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Politics and Reform 1877 – 1896 Chapter 11. Politics and Reform – Learning Targets Students will be able to trace the reforms made to the American government.

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Presentation on theme: "Politics and Reform 1877 – 1896 Chapter 11. Politics and Reform – Learning Targets Students will be able to trace the reforms made to the American government."— Presentation transcript:

1 Politics and Reform 1877 – 1896 Chapter 11

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3 Politics and Reform – Learning Targets Students will be able to trace the reforms made to the American government in response to demands for change in the late 1800’s Students will be able to explain what populism was and how it impacted American society  Is there a populist trend today? Students will be able to analyze the rise of segregation: what were the reasons behind it and what were the responses to it  Are there any traces of segregation left today?  What current government policies are in place today due to the history of segregation?

4 Politics and Reform Traditionally, when a president won the election, he would place his supporters in government jobs. This is called patronage, or the Spoils System President Hayes 1877 – attempted to end practice  Angered Republican political machine called Stalwarts led by Sen. Conkling  Conkling labeled Republican reformers Halfbreeds

5 Politics and Reform 1880 – President Garfield assassinated by insane office- seeker, Charles Guiteau 1883 Pendleton Act – civil service jobs filled using exams; government workers could not be fired for political reasons Act signed by President Chester Arthur – himself a one-time political appointee

6 Politics and Reform Party Politics  Political parties did not take a stand on issues b/c they did not want to make enemies and they did not know how to fix the problems anyway  Republicans dominated the Northeast and upper mid-West  Democrats owned the South  Former Union soldiers, farmers, reformers, and businessmen supported the Republicans

7 Politics and Reform  Republicans were mostly Protestant  Democrats were supported by immigrants especially Catholic Irish  Between 1877 – 1896 Democrats dominated the House and Republicans dominated the Senate  Presidential elections were fought in just four states: NY, OH, IN and IL  Between 1868 – 1900 all the presidents came from those four states

8 Politics and Reform Election of 1884  Democrats saw chance of winning White House by nominating reformer Grover Cleveland  Campaign was known for mud- slinging  Mugwumps - Republicans who broke from the party to vote for Cleveland  Cleveland won the election

9 Politics and Reform Growing industrialization = growing labor unrest = more strikes Strikes were often violent Many railroads negotiated lower rates for big customers (corporations) called rebates but small business/individuals paid higher rates Public clamored for government intervention SCOTUS case Wabash v. Illinois gave authority to federal government to regulate

10 Politics and Reform 1887 Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) created Commission acted to regulate railroad rates, forbid rebates Democrats wanted lower tariffs but Republican senate blocked law

11 Politics and Reform Republicans gained presidency with election of Benjamin Harrison Republican Congress passed McKinley Tariff Tariff lowered federal revenue so budget went into deficit Congress also passed pensions for Civil War veterans which made deficit worse

12 Politics and Reform The Sherman Anti-Trust Act  Congress pressured by public to act against trusts  The law had no teeth – did not have any real effect on trusts  People felt betrayed by both parties, especially farmers

13 Populism Populism – movement to increase political power of farmers Crop prices dropping but prices of manufactured good rising due to tariffs Farmers felt victimized by banks Farmers felt railroad shipping rates too high – favored big corporations

14 Populism Greenback controversy – US government printed paper money that could not be exchanged for gold/silver – caused inflation (decline in the value of money and rise in prices) US stopped printing greenbacks but also stopped making silver coins – caused drop in money supply Crime of ‘73 – decision to stop minting silver coins Deflation – value of money increases along with decrease in prices

15 Populism Deflation hit farmers hard Farmers had to borrow money for seed and equipment – interest rates rose causing rise in farmers’ debt Banks wanted their money but prices for crops falling Farmers demanded the minting of silver coins to increase money supply

16 Populism Farmers needed a more powerful political voice The Grange (Patrons of Husbandry) – founded by Oliver Kelly, national farm organization Grangers pressured government to regulate railroad rates, wanted the printing of more greenbacks Grangers formed cooperatives – marketing organizations that benefitted the farmer members  Pooled crops and kept them out of market to regulate prices  Could negotiate better shipping, seed, and equipment prices

17 Populism The Granges failed to improve farmers’ conditions: people too suspicious of paper money, banks and railroads equated granges with unions Framers also saw drop in respect as more people began living in towns / cities Use of derogatory terms like redneck and hayseed for farmers increased

18 Populism The Farmer’s Alliance  Established in Lampasas County, TX, 1877  Organized farmers in West, Mid- West, and South  Organized large cooperatives called exchanges – did better than the Grange

19 Populism The People’s Party  Alliance exchanges eventually failed  Alliance members formed the People’s Party aka the Populists  Alliance leaders shied away from third party – wanted Democrats to take on Alliance platform (so South would remain Democratic)  Developed Subtreasury Plan – farmers would put crops in warehouses and use them to secure low-interest loans and keep prices up

20 Populism Rise of Populism  Ocala Demands – Farmers Alliance meeting in Florida came up with list of political demands Subtreasury Plan Free coinage of silver End to protective tariffs and national banks Tighter regulation of railroads Direct election of senators

21 Populism Sherman Silver Purchase Act 1890 – authorized US treasury to buy 4.5 million ounces of silver per month – done to pull farmers Republican Populists did well in election – many pro-Alliance officials elected After Democrats broke promises to farmers, Alliance now ready to push for third party

22 Populism Populist Party  Nominated James Weaver for president 1892 Wanted silver/gold ratio 16-1 Federal ownership of railroads Graduated income tax 8-hour workday Immigration restriction  Proposed laws to appeal to urban laborers  Had ties to Knights of Labor

23 Populism Panic of 1893  Worst economic crisis up to Great Depression of 1930’s  Sparked by bankruptcy of several railroads  Stock market crashed and banks closed doors  Caused widespread unemployment and labor strikes  Drainage of government gold caused Cleveland to repeal Sherman Silver Purchase Act  Action split Democrats in two: Goldbugs believed US currency should be based on gold, Silverites believed silver should be coined in unlimited amounts

24 Populism Election of 1896  Republican nominee – William McKinley  Democrat and Populist nominee – William Jennings Bryan  Republicans backed gold / Democrats supported silver  Bryan waged energetic campaign, made 600 speeches in 14 weeks  McKinley had the “Front Porch” campaign  Republicans blamed Democrats for crisis of ’93  McKinley had backing of businesses – won the election

25 Rise of Segregation After slavery, most blacks in South were sharecroppers – landless farmers who paid large portions of crops for rent, food, seed, tools, etc – Benjamin Singleton led migration of blacks from South to Kansas to escape near- slavery conditions Migrants called Exodusters

26 Rise of Segregation Many blacks who remained in South joined the Farmer’s Alliance Blacks formed The Colored Farmers National Alliance – hoped to challenge Democratic Party’s power in South Democrats feared poor whites would join with blacks Democrats used racism to keep whites in line Democrats kept many blacks from voting

27 Rise of Segregation Voting for blacks was guaranteed by the 15 th Amendment States used qualifications like property requirements, literacy tests, and the poll tax to keep blacks from voting Voting numbers dropped drastically Poor whites were also disenfranchised as they often supported Populist Party Other poor whites could vote due to grandfather clause

28 Rise of Segregation Segregation in many parts of US but legal in South Laws enforcing segregation called Jim Crow laws SCOTUS overturned Civil Rights Act of 1875 – encouraged Southern states to pass laws making segregation even more repressive Plessy v. Ferguson – case endorsed legal doctrine of “Separate but Equal”

29 Rise of Segregation Violence against blacks continued into the twentieth century Lynching – hanging of people without trial by mobs 80% of lynchings occurred in South; 70% of victims were black Outraged black woman, Ida B. Wells, led crusade against lynching. Due to her and others’ efforts lynching much in early 1900’s

30 Rise of Segregation Booker T. Washington – argued blacks better off if they spent their energy making themselves better rather than fighting racism Atlanta Compromise – address by Washington asked blacks to postpone fight for civil rights and pull themselves up W. E. B. DuBois – rejected accommodation of Washington; urged blacks to demand their rights; helped found NAACP


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