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Politicking and Emergent MediaUS Presidential Elections of the 1890s$
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Charles Musser

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520292727

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520292727.001.0001

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The Stereopticon, The Tariff Illustrated, and the 1892 Election

The Stereopticon, The Tariff Illustrated, and the 1892 Election

(p.23) Chapter 1 The Stereopticon, The Tariff Illustrated, and the 1892 Election
Politicking and Emergent Media

Charles Musser

University of California Press

Examines the 1888 and 1892 presidential campaigns that pitted Republican Benjamin Harrison, who favored a protective tariff, against Democrat Grover Cleveland, who wanted to lower taxes on imports. The New York press was predominantly Democratic, which enabled Cleveland to win the 1884 election. The pro-Republican Protective Tariff League sponsored Judge John L. Wheeler’s wildly popular stereopticon lecture The Tariff Illustrated in 1888x, which was hailed as contributing to Harrison’s victory (a brief recession and Tammany Hall’s hostility to Cleveland were additional factors). In 1892 Republicans nominated New York Tribune publisher Whitelaw Reid as vice-president and had six orators who toured the Northeast, delivering illustrated lectures and promoting the protective tariff. Nevertheless, Cleveland proved victorious in the rematch.

Keywords:   Illustrated lecture, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, tariff, Protective Tariff League, New York Tribune, stereopticon, documentary, Tammany Hall

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