Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. S. Ray Granade


Campaign style has changed dramatically since the turn of the century when William Jennings Bryan captured the political limelight. Bryan, a three time Democratic nominee for President, developed a new campaign tactic during the 1896 Presidential election; he continued to employ the new style for the remainder of his life. In 1896 Bryan's political organization could not compete with the well-financed Republican system, so the "Great Commoner" took his cause to the people. Presidential candidates were not supposed to actively campaign for the office, but Bryan broke the norm. After the 1896 election, Bryan continued to travel around the country speaking to the people. William Jennings Bryan's new idea did not catch on immediately, but Woodrow Wilson utilized it successfully in 1912, and under Franklin Roosevelt, active campaigning reached its full maturity.



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