1896 United States elections

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1896 United States elections
Presidential election year
Election dayNovember 3
Incumbent presidentGrover Cleveland (Democratic)
Next Congress55th
Presidential election
Partisan controlRepublican Gain
Popular vote marginRepublican +4.3%
Electoral vote
William McKinley (R)271
William Jennings Bryan (D)176
1896 United States presidential election in California1896 United States presidential election in Oregon1896 United States presidential election in Washington (state)1896 United States presidential election in Idaho1896 United States presidential election in Nevada1896 United States presidential election in Utah1896 United States presidential election in Montana1896 United States presidential election in Wyoming1896 United States presidential election in Colorado1896 United States presidential election in North Dakota1896 United States presidential election in South Dakota1896 United States presidential election in Nebraska1896 United States presidential election in Kansas1896 United States presidential election in Texas1896 United States presidential election in Minnesota1896 United States presidential election in Iowa1896 United States presidential election in Missouri1896 United States presidential election in Arkansas1896 United States presidential election in Louisiana1896 United States presidential election in Wisconsin1896 United States presidential election in Illinois1896 United States presidential election in Michigan1896 United States presidential election in Indiana1896 United States presidential election in Ohio1896 United States presidential election in Kentucky1896 United States presidential election in Tennessee1896 United States presidential election in Mississippi1896 United States presidential election in Alabama1896 United States presidential election in Georgia1896 United States presidential election in Florida1896 United States presidential election in South Carolina1896 United States presidential election in North Carolina1896 United States presidential election in Virginia1896 United States presidential election in West Virginia1896 United States presidential election in Maryland1896 United States presidential election in Delaware1896 United States presidential election in Pennsylvania1896 United States presidential election in New Jersey1896 United States presidential election in New York1896 United States presidential election in Connecticut1896 United States presidential election in Rhode Island1896 United States presidential election in Maryland1896 United States presidential election in Vermont1896 United States presidential election in New Hampshire1896 United States presidential election in Maine1896 United States presidential election in Massachusetts1896 United States presidential election in Maryland1896 United States presidential election in Delaware1896 United States presidential election in New Jersey1896 United States presidential election in Connecticut1896 United States presidential election in Rhode Island1896 United States presidential election in Massachusetts1896 United States presidential election in Vermont1896 United States presidential election in New HampshireElectoralCollege1896.svg
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1896 presidential election results. Red denotes states won by McKinley, blue denotes states won by Bryan. Numbers indicate the electoral votes won by each candidate.
Senate elections
Overall controlRepublican Hold
Seats contested30 of 90 seats[1]
Net seat changeRepublican +2[2]
House elections
Overall controlRepublican Hold
Seats contestedAll 357 voting members
Net seat changeDemocratic +31[2]

The 1896 United States elections elected the 55th United States Congress. Republicans won control of the Presidency and maintained control of both houses of Congress. The election marked the end of the Third Party System and the start of the Fourth Party System, as Republicans would generally dominate politics until the 1930 elections. Political scientists such as V.O. Key, Jr. argue that this election was a realigning election, while James Reichley argues against this idea on the basis that the Republican victory in this election merely continued the party's post-Civil War dominance.[3] The election took place in the aftermath of the Panic of 1893, and featured a fierce debate between advocates of bimetallism ("free silver") and supporters of the gold standard.[4]

In the Presidential election, Republican former Governor William McKinley of Ohio defeated Democratic former Representative William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska.[5] McKinley took the Republican nomination on the first ballot, while Bryan took the Democratic nomination on the fifth ballot (at age 36, he became youngest presidential nominee of a major party), defeating former Missouri Representative Richard P. Bland and several other candidates. Bryan's Cross of Gold speech, in which he advocated for "free silver," helped deliver him the Democratic nomination, and also attracted the support of the Populist Party and the Silver Republican Party. Though Bryan carried most of the South and the West, McKinley won a comfortable margin in both the electoral college and the popular vote by carrying the Northeast and the Great Lakes region.

Democrats won major gains in the House, but Republicans continued to command a large majority in the chamber. The Populists also won several seats, holding more seats in the House than any third party since the Civil War.[6]

In the Senate, the Republicans maintained their plurality, keeping control of the same number of seats. The Democrats lost several seats, while the Silver Republicans established themselves for the first time with five seats.[7] Republican William P. Frye won election as President pro tempore.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Not counting special elections.
  2. ^ a b Congressional seat gain figures only reflect the results of the regularly-scheduled elections, and do not take special elections into account.
  3. ^ Reichley, A. James (2000). The Life of the Parties (Paperback ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 8–12.
  4. ^ "Presidential elections". History.com. History Channel. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  5. ^ "1896 Presidential Election". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Party Divisions of the House of Representatives". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present". United States Senate. Retrieved 25 June 2014.