William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925) was a Democratic politician from Nebraska whose support for free silver, income tax, and other reforms won him the support of the Populist Party. Bryan was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1890, and in 1896 he was nominated for president after delivering his “Cross of Gold” speech at the Democratic convention. Though he had the backing of the Democratic Party, the Populist Party, and free silver Republicans, Bryan lost the election by a large margin to William McKinley. Bryan ran and lost again in the presidential elections of 1900 and 1908. He later served as secretary of state under Woodrow Wilson, resigning that position before the United States entered World War I.

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