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The Gilded Age GRANT WRAP-UP WESTERN EXPANSION. THE GRANT YEARS: 1868-1872, 1872-1876 Great war leader, but shy/withdrawn in office Could not see political.

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Presentation on theme: "The Gilded Age GRANT WRAP-UP WESTERN EXPANSION. THE GRANT YEARS: 1868-1872, 1872-1876 Great war leader, but shy/withdrawn in office Could not see political."— Presentation transcript:


2 THE GRANT YEARS: 1868-1872, 1872-1876 Great war leader, but shy/withdrawn in office Could not see political forces/influences at work around him Honest man, but too loyal to those who eventually would betray his trust Followed lead of Radical Republican Congress Horse racing > policy making Ineffective as a leader

3 GRANT: FINANCE Post- Civil War: $432 m. greenbacks issued during war retired from circulation, Congress in favor of sound or hard-money (gold coins) money supply to contract D. want to repay gov. bonds w/ greenbacks Backlash from farmers, debtor groups b/c fear of lower farm prices, debt too difficult to pay. 1868- Grant opposes soft money (greenbacks) as does public Many see as morally unsound to use paper money not backed by gold

4 GRANT: SCANDAL 1869- RR entrepreneurs Jay Gould & Jim Fisk work to purchase high #s of gold Create public craze, convince traders of a shortage and increasing prices Purpose to increase value of gold, but in danger if US Gov. sells. Gould argues that gov. selling gold may hurt economy. Gold prices soared ($132 to $163/oz) unti Sep. 24, 1869= Black Friday Bubble burst when Grant had Treasury sell gov. gold Fisk out by hiring thugs to intimidate creditors, repudiate debts 1872- Credit Mobilier scandal spreads Construction co. overcharged fees to Union Pacific RR $$ for insiders who controlled both CM and UPR Built TR RR- completed in 1869= Wedding of the Rails Oakes Ames letters reveal scandal- founder of CM, H. of Rep. Before Grants election, but many high rank Repub. given shares of CM in exchange of votes ETC. : Sec. of War- took bribes from merchants who traded w/ NAs in West @ Army posts Post office contracts to those w/ highest kickbacks Whiskey Ring in St. Louis bribed tax officials to scim gov. of revenue

5 GRANT: REFORM AND REDEMPTION 1872: Grant vs. Greeley Econ. Panic in 1873 due to contraction of $ supply, overexpansion of RR in areas w/ little settlement 6 year long depression 25 RR defaulted, panic outside of US cause others to unload US stocks. Investment firms close NYSE closed for 10 days Widespread bankruptcy, unemployment, slowdown in building/construction Greenback issue revived. Value less than gold, but were main $ used in exchange Hold gold or use w/ foreign accounts (problem gold sent out of country) Gov. issue more greenbacks ($26 mil. Previously withdrawn from public) Dems gain control of House, win seats in Senate during panic

6 THE NEW WEST Civil War far way for : Mexicans, Asians, Native Americans, white trappers, miners, cowboys, traders, Mormons Many still propelled by idea of Manifest Destiny, lust for land, passion for profit What do you see? Pioneers/cowboys overcoming odds to reach goal of freedom/opportunity? Greed and sinful nature, reckless exploitation of land/resourcers, death of NAs? The last FRONTIER- Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, W. Minneosta (Great Plains) Geography: water scarce, timber scarce Great American Desert, a barrier to cross on the way to the Pacific. Instead, perfect relocation for Nas. NO log cabins, rail fence, typical tilling methods for farming New discovery of gold, silver, minerals, transcontinental RR, decrease of buffalo population, rise of range-cattle, use of irrigation change in pattern of settlement

7 Miners in 1849 CA Set precedent- first prospectors, camp followers, saloon keepers, prostitutes, card sharps, hustlers, desperadoes lawlessness, vigilante rule, then stable community New finds in CO and NV by 1859 Pikes Peak, CO Comstock Lode at Gold Hill, NV Gold and silver at the lode; $300 m. over 20 yrs AZ/MT rich in copper Demand for order in the west new territories, new states 1864- NV, 1876- CO, 1889- Dakotas, WA, MT, 1890- ID, WY, 1896- UT (after Mormons abandon polygamy), 1907- OK, 1912- AZ, NM (complete 48 continental states) States from coast to coast Increase in settlers from east and west mounting pressures with NAs

8 Horace Greely- Go West, young man! Benjamin Pap Singleton- born a slave in TN, escaped to Detroit. Later called to rescue blacks. Felt future was in farm ownership. The Advantage of Living in a Free State- circulated after learning of cheap land in KS. 1878- 7,500 acres purchased to form Dunlap, Exodusters Fear by Southern whites of labor loss blockades of rivers, roads West Most homesteads too small to make a living. Many blacks hiring selves out to white farmers. Many crop failures (drought, dust storms, fires). All lead many blacks to flee to cities.

9 INDIAN WARS 1851- Treaty at Fort Laramie WY: NA Chiefs agree to tribal borders, not bother emigrants on trails through land Peace for several years, but road building by army and settling by whites continued deeper into NA land (encroach vs. pass through) 1850-1860: 150k American settlers into Sioux territory in violation of treaty Early 1860s-late 1870s, Indian Wars rage on frontier NA raids on trains, mining camps 1864- Col. J.M. Chivington 90-day volunteers approach NA camp @ Sand Creek. Ignore white flag of truce, slaughter 200 1867- Indian Peace Commission established to remove causes of the wars Should be accomplished at expense of tribes persuade them to reservations

10 Indian raids begin- impact trains, mining camps Result of forced acceptance of treaties reduced land 1864- Col. John Chivington & 90-day volunteers @ Sand Creek NA camp flying white flag Troops slaughter 200 1867- Report on the Condition of the Indian Tribes Indian Peace Commission Medicine Creek Lodge (KS)- Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho, Cheyenne w. OK Sioux Black Hills (Dakota territory) General Philip Sheridan: Civil War vet, sent to scatter NAs and force treaties The only good Indian is a dead Indian.

11 CUSTERS LAST STAND OR…The Battle of Little Bighorn- June 25, 1876 Col. George Custer- Civil War vet, reckless, glory-seeker, last in class at West Point Expedition into Black Hills w/ gold seekers, followed by miners Into Sioux hunting lands Army did nothing to back promise of protecting grounds from settlers, but did move against Sioux wandering across range Great Sioux War- 15 months through WY, MT, SD, NE Custer found main camp of Sioux & n. Cheyenne allies Custer + 209 move in surrounded by 2,500 warriors all dead Crazy Horse 7 th Cavalry 4+ miles away Army regain momentum and force Sioux off land, require payments Forced onto least valuable land, starvation, disease

12 WOUNDED KNEE By 1886, Indians Wars nearly at close Chief Joseph- Nez Perces (ID): war launched when refused to give up land. Caught headed to Cananda, exiled in OK Chief Geronimo (Apache) captured after 15 years of fighting 1888- Wovoka ill, delirious. Imagined he saw spirit world, learned of deliverer coming to rescue Nas and restore land. Told others must perform ceremonial dance @ new moon to bring about deliverer = Ghost Dance 1890- white authorities alarmed at spread, persistence, fervor of NAs. Sioux chief Sitting Bull killed Dec. 29, 1908- @ Wounded Knee, SD: rifle fired (from who?). Nervous soldiers react and fire into surrendering group of Nas Battle kills 200 NAs, 25 soldiers

13 INDIAN POLICY Those on frontier lack tolerance, but Easterners see slaughter as immoral & seek reform Dawes Severalty Act of 1887- attempt to Americanize by dealing with NAs as individuals, not tribes Introduce individual land ownership, agriculture Communal land 160 acres per head of family To protect land, gov. held control through a trust for 25 years After, person owned land & earned citizenship 1924- all NAs granted citizenship

14 Act well intentioned, but harmful. Reservations broken up Loss of NA land to whites Inexperienced with ownership, land not distributed to families sold off, fraud Est. 86 mil. of 130 mil. Lost Most NA land remaining unsuitable for AG Traditional culture lost

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