Presentation on theme: "Why did Guiteau decide to remove the president? Guiteau believed the president should have given him a job because he had worked to help elect Garfield."— Presentation transcript:
Why did Guiteau decide to remove the president? Guiteau believed the president should have given him a job because he had worked to help elect Garfield. What effect do you think this tragedy had on public opinion about the spoils system? There was outrage and a demand that patronage be made illegal.
Discussion Discuss other presidential assassinations and assassination attempts and the motives behind them. Why do you think people have attacked presidents. Compare and contrast the events.
Reforming Washington Civil Service Reform Garfields assassination convinced the public that the spoils system was corrupt. The Pendleton Act was passed in 1883, requiring competitive exams for some jobs. This began professional civil service. Commerce Corporations became incredibly powerful because neither party believed the government should interfere with corporate power. When states passed laws regulating railroad rates, the Supreme Court ruled the regulations unconstitutional. The Interstate Commerce Act passed in 1887 created the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), which proved nearly powerless without judicial support. Political Pressure Congress responded to popular pressure to combat trusts by passing the Sherman Antitrust Act in Weakened by judicial interpretation, vague wording, and poor enforcement, the law had little impact.
Discussion Why did critics of the spoils system think civil service was a better alternative? It required competition for jobs, and exams helped assure qualified people would get the jobs. Why would corporations oppose the Interstate Commerce Act? They did not want government to set limits on their rates. Why did the Interstate Commerce Act make little difference in the status quo? Courts did not enforce it, so big corporations did not change their ways.
Tariff Debate Election Issue Tariff reform became a key issue in the 1888 election. Democrats wanted to remove tariffs and encourage free trade. The Democrats and Cleveland campaigned against high tariffs. Republican Victory Republican Benjamin Harrison was backed by industrialists, who benefited from high tariffs. Republicans won control of Congress and the White House in Failed Policy In 1890 the Republicans passed the McKinley Tariff, which was intended to protect American industry. Instead, it triggered a steep rise in the price of all goods.
Tariffs What effects are tariffs intended to have? To make imported goods expensive so domestic goods will sell better. Why were tariffs unpopular? They inflated the price of goods, resulting in less buying power for Americans. Why did Democrats want to strike down tariffs while Republicans wanted to keep them in place? Democrats wanted to help the consumer by making goods more affordable; Republicans wanted to protect American industries from cheap imports that cut into their profits.
The Republican Party The Republican Party changed from a party committed to abolition of slavery to a party backed by industrialists.
Rural Reform Grange In 1866, Oliver H. Kelley founded the Grange, the first national farm organization. Grangers pressured state legislatures to regulate railroad and warehouse rates. They created cooperatives to increase prices and lower costs for members. Pressure Fails Granger laws were passed, setting maximum and fair rates. In response, railroads cut services and refused to lay new track. The Grange fell apart. Economic Turmoil In 1873 deflation hit the economy. Interest rates rose. Farmers went into debt as prices dropped and mortgages became more expensive. Farmers Unite Again The Farmers Alliance formed, creating large exchanges to force prices higher and make low-interest loans to farmers. Though somewhat successful, the exchanges were overextended by loan defaults. Big businesses discriminated against them.
Deflation Why was deflation especially difficult for farmers in this era? With prices continually falling, farmers could not get enough money for their crops to continue to meet their farming expenses. At the same time, the increasing value of money meant higher interest rates, so expenses grew even greater.
Populism Rise of the Party In 1890 the Populists nominated candidates for Congress and the Kansas legislature. The first Peoples Party convention was held in Omaha, Nebraska, in July James Weaver was nominated to run for president. Party Platform The Omaha platform called for an eight-hour workday, immigration restrictions, regulation of the railroads, an income tax, and direct election of senators by voters. Urban workers found it hard to identify with a party focused on rural problems. Farmers Split Farmers Alliance leaders in the South opposed the Populists and hoped to force Democrats to support the Alliance or lose Alliance votes. Democratic Split Four newly elected Southern Democratic governors pledged to support the Alliance. More than 40 Democrats supported the Alliance in Congress. Despite Alliance concessions to labor, the American Federation of Labor, a Democratic stronghold, did not align with them. Election of 1892 Grover Cleveland won the election, but Populist issues and ideas gained wider acceptance.
Populist Party What was the root cause of the failure of the national Populist Party in 1892? The farmers represented too few votes, and the urban, working-class voters they tried to attract did not share the Populists aims.
The Peoples Party The Peoples Party made free coinage of silver the main focus of their campaign. Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan, a strong silver supporter. Populists decided to support Bryan as well. William Jennings Bryan was a powerful speaker. Bryan campaigned constantly. William McKinley, Ohios governor, became the Republican candidate. Republicans promised workers a full dinner pail, which was more valuable to urban workers than the silver issue. McKinley won decisively, taking the majority of urban voters while the rural vote went to Bryan. After 1896, the Populist Party faded from the spotlight.
Discussion Might Bryan have won the election with a different platform? Why or why not? The Democrats and Populists stood for represented too small of a portion of the voting population, much of which was concentrated in urban areas.
Which of the reforms is most important to your life today? Which reforms continue to be debated today by political parties? income taxes and immigration