"Cross of Gold" Speech "You Shall Not Crucify Mankind Upon A Cross Of Gold"
by William Jennings Bryan

Start Your Free Trial

Download "Cross of Gold" Speech Study Guide

Subscribe Now

"You Shall Not Crucify Mankind Upon A Cross Of Gold"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: William Jennings Bryan's "The Cross of Gold" speech, delivered at the National Democratic Convention of 1896 in Chicago, was possibly the cause of his winning the presidential nomination of the party. In Congress Bryan had become a supporter of the silver-purchase act. At the convention he was asked to take charge of the debate in the final discussion of the party's platform. In his speech on that occasion Bryan first traces the history of the silver movement, showing its importance to this country. He then calls on the United States to take the lead in restoring bimetallism and not to have a gold standard simply because England has it. Attacking the defenders of the gold standard, Bryan concludes:

. . . If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we will fight them to the uttermost. Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests, and the toilers everywhere, 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.