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Constitutional Money Advocate
VOL. I No. 6

May 1, 1940

Bryan's "Cross of Gold" Speech
E x c e rp ts F ro m
W illia m J e n n in g s B r y a n 's F a m o u s S p e e c h C o n c lu d in g D e b a te o n th e C h ic a g o P l a t f o r m

''Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Convention:
I would be presumptuous, indeed, to present myself
against the distinguished gentlemen to whom you
have listened if this were a mere measuring of
abilities; but this is not a contest between persons.
The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in
the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all
the hosts of error. I come to speak to you in defense
of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty—the cause
of humanity. . . ."
"When you (turning to the gold delegates) come
before us and tell us that we are about to disturb
your business interests, we reply that you have dis­
turbed our business interests by your course.
''We say to you that you have made the definition
of a business man too limited in its application.
The man who is employed for wages is as much a
business man as his employer; the attorney in a
country town is as much a business man as the
corporation counsel in a great metropolis; the mer­
chant at the cross-roads store is as much a business
man as the merchant of New York; the farmer who
goes forth in the morning and toils all day—who
begins in the spring and toils all summer—and who
by the application of brain and muscle to the natural
resources of the country creates wealth, is as much
a business man as the man who goes upon the
board of trade and bets upon the price of grain;
the miners who go down a thousand feet into the
earth, or climb two thousand feet upon the cliffs,
and bring forth from their hiding places the precious
metals to be poured into the channels of trade are
as much business men as the few financial magnates
who, in a back room, corner the money of the world.
We come to speak for this broader class of business
''Ah, my friends, we say not one word against those
who live upon the Atlantic coast; but the hardy
pioneers who have braved all the dangers of the
wilderness, who have made the desert to blossom
as the rose—the pioneers away out there (pointing
to the West), who rear their children near to Nature's
heart, where they can mingle their voices with the
voices of the birds—out there where they have
erected schoolhouses for the education of their
young, churches where they praise their Creator,
and cemeteries where rest the ashes of their dead—
these people, we say, are as deserving of the con­
sideration of our party as any people in this country.
It is for these that we speak. We do not come as
aggressors. Our war is not a war of conquest; we
are fighting in the defense of our homes, our families,
and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions
have been scorned; we have entreated, and our en­

treaties have been disregarded; we have begged,
and they have mocked when our calamity came.
We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition
no more. We defy them.
"The gentleman from Wisconsin has said that he
fears a Robespierre. My friends, in this land of the
free you need not fear that a tyrant will spring up
from among the people. What we need is an
Andrew Jackson to stand, as Jackson stood, against
the encroachment of organized wealth.
"They tell us that this platform was made to catch
votes. We reply to them that changing conditions
make new issues; that the principles upon which
Democracy rests are as everlasting as the hills, but
that they must be applied to new conditions as they
arise. Conditions have arisen, and we are here to
meet those conditions. They tell us that the income
tax ought not to be brought in here; that it is a new
idea. They criticize us for our criticism of the Su­
preme Court of the United States. My friends, we
have not criticized; we have simply called attention
to what you already know. If you want criticisms,
read the dissenting opinions of the Court. There
you will find criticisms. They say that we passed
an unconstitutional law; we deny it. The income
tax law was not unconstitutional when it was passed;
it was not unconstitutional when it went before the
Supreme Court for the first time; it did not become
unconstitutional until one of the judges changed his
mind, and we cannot be expected to know when a
judge will change his mind. The income tax is just.
It simply intends to put the burdens of government
justly upon the backs of the people. I am in favor
of an income tax. When I find a man who is not
willing to bear his share of the burdens of the gov­
ernment which protects him, I find a man who is
unworthy to enjoy the blessings of a government
like ours.
"They say that we are opposing national bank cur­
rency; it is true. If you will read what Thomas Ben­
ton said, you will find he said that, in searching
history, he could find but one parallel to Andrew
Jackson; that was Cicero, who destroyed the con­
spiracy of Cataline and saved Rome. Benton said
that Cicero only did for Rome what Jackson did for
us when he destroyed the bank conspiracy and
saved America. We say in our platform that we
believe the right to coin and issue money is a func­
tion of government. We believe it. We believe
that it is a part of sovereignty, and can no more
with safety be delegated to private individuals than
we could afford to delegate to private individuals
the power to make penal statutes or levy taxes.
(Continued on Page 6)


C o n s iiiu iio n a l

M oney

A d v o c a te

A Monthly Publication
Charles G. Binderup__ ______________ .Editor
Published at Minden, Nebraska
By The Constitutional Money League of America
Washington, D. C.
A non-partisan, non-profit organization
Printed and distributed from the Central Office at
Minden, Nebraska
Entered as Second-class matter November 10, 1939 at
the postoffice at Minden, Nebraska, under the Act of
March 3, 1879.
Subscription R ate___ ___ ____________ 50 cents per year
Published for the purpose of disseminating monetary
facts. Truth is the basis of all knowledge, and science and
education are the foundation of Democracy.___________
B r y a n 's " C r o s s of G o ld " S p e e c h

(Continued from Page 5)
Mr. Jefferson, who was once regarded as good Demo­
cratic authority, seems to have differed in opinion
from the gentleman who has addressed us on the
part of the minority. Those who are opposed to this
proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is
a function of the bank, and that the Government
ought to go out of the banking business. I stand
with Jefferson rather than with them, and tell them,
as he did, that the issue of money is a function of
government, and that the banks ought to go out of
the governing business. . . ."
"The gentleman from New York says he will pro­
pose an amendment which will provide for the
suspension of free coinage if we fail to maintain the
parity within a year. We reply that when we ad­
vocate a policy which we believe will be successful,
we are not compelled to raise a doubt as to our own
sincerity by suggesting what we shall do if we fail.
I ask him, if he would apply his logic to us, why
he does not apply it to himself. He says he wants
this country to try to secure an international agree­
ment. Why does he not tell us what he is going
to do if he fails to secure an international agreement?
There is more reason for him to do that than there
is for us to provide against the failure to maintain
the parity. Our opponents have tried for twenty years
to secure an international agreement, and those are
waiting for it most patiently who do not want it at all.
"And now, my friends, let me come to the para­
mount issue. If they ask us why it is that we say
more on the money question than we say upon the
tariff question, I reply that, if protection has slain
its thousands, the gold standard has slain its tens
of thousands. If they ask us why we do not embody
in our platform all the things that we believe in, we
reply that when we have restored the money of
the Constitution all other necessary reforms will
be possible; but that until this is done there is no
other reform that can be accomplished. . .
"No private character, however pure, no personal
popularity, however great, can protect from the
avenging wrath of an indignant people a man who
will declare that he is in favor of fastening the gold

standard upon this country, or who is willing to sur­
render the right of self-government and place the
legislative control of our affairs in the hands of
foreign potentates and powers. . .
"You come to us and tell us that the great cities
are in favor of the gold standard; we reply that the
great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies.
Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and
your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but
destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the
streets of every city in the country.
"My friends, we declare that this nation is able
to legislate for its own people on every question,
without waiting for the aid or consent of any other
nation on earth; and upon that issue we expect to
carry every State in the Union. I shall not slander
the inhabitants of the fair State of Massachusetts
nor the inhabitants of the State of New York by
saying that, when they are confronted with the
proposition, they will declare that this nation is not
able to attend to its own business. It is the issue
of 1776 over again. Our ancestors, when but three
millions in number, had the courage to declare their
political independence of every other nation; shall
we, their descendants, when we have grown to
seventy millions, declare that we are less inde­
pendent than our forefathers? No, my friends, that
will never be the verdict of our people. . . ."
"Having behind us the producing masses of this
nation and the world, supported by the commercial
interests, the laboring interests, and the toilers every­
where, we will answer their demand for a gold
standard by saying to them: You shall not press
down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns,
you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."
—Taken from Bryan's "The First Battle."

W. J. Bryan Said:
"The Federal Reserve Bank that should have
been the farmer's greatest protection has be­
come his greatest foe. The deflation of the
farmer was a crime deliberately committed,
not out of enmity to the farmer but out of indif­
ference to him. Inflation of prices had en­
couraged him to buy, and then deflation deliv­
ered him into the hands of the money-lender.
The Federal Bank can be a blessing or a curse
according to its management. If the Wall
Street speculators are in control of it, they can
drain the agricultural districts and keep up a
fictitious prosperity among the members of the
"While the Federal Reserve Bank Law is
the greatest economic reform achieved in the
last half-century, if not in our National history,
it would be better to repeal it, go back to old
conditions and take our chances with individual
financiers, than to turn the Federal Reserve Bank
over to Wall Street and allow its tremendous
power to be used for the carrying out of the
plans of the Money Trust."