Chapter

. Fusion

Lee A. Craig

in Josephus Daniels

Published by University of North Carolina Press

Published in print May 2013 | ISBN: 9781469606958
Published online July 2014 | e-ISBN: 9781469608105
. Fusion

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This chapter argues that the Democratic Party's success in the election of 1892 did not usher in an era of Democratic dominance in Washington or Raleigh. The party soon faced a disastrous schism over the gold standard (backed by the so-called goldbugs) and the silver standard (backed by the Silverites). In North Carolina, Democratic governor Elias Carr proved to be an ineffectual leader, and the split between the radical Farmers' Alliance, whose members increasingly drifted to the broader left-wing group known as the Populists, and the rest of the Democratic Party only widened. The Populists' fanatical commitment to silver contrasted with the conservatives' commitment to gold. Some radicals even called for a fiat currency backed by nothing. More troubling, the Populists and the Republicans had closely studied the results of North Carolina's 1892 campaign, and leaders from both groups recognized that a marriage of convenience would give them a majority of the state's voters.

Keywords: Democratic Party; Democratic dominance; gold standard; goldbugs; silver standard; Silverites

Chapter.  18046 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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