Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Arndt Stickles, N.O. Taff, Finley Grise

Degree Program

Department of History

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The story of the election of 1896 and the part played by Kentucky in that great conflict offers no parallel, so far as interest in a national election is concerned, in the annals of the political history of the state. Perhaps in no other nationwide campaign did both Kentucky's leaders and her citizenry as well take such an active and intensive part. State and national leaders were extolled on the one hand, and degraded on the other. Party principles were invoked to bear witness to the truth by one group, and condemned as the diabolical instruments of the money power or anarchy by another. Men and women of all ages and description took up the fight for or against free silver and the gold standard. Even children were enthralled by the parades, the speeches, and the general enthusiasm expressed during those hectic days.

In this study the impossible attempt to exhaust the subject has not been made. So much was written and spoken during the time that to include even a small part of it would fill volumes. Songs, poetry, and literature of all kinds poured forth daily from interested and enthusiastic pens. An effort has been made, however, to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to include those facts that will best tell the history of the election of 1896 and at the same time give a cross-section of the political and economic life of Kentucky on the eve of and during that struggle.


American Politics | Arts and Humanities | History | Political History | Political Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences | United States History