not until that contest was favorably decided could confidence be entirely restored. So much hinged upon the result that as the first of November approached, business men became more rather than less hesitant and apprehensive. Their relief was correspondingly great when the Republican victory proved to be comprehensive and decisive. All hesitation at once vanished, and there began a period of unprecedented business expansion.
Mark Hanna had labored to bring about this result; and his own personal prestige was substantially enhanced by its appearance. After the election he began to exercise an amount and a kind of political power which has no parallel in American history. The group of causes which, after his appointment to the Senate, had limited his activity and made his influence at Washington somewhat subterranean, had lost their force. The Spanish War was over. The attention of the country was to be fastened for some time on his own favorite subject of political economics. He had passed through his apprenticeship as Senator. He had won the confidence of almost all his colleagues in the Senate and the warm affection of many of them. He was