Silver Republican Party

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Silver Republican Party
LeaderFred Dubois
Henry M. Teller
Founded1896 (1896)
Dissolved1901 (1901)
Split fromRepublican Party
Merged intoRepublican Party
Democratic Party (minority)
IdeologyAgrarianism
Bimetallism
Political positionCenter-left
International affiliationNone
Colors  Red

The Silver Republican Party was a United States political party from 1896[dubious ][citation needed] to 1901. It was so named because it split from the Republican Party by supporting free silver (effectively, expansionary monetary policy) and bimetallism. The main Republican Party opposed free silver and supported the gold standard. Silver Republican strength was concentrated in the Western states where silver mining was an important industry. A leading spokesman in the House of Representatives was Willis Sweet of Idaho. Silver Republicans were elected to the Congress from several Western states. In both the 1896 and 1900 presidential elections, Silver Republicans supported Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan over Republican nominee William McKinley.

In 1901, the Silver Republican Party disbanded and most of its members rejoined the Republican Party, particularly after Theodore Roosevelt became president following the assassination of McKinley in September 1901. However, some Silver Republicans, such as Senator Fred Dubois of Idaho and former Secretary of the Interior Henry M. Teller of Colorado, joined the Democratic Party instead in order to aid the Bryan wing of the party against the conservative Bourbon Democrats.

Noted Silver Republicans[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Clinch, Thomas A. Urban Populism and Free Silver in Montana: A Narrative of Ideology in Political Action (University of Montana Press, 1970).
  • Ellis, Elmer. "The Silver Republicans in the Election of 1896." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 18.4 (1932): 519-534. online
  • Johnson, Claudius O. "The Story of Silver Politics in Idaho, 1892-1902." Pacific Northwest Quarterly (1942): 283-296. online
  • Wellborn, Fred. "The Influence of the Silver-Republican Senators, 1889-1891." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 14.4 (1928): 462-480. online
  • Williams, Robert Earl. "The Silver Republican Movement in Montana." (Master's thesis, Montana State University, 1965). online
  • Young, Bradley J. "Silver, discontent, and conspiracy: The ideology of the Western Republican revolt of 1890-1901." Pacific Historical Review 64.2 (1995): 243-65. online