2. William Jennings Bryan
Bryan almost single-handedly reformed the Democratic Party when he ran against William McKinley in 1896, giving new life to the party that had emerged under the leadership of Jefferson and Jackson. Despite its conservative tradition, the party became progressive, and Bryan urged millions of Americans to allow the Democrats to create a bigger government, one that would be big enough to help less fortunate Americans. These ideas were adopted by Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the next century and continue on to this day.