What Was The Silver Republican Party?
[heading]What Was The Silver Republican Party?[/heading]
In the 1890s, the Silver Republican Party rose out of a split from the Republican Party. The main issue the two disagreed on was “Free Silver” and bimetallism.
During that period, goldbugs and silverfish had been pitted against each other. Some, namely city interests, called for a gold standard to stem inflation. This harmed farmers who held much of their savings in silver until that time. These interests longed for a bimetallic standard.
Silver Republicans were popular in western mining states, particularly where silver was mined. SIlver was an important industry at the time in the US, resulting in several Silver Republicans being elected to US Congress. The Silver Republicans actually supported Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan over William McKinley.
After the turn of the century, the Silver Republican Party fell in popularity. Most of its members joined the Republican Party, though some, like US Senator Fred Dubois of Idaho and former Secretary of the Interior Henry Moore Teller of Colorado joined Democrats.
Here is a list of notable Silver Republicans:
- Frank J. Cannon – United States Senator from Utah
- Fred Dubois – United States Senator from Idaho
- Thomas Kearns – United States Senator from Utah
- Lee Mantle – United States Senator from Montana
- Richard F. Pettigrew – United States Senator from South Dakota
- John F. Shafroth – United States Representative from Colorado, later Governor and Senator
- William M. Stewart– United States Senator from Nevada
- Henry Moore Teller – United States Senator and Secretary of the Interior from Colorado