Bryan: The Folly of Youth


 "The Deadly Parallel"
  Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   August 29, 1896, p. 841

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This cartoon directly contrasts the two major-party presidential nominees. On the left, voters are reminded that Republican William McKinley served as a Union major during the Civil War, and are told that his candidacy likewise upholds national honor. On the right, they are urged to consider the youth (36) and inexperience of Democrat William Jennings Bryan, who is depicted as a baby playing with a noisy rattle.

The latter image also recalls a cartoon from the 1876 campaign, A Hard Summer for the Soft Rag Baby," in which artist Thomas Nast depicts the rag baby, a symbol for inflationary money, in a crib, by which stands Democratic presidential nominee Samuel J. Tilden holding a nursing baby bottle (like the one on the floor of this cartoon). In both the 1876 and 1896 elections, opponents criticized Democrats for rejecting the gold standard in favor of inflationary schemes (greenbacks and free silver, respectively).













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