In view of the fact that Harrison had been successful in 1888 and that Cleveland had been the most able Democratic leader since the Civil War, it seemed natural that their parties should renominate them in 1892. Yet the men at the oars in the Republican organization were far from enthusiastic over their leader. It is probable that Harrison did not like the role of dispenser of patronage and that he indicated the fact in dealing with his party associates; at any rate, he estranged such powerful leaders as Platt, Quay and Reed by his neglect of them in disposing of appointments. The reformers were no better satisfied; much had been expected of him because his party had taken so definite a stand in 1888, and when his choice of subordinates failed to meet expectations, the scorn of the Independents found forceful vent. Among the rank and file of his party, Harrison had aroused respect but no great enthusiasm.

The friends of Blaine were still numerous and active, and they wished to see their favorite in the executive chair. Perhaps Blaine felt that there would be some impropriety in his becoming an active candidate against his chief, while remaining at his post as Secretary of State; at any rate he notified the chairman of the National Republican Committee, early in 1892, that he was not a candidate for the nomination. The demand for him, nevertheless, continued and relations between him and Harrison seem to have become strained. Senator Cullom, writing nearly twenty years afterward, related a conversation which he had had with Harrison at the time. In substance, according to the senator, the President declared that he had been doing the work of the Department of State himself for a year or more, and that Blaine had given out reports of what was being done and had taken the credit himself. Cullom's recollection seems to have been accurate, at least as far as relations between the two men were concerned, for three days before the meeting of the Republican nominating convention Blaine sent a curt note to the President resigning his office without giving any reason, and asking that his withdrawal take effect immediately. The President's reply accepting the resignation was equally cool and uninforming. If Blaine expected to take any steps to gain the nomination, the available time was far too short. That the act would be interpreted as hostile to the interests of Harrison, however, admitted of no doubt, and it therefore seems probable that Blaine had changed his mind at a late day and really hoped that the party might choose him.[1]

Despite Blaine's apparent change of purpose, it seemed necessary to renominate Harrison in order to avoid the appearance of discrediting his administration, and on the first ballot Harrison received 535 votes to Blaine's 183 and was nominated. The only approach to excitement was over the currency plank in the platform. Western delegates demanded the free coinage of silver, which the East opposed. The plank adopted declared that

    The Republican party demands the use of both gold and silver as 
    standard money, with such restrictions and under such provisions, 
    to be determined by legislation, as will secure the maintenance of 
    the parity of values of the two metals.

It was a meaningless compromise, but it seems to have satisfied both sides.

Cleveland, during the Harrison administration, had been an object of much interest and not a little speculation. After seeing President Harrison safely installed in office, he went to New York city where he engaged in the practice of law. He himself thought that he was retiring permanently and not a few enemies were quite willing that this should be the case. The eminent Democratic editor, Henry Watterson, remarked that Cleveland in New York was like a stone thrown into a river, "There is a 'plunk,' a splash, and then silence.". He was constantly invited, nevertheless, to address public assemblies, which provided ample opportunity for him to express his thoughts to the country. Moreover, the McKinley Act of 1890 and the political reversal which followed brought renewed attention to the tariff message of 1887 and to its author. In February, 1891, Cleveland was asked to address a meeting of New York business men which had been called by the Reform Club to express opposition to the free coinage of silver. The question of the increased use of silver as a circulating medium, as has been seen, was a controverted one; neither party was prepared to take a definite stand, and, indeed, division of opinion had taken place on sectional rather than partisan lines. While the subject was in this unsettled condition Cleveland received his invitation to the Reform Club, and was urged by some of his advisors not to endanger his chances of renomination by taking sides on the issue. The counsel had no more effect than similar advice had produced in 1887 when the tariff was in the same unsettled condition. Although unable to attend, Cleveland wrote a letter in which he characterized the experiment of free coinage as "dangerous and reckless." Whether right or wrong, he was definite; people who could not understand the intricacies of currency standards and the arguments of the experts understood exactly what Cleveland meant. Little doubt now existed but that the name of the ex-president would be a powerful one before the nominating convention, for he would have the populous East with him on the currency issue - unless David B. Hill should upset expectations.

Hill was an example of the shrewd politician. Like Platt, whom he resembled in many ways, he was absorbed in the machinery and organization of politics, rather than in issues and policies. Beginning in 1870, when he was but twenty-seven years of age, he had held public office almost continuously. In the state assembly, as Mayor of Elmira, as Lieutenant-Governor with Cleveland and later as Governor, he developed an unrivalled knowledge of New York as a political arena. In 1892 he was at the height of his power and the presidency seemed to be within his grasp. The methods which he used were typical of the man - the manipulation of the machinery of nomination.

The national Democratic nominating convention was called for June 21, but the New York state Democratic committee announced that the state convention for the choice of delegates would meet on February 22. So early a meeting, four months before the national convention, was unprecedented, and at once it became clear that a purpose lay behind the call. It was to procure the election of members to the state convention who would vote for Hill delegates to the nominating convention, before Cleveland's supporters could organize in opposition. Furthermore, it was expected that the action of New York would influence other states where sentiment for Cleveland was not strong. Hill's plan worked out as he had expected - at least in so far as the state convention was concerned - for delegates pledged to him were chosen. Cleveland's supporters, however, denounced the "snap convention" and a factional quarrel arose between the "snappers" and the "anti-snappers"; outside of New York it was so obvious that the snap convention was a mere political trick that the Hill cause was scarcely benefited by it. Delegates were chosen in other parts of the country who desired the nomination of Cleveland.

The convention met in Chicago on June 21 and proceeded at once to adopt a platform of principles. The silver plank was hardly distinguishable from that of the Republicans, except that it was enshrouded with a trifle more of ambiguity. The adoption of a tariff plank elicited considerable difference of opinion, but the final result was an extreme statement of Democratic belief. Instead of adopting the cautious position taken in 1884, the convention declared that the constitutional power of the federal government was limited to the collection of tariff duties for purposes of revenue only, and denounced the McKinley act as the "culminating atrocity of class legislation."

Although it was evident when the convention met, that the chances of Hill for the nomination were slight indeed, the battle was far from over. Hill was a "straight" party man, a fact which he reiterated again and again in his famous remark, "I am a Democrat." Cleveland was not strictly regular, a fact which Hill apparently intended to emphasize by constant reference to his own beliefs. The oratorical champion of the Hill delegation was Bourke Cockran, an able and appealing stump speaker. For two hours he urged that Cleveland could not carry the pivotal state, New York, and that it was folly to attempt to elect a man who was so handicapped. Eloquence, however, was of no avail. The first ballot showed that the Hill strength was practically confined to New York, and Cleveland was easily the party choice. For the vice-presidency Adlai E. Stevenson, a partisan of the old school, was chosen.

Among the smaller parties there appeared for the first time the "People's Party," later and better known as the "Populists." Their nominee was James B. Weaver, who had led the Greenbackers in 1880. Their platform emphasized the economic burdens under which the poorer classes were laboring and listed a series of extremely definite demands.

The campaign was a quiet one as both Cleveland and Harrison had been tried out before. So unenthusiastic were the usual political leaders that Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll declared that each party would like to beat the other without electing its own candidates. Although the financial issue was kept in the background, the tariff was fought out again somewhat as it had been in 1888. The New York Sun shed some asperity over the contest by calling the friends of Cleveland "the adorers of fat witted mediocrity," and the nominee himself as the "perpetual candidate" and the "stuffed prophet"; and then added a ray of humor by advocating the election of Cleveland. The adoption of the Australian ballot, before the election, in thirty-four states and territories constituted an important reform; thereafter it was impossible for "blocks of five" to march to the polls and deposit their ballots within the sight of the purchaser. The Homestead strike near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, somewhat aided the Democrats. The Carnegie Steel Company, having reduced wages, precipitated a strike which was settled only through the use of the state militia. As the steel industry was highly protected by the tariff, it appeared that the wages of the laboring man were not so happily affected as Republican orators had been asserting.[2]

The result of the election was astonishing. Cleveland carried not merely the South but Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and California, while five of Michigan's fourteen electoral votes and one of Ohio's twenty-three went to him. In the last-named state, which had never gone against the Republicans, their vote exceeded that of the Democrats by only 1,072. For the first time since Buchanan's day, both Senate and House were to be Democratic. More surprising and more significant for the future, was the strength of the People's Party. Over a million ballots, twenty-two electoral votes, two senators and eleven representatives were included among their trophies. It was an important fact, moreover, that twenty-nine out of every thirty votes cast for the People's Party were cast west of Pennsylvania and south of Maryland. Something apparently was happening, in which the East was not a sharer. The politician, particularly in the East, was quite content to dismiss the Populists as "born-tired theorists," "quacks," "a clamoring brood of political rainmakers," and "stump electricians," but the student of politics and history must appraise the movement less provincially and with more information.

It was in the nature of things that the Populist movement should come out of the West. From the days of Clay and Jackson the westerner had been characterized by his self-confidence, his assertiveness and his energy. He had possessed unlimited confidence in ordinary humanity, been less inclined to heed authority and more ready to disregard precedents and experience. He had expressed his ideals concretely, and with vigor and assurance. He had broken an empire to the plow, suffered severely from the buffetings of nature and had gradually worked out his list of grievances. One or another of his complaints had been presented before 1892 in the platforms of uninfluential third parties, but not until that year did the dissenting movement reach large proportions.

It has already been seen that the people of the West were in revolt against the management of the railroads. They saw roads going bankrupt, to be sure, but the owners were making fortunes; they knew that lawyers were being corrupted with free passes and the state legislatures manipulated by lobbyists; and they believed that rates were extortionate. The seizure and purchase of public land, sometimes contrary to the letter of the law, more often contrary to its spirit, was looked upon as an intolerable evil. Moreover, the westerner was in debt. He had borrowed from the East to buy his farm and his machinery and to make both ends meet in years when the crops failed. In 1889 it was estimated that seventy-five per cent. of the farms of Dakota were mortgaged to a total of $50,000,000. Boston and other cities had scores of agencies for the negotiation of western farm loans; Philadelphia alone was said to absorb $15,000,000 annually. The advantage to the West, if conditions were right, is too manifest to need explanation. But sometimes the over-optimistic farmer borrowed too heavily; sometimes the rates demanded of the needy westerners were usurious; often it seemed as if interest charges were like "a mammoth sponge," constantly absorbing the labor of the husbandman. The demand of the West for a greater currency supply has already been seen, for it appeared in the platforms of minor parties immediately after the Civil War. Sometimes it seemed as if nature, also, had entered a conspiracy to increase the hardships of the farmer. During the eighties a series of rainy years in the more arid parts of the plains encouraged the idea that the rain belt was moving westward, and farmers took up land beyond the line where adequate moisture could be relied upon. Then came drier years; the corn withered to dry stalks; farms were more heavily mortgaged or even abandoned; and discontent in the West grew fast.

The complaints of the westerner naturally found expression in the agricultural organizations which already existed in many parts of the country. The Grange had attacked some of the farmer's problems, but interest in it as a political agency had died out. The National Farmers' Alliance of 1880 and the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union somewhat later were both preceded and followed by many smaller societies. Altogether their combined membership began to mount into the millions. When, therefore, the Alliances began to turn away from the mere discussion of agricultural grievances and toward the betterment of conditions by means of legislation, and when their principles began to be taken up by discontented labor organizations, it looked as if they might constitute a force to be reckoned with.

The remedies which the Alliances suggested for current ills were definite. Fundamentally they believed that the government, state and federal, could remedy the economic distresses of the people and that it ought to do so. At the present day such a suggestion seems commonplace enough, but in the eighties the dominant theory was individualism - each man for himself and let economic law remedy injustices - and the Alliance program seemed like dreaded "socialism." The counterpart of the demand for larger governmental activity was a call for the greater participation of the people in the operation of the machinery of legislation. This lay back of the demand for the initiative, the referendum, and the popular election of senators. Currency ills could be remedied, the farmers believed, by a national currency which should be issued by the federal government only - not by national banks. They desired the free coinage of silver and gold until the amount in circulation should reach fifty dollars per capita. Lesser recommendations were for an income tax and postal savings banks. In relation to the transportation system, they declared that "the time has come when the railroad corporations will either own the people or the people must own the railroads." In order to prevent the waste of the public land and to stop its being held for speculative purposes, they urged that none be allowed to remain in the hands of aliens and that all be taken away from the railroads and corporations which was in excess of actual needs.

The power of the new movement first became evident in 1890 and distinctly disturbed both the Republican and the Democratic leaders. Determined to right their wrongs, the farmers deserted their parties in thousands, flocked to conventions and crowded the country schoolhouses for the discussion of methods and men. Perhaps it was true, as one of their critics asserted, that they put a "gill of fact and grievance into a gallon of falsehood and lurid declamation" so as to make an "intoxicating mixture." If so, the mixture took immediate effect. Alliance governors were elected in several southern states; many state legislatures in the South and West had strong farmer delegations; and several congressmen and senators were sent to Washington. Success in 1890 made the Alliances jubilant and they looked to the possibility of a countrywide political organization and a share in the campaign of 1892. The first national convention was held in Omaha in July, 1892, at which many of the farmers' organizations together with the Knights of Labor and other groups were represented. The name "People's party" was adopted, the principles just mentioned were set forth in a platform and candidates nominated. In the ensuing election the party exhibited the surprising strength which has been seen.

It has taken more time to describe the Populist movement than its degree of success in 1892 would justify. But it deserves attention for a variety of reasons. Its reform demands were important; it was a striking indication of sectional economic interests; it gave evidence of an effective participation in politics by the small farmers, the mechanics and the less well-to-do professional people - the "middle class," in a word; it was a long step toward an expansion of the activities of the central government in the fields of economic and social legislation; and finally it emphasized the significance of the West, as a constructive force in American life. If the Populists should capture one of the other parties or be captured by it, nobody could foresee what the results would be on American political history.

The second administration of Grover Cleveland, from 1893 to 1897, was the most important period of four years for half a century after the Civil War. For twenty-five years after 1865 American politicians had been sowing the wind. Issues had rarely been met man-fashion, in direct combat; instead, they had been evaded, stated with skilful ambiguity, or beclouded with ignorance and prejudice. Politics had been concerned with the offices - the plunder of government. It could not be that the whirlwind would never be reaped.

The situation in 1893 was one that might well have shaken the stoutest heart. International difficulties were in sight that threatened unusual dangers; labor troubles of unprecedented complexity and importance were at hand; the question of the currency remained unsettled, the treasury was in a critical condition, and an industrial panic had already begun. Each of these difficulties will demand detailed discussion at a later point.[3]

To no small degree, the settlement of the political and economic issues before the country was complicated by the unmistakable drift toward sectionalism, and by the particular characteristics of the President. If the administration pressed a tariff reduction policy, it would please the South and West but bring hostility in the East. The demands of the West, so far as the Populists represented them, were for the increased use of the powers of the federal government and the application of those powers to social and economic problems; but the party in power was traditionally attached to the doctrine of restricted activity on the part of the central authority. The sectional aspects of the silver question were notorious; and only the eastern Democrats fully supported their leader in his stand on the issue.

The personal characteristics of President Cleveland have already appeared.[4] He had a burdensome consciousness of his own individual duty to conduct the business of his office with faithfulness; a courageous sense of justice which impelled him to fight valiantly for a cause that he deemed right, however unimportant or hopeless the cause might be; a reformer's contempt for hypocrisy and shams, and a blunt directness in freeing his mind about wrong of every kind. He had the faults of his virtues, likewise. Sure of himself and of the right of his position, he had the impatience of an unimaginative man with any other point of view; he was intransigent, unyielding, rarely giving way a step even to take two forward. It seems likely that his political experience had accentuated this characteristic. For years he had thrown aside the advice of his counsellors and had shown himself more nearly right than they. As Mayor of Buffalo he had used the veto and had been made Governor of the state; as Governor he had ruggedly made enemies and had become President; as President he had flown in the face of caution with his tariff message and his Reform Club letter and had three times received a larger popular vote than his competitor. And each time his plurality was greater than it had been before. If he tended to become over-sure of himself, it should hardly occasion surprise. Furthermore he looked upon the duties and possibilities of the presidential office as fixed and stationary, rather than elastic and developing. He was a strict constructionist and a rigid believer in the checks and balances of the Constitution. Although constantly aware of the needs and rights of the common people, such as composed the Populist movement, his adherence to strict construction was so complete that he was unable to advocate much of the federal legislation desired by them. It was only with hesitation and constitutional doubts, for example, that he had been able to sign even the Interstate Commerce Act. In brief, then, the western demand for social and economic legislation on a novel and unusual scale was to take its chances with an honest, dogged believer in a restricted federal authority.

The experience of the administration with the patronage question illustrates how much progress had been made in the direction of reform since the beginning of Cleveland's first term in 1885. In the earlier year it had required a bitter contest to make even the slightest advance; in his second term he retained Roosevelt, a Republican reformer, on the Commission and gradually extended the rules so as to cover the government printing office, the internal revenue service, the pension agencies, and messengers and other minor officials in the departments in Washington. Finally on May 6, 1896, he approved an order revising the rules, simplifying them and extending them to great numbers of places not hitherto included, "the most valuable addition ever made at one stroke to the competitive service." The net result was that the number of positions in the classified service was more than doubled between 1893 and 1897, making a total of 81,889 in a service of somewhat over 200,000.[5] By the latter year the argument against reform had largely been silenced. The dismal prediction of opponents who had feared the establishment of an office-holding aristocracy had turned out to have no foundation. Agreement was widespread that the government service was greatly improved. There were still branches of the service for the reformers to work upon but the great fight was over and won.[6]

Although the Democrats came into power in 1893 largely on the tariff issue, Cleveland felt that the most urgent need at the beginning of the administration was the repeal of the part of the Sherman silver law that provided for the purchase of 4,500,000 ounces of silver each month. The financial and monetary aspects of this controversy demand relation at another point.[7] Politically its results were important. Western and southern Democrats, friendly to silver, fought bitterly against the repeal, and became thoroughly hostile to Cleveland whom they began to distrust as allied to the "money-power" of the East. At the time, then, when the President was most in need of united partisan support, he found his party crumbling into factions.

Other circumstances which have been mentioned combined to make the time inauspicious for a revision of the tariff - the slight Democratic majority in the Senate, the deficit caused by rising expenditure and falling revenue, the imminent industrial panic and the prevailing labor unrest. Nevertheless it seemed necessary to make the attempt. If the results of the election of 1892 meant anything, they meant that the Democrats were commissioned to revise the tariff.

The chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means was William L. Wilson, a sincere and well-read tariff reformer who had been a lawyer and a college president, in addition to taking a practical interest in politics. The measure which he presented to the House on December 19, 1893, was not a radical proposal, but it provided for considerable tariff reductions and a tax on incomes over $4,000. There was a slight defection in party support, but it was unimportant because of the large majority which the Democrats possessed, and the bill passed the House without unusual difficulty.

In the Senate a different situation presented itself. The Democratic majority over the Republicans, provided the Populists voted with the former, was only nine; and in case the Populists became disaffected, the Democrats could outvote the opposition only by the narrow margin of three, even if every member remained with his party. Such a degree of unanimity, in the face of prevailing conditions, was extremely unlikely. The Louisiana senators were insistent upon protection for their sugar; Maryland, West Virginia and Alabama senators looked out for coal and iron ore; Senator Hill of New York was unalterably opposed to an income tax; Senator Murphy, of the same state, obtained high duties on linen collars and cuffs; and Senators Gorman and Brice were ready to aid the opposition unless appeased by definite bits of protection which they demanded. Many years later Senator Cullom, a Republican, explained the practical basis on which the Senate proceeded: "The truth is, we were all - Democrats as well as Republicans - trying to get in amendments in the interest of protecting the industries of our respective States."

The 634 changes made in the Senate were, therefore, mainly in the direction of lessening the reductions made by the House. After the bill had passed the Senate, it was put into the hands of a conference committee, where further changes were made. At this stage of the proceedings, Wilson read to the House a letter from the President condemning the form which the bill had taken under Senate management, and branding the abandonment of Democratic principles as an example of "party perfidy and party dishonor." The communication had no effect except to intensify differences within the party, and senators made it evident that they would have their way or kill the measure. The House thereupon capitulated and accepted what became known as the Wilson-Gorman act - a law which was only less protectionist than the McKinley act. The President, chagrined at the breakdown of the party program, allowed the act to pass without his signature, but expressed his mingled disappointment and disgust in a letter to Representative T.C. Catchings:

    There are provisions in this bill which are not in line with honest 
    tariff reform.... Besides, there were ... incidents accompanying the 
    passage of the bill ... which made every sincere tariff reformer 
    unhappy.... I take my place with the rank and file of the Democratic 
    party ... who refuse to accept the results embodied in this bill as 
    the close of the war, who are not blinded to the fact that the 
    livery of Democratic tariff reform has been stolen and worn in the 
    service of Republican protection, and who have marked the places 
    where the deadly blight of treason has blasted the counsels of the 
    brave in their hour of might.

A few phases of the attempt at tariff reduction indicate the extent to which political decay and especially Democratic demoralization had gone. As it passed the House, the Wilson bill left both raw and refined sugar on the free list. This was unsatisfactory to the Louisiana sugar growers, who desired a protective duty on the raw product, and was objected to by the Louisiana senators. On the other hand, the American Sugar Refining Company, usually known as the "Sugar Trust," desired free raw materials but sought protective duties on refined sugar. In the Senate, a duty was placed on raw sugar, partly for revenue and partly to satisfy the Louisiana senators. On refined sugar, rates were fixed which were eminently satisfactory to the Trust. Rumors at once began to be spread broadcast over the country that the sugar interests had manipulated the Senate. The people were the more ready to believe charges of this sort because of experience with previous tariff legislation and because the Sugar Trust had been one of the earliest and most feared of the monopolies which had already caused so much uneasiness. A Senate committee was appointed, composed of two Democrats, two Republicans and a Populist, to investigate these and other rumors. Their report, which was agreed to by all the members, made public a depressing story. It appeared that one lobbyist had offered large sums of money for votes against the tariff bill on account of the income tax provision. Henry O. Havermeyer, president of the American Sugar Refining Company, testified that the company was in the habit of contributing to the campaign funds of one political party or the other in the states, depending on which party was in the ascendancy; that these contributions were carried on the books as expense; and that they were given because the party in power "could give us the protection we should have." Further, one or more officers of the company were in Washington during the entire time when the tariff act was pending in the Senate and had conferred with senators and committees. Senator Quay testified that he had bought and sold sugar stocks while the Senate was engaged in fixing the schedules and added: "I do not feel that there is anything in my connection with the Senate to interfere with my buying or selling the stock when I please; and I propose to do so." Finally the committee summarized the results of its investigation, taking the occasion to

    strongly deprecate the importunity and pressure to which Congress 
    and its members are subjected by the representatives of great 
    industrial combinations, whose enormous wealth tends to suggest 
    undue influence, and to create in the public mind a demoralizing 
    belief in the existence of corrupt practices.

Yet one more drop remained to fill the cup of Democratic humiliation to overflowing. The constitutionality of the income tax had been assumed to have been settled by previous decisions of the Supreme Court, especially that in the case Springer v. United States, which had been decided in 1880, and in which the Court had upheld the law. The new tax was brought before the Court in 1894, in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company. The argument against the tax was pressed with great vigor, not merely on constitutional grounds, but for evident social and economic reasons. Important financial interests engaged powerful legal talent and it became clear that the question to be settled was as much a class and sectional controversy as a constitutional problem. Counsel urged the Court that the tax scattered to the winds the fundamental principles of the rights of private property. Justice Field, deciding against the tax, declared it an "assault upon capital" and a step toward a war of the poor against the rich. There was fear among some that the exemption of the smaller incomes might result in placing the entire burden of taxation on the wealthy. Justice Field, for example, felt that taxing persons whose income was $4,000 and exempting those whose income was less than that amount was like taxing Protestants, as a class, at one rate and Catholics at another. The sectional aspects of the controversy were brought out in objections that the bulk of the tax would fall on the Northeast. The most important point involved was the meaning of the word "direct" as used in the Constitution in the phrase "direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States ... according to their respective Numbers." If an income tax is a direct tax, it must be apportioned among the states according to population. Unhappily the framers of the Constitution were not clear as to what they meant by the word direct, and specifically they could not have told whether an income tax was direct or not, because no such tax existed in England or America at that time. Hence the Supreme Court was placed in the awkward position of defining a word which the framers themselves could not define, although the uniform practice hitherto had been to regard the income tax as indirect and therefore constitutional, even if not apportioned according to population.

The Pollock case was heard twice. The result of the first trial was inconclusive and on the central point the Court divided four to four. After a rehearing, Justice Jackson, who had been ill and not present at the first trial, gave his vote in favor of constitutionality, but in the meantime another justice had changed his opinion and voted against it. By the narrow margin of five to four, then, and under such circumstances, the income tax provision of the Wilson-Gorman act was declared null and void. Probably no decision since the Dred Scott case, with the single exception of the Legal Tender cases, has put the Supreme Court in so unfortunate a light. Certainly in none has it seemed more swayed by class prejudice, and so insecure and vacillating in its opinion.

Before the question regarding the constitutionality of the income tax was settled, the Democrats reaped the political results of the Wilson-Gorman tariff act. The law went into force on August 27, 1894; the congressional elections came in November. The Democrats were almost utterly swept out of the House, except for those from the southern states, their number being reduced from 235 to 105. Reed was replaced in the speaker's chair; tariff reform had turned out to be indistinguishable from protection; and the Democracy, after its only opportunity since 1861 to try its hand at government, was demoralized, discredited, and in opposition again.


The election of 1892 is described in the standard histories of the period, and especially well in Peck.

The rise and growth of the Populist movement resulted in a considerable literature of which the following are best: S.J. Buck, The Agrarian Crusade (1920), is founded on wide knowledge of the subject and contains bibliography; F.J. Turner in The Atlantic Monthly (Sept., 1896), gives a brief but keen account; other articles in periodicals are F.E. Haynes, in Quarterly Journal of Economics, X, 269, W.F. Mappin, in Political Science Quarterly, IV, 433, and F.B. Tracy, in Forum, XVI, 240; F.E. Haynes, Third Party Movements (1916), is detailed; M.S. Wildman, Money Inflation in the United States(1905), presents the psychological and economic basis of inflation; J.A. Woodburn, Political Parties and Party Problems (1914); F.L. Paxson, New Nation (1915).

Cleveland's administration is well discussed by D.R. Dewey, National Problems (1907), and by H.T. Peck, who also presents an unusual analysis of Cleveland in The Personal Equation (1898). The income tax is best handled by E.R.A. Seligman, The Income Tax (1914). Cleveland's own account of the chief difficulties of the administration are in his Presidential Problems.

       * * * * *

[1] Blaine died on Jan. 27, 1893.

[2] Below, p. 320, for an account of the strike as an industrial dispute.

[3] Below, Chaps. XIII, XIV, XV.

[4] Above, Chap. VIII.

[5] The sweeping reform order of Cleveland late in his second term illustrated the most common and effective method of making advance. Late in his administration the President adds to the classified service; his successor withdraws part of the additions, but more than makes up at the end of his term, - a sort of two steps forward and one backward process.

[6] Cleveland's second cabinet was composed of the following: W.Q. Gresham, Ill., Secretary of State; J.G. Carlisle, Ky., Secretary of the Treasury; D.S. Lamont, N.Y., Secretary of War; R. Olney, Mass., Attorney-General; W.S. Bissell, N.Y., Postmaster-General; H.A. Herbert, Ala., Secretary of the Navy; Hoke Smith, Ga., Secretary of the Interior; J.S. Morton, Neb., Secretary of Agriculture.

[7] Below, pp. 336-340.