Despite Benjamin Harrison not having a popular first term – duty had risen on most imports and there was opposition to pension allocations for Civil War veterans – he was nominated to re-run for office. The Democrats saw the return of former president Grover Cleveland as their candidate, and his prominent public stature was promising for the party’s chances. This was also the first time since 1860 that a third party was in the running, with James B. Weaver leading the Popularist party. Aside from issues over bimetallism (where the monetary unit is equivalent to certain quantities of gold and silver, with a fixed rate of exchange between them) and African-American voting rights, the election was notable for violent labour strikes in reaction to Harrison’s tariff reforms. Conversely, there was also a sense of restraint as Harrison’s wife died two weeks before the election. In the end it was a decisive win for Cleveland, and he became the first former president to return to office.
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