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APUSH II: Unit 1 Chapter 20 The Commonwealth and Empire Essential Question Essential Question: How effective were politicians in meeting the needs of Americans.

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Presentation on theme: "APUSH II: Unit 1 Chapter 20 The Commonwealth and Empire Essential Question Essential Question: How effective were politicians in meeting the needs of Americans."— Presentation transcript:

1 APUSH II: Unit 1 Chapter 20 The Commonwealth and Empire Essential Question Essential Question: How effective were politicians in meeting the needs of Americans during the Gilded Age? How did problems in gov’t (patronage & coinage), the economy (depression of 1893), & agriculture (Populists) impact the politics of the Gilded Age?


3 The Growth of Government The size and scope of government at all levels grew rapidly during the gilded age. New employees, agencies, and responsibilities changed the character of government. Taxes increased as local governments assumed responsibility for providing such vital services as police, fire protection, water, schools, and parks.

4 Civil Service Reform civil service reform The most important political issue of 1880s was civil service reform: patronage – The federal bureaucracy swelled in size after 1860 & these positions were appointed via patronage (spoils system) – Congressmen often took bribes or company stock for their votes – Political machines ruled cities through bribes & personal favors

5 Gov’t Regulation of Industry From 1870 to 1900, 28 state commissions were created to regulate industry, especially RRs: Munn v. Illinois – In 1870, Illinois declared RRs to be public highways; this was upheld by Munn v. Illinois (1876) Wabash v. Illinois – But, was overturned in Wabash v. Illinois (1886): “only Congress can regulate interstate trade”

6 Tariffs & Trusts Congress responded by creating: Interstate Commerce Commission – The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1887 to regulate the railroad industry Sherman Antitrust Act – The Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890 which made it illegal to restrain trade (punishable by dissolution of the company)

7 The Machinery of Politics The federal government developed its departmental bureaucracy. Power resided in Congress and the state legislatures. The two political parties only gradually adapted to the demands of the new era. – Political campaigns featured mass spectacles that reflected the strong competition for votes. – Political machines financed their campaigns through kickbacks and bribes and ensured support by providing services for working-class neighborhoods. Offices were filled by the spoils system that rewarded friends of the winning party.

8 The Spoils System and Civil Service Reform In 1885, Congress passed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act that created the civil service system and a professional bureaucracy. – A system of standards was developed for certain federal jobs. – This effort paralleled similar efforts at professionalism in other fields. The legislative branch was also given a more active role in government under the Circuit Court of Appeals Act of 1891.

9 Civil Service Reform Civil service reform received a boost when disaffected patronage seeker, Charles Guiteau, assassinated President Garfield: Pendleton Act – In 1883, Congress created the Pendleton Act for merit-based exams for civil service jobs – State & local gov’ts mirrored these reforms in 1880s & 1890s

10 Politics of Stalemate The 5 presidential elections from 1876 to 1892 were the most closely contested elections ever Congress was split as well: – Democrats controlled the House – Republicans held the Senate This “stalemate” made it difficult for any of the 5 presidents or either party to pass significant legislation for 20 years

11 The Two Party System RepublicansDemocrats  Supported by white southerners, farmers, immigrants, & the working poor  Favored white supremacy & supported labor unions  Pietists: Methodists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Scandinavian Lutherans  Moral Reformers  Northern states Supported by Northern whites, blacks, & nativists Supported big business & favored anti-immigration laws Weakened by opposition to the CW “Solid South” Litergicals: Catholics, Episcopalian, German Lutherans Mid-Atlantic and lower Midwestern states

12 Bourbon Democrats Planter-merchant elite dominated southern politics New South: entrepreneurs eager to promote a more diversified economy based upon industrial development and railroad expansion Promote business interests, laissez-faire capitalism and opposed overseas expansion

13 Election of 1888 Democrats: Cleveland Republicans: Benjamin Harrison, grandson of President Harrison and a decorated war vet The Republicans accepted Cleveland’s challenge to make the protective tariff the chief issue; it also promised a generous pension to Civil War vets Cleveland won the popular vote; Harrison won the electoral college

14 Urban Political Machines political machines Urban “political machines” were loose networks of party precinct captains led by a “boss” – Tammany Hall was the most famous machine; Boss Tweed led the corrupt “Tweed Ring” – Political machines were not all corrupt (“honest graft”); helped the urban poor & built public works like the Brooklyn Bridge


16 The Farm Problem The most discontent group during the Gilded Age were farmers: – Harsh farming conditions – Declining grain & cotton prices – Rising RR rates & mortgages – Government deflation policies Farmers lashed out at banks, merchants, railroads, & the U.S. monetary system (gold standard)

17 The Currency Debate Grant’s decision to reduce the number of greenbacks deflated the post-war money supply: – By 1879, the U.S. returned to the international gold standard & stabilized the U.S. economy – But this policy hurt western farmers because money was more scarce & credit was limited

18 Greenback & Silver Movements Many farmers supported the “free silver” movement: – The U.S. minted silver & gold coins at a ratio of 16:1, but stopped in 1873 due to an oversupply of gold – But western miners found huge lodes of silver & wanted “free silver”—the gov’t should buy all silver from miners & coin it

19 The Grange Formed in the 1870s by farmers in the Great Plains and South who suffered boom and bust conditions and natural disasters Blamed hard times on a band of “thieves in the night,” especially railroads Pushed through laws regulating shipping rates and other farm costs. Created their own grain elevators, mutual insurance and set up retail stores for farm machinery. – The depression of the late 1870s wiped out most of these programs.

20 The National Farmers’ Alliance In the 1880s, the National Farmers’ Alliance joined forced with the Colored Farmers’ Alliance to replace the Grange as the leading farmers’ group with the goals to: – challenge the disproportionate power of the governing class – restore democracy – establish a cooperative economic program Northern Plains farmer organizations soon joined the Alliance Midwestern farm groups battled railroad influence. Ocala Demands By 1890, the Alliance was a major power in several states demanding demanded a series of economic reforms known as the Ocala Demands: – Allow farmers to store crops in gov’t silos when prices are bad – Free-coinage of silver, a federal income tax, & regulation of RRs – Direct election of U.S. senators

21 Workers Search for Power In 1877, a “Great Uprising” shut down railroads all across the country. – Federal troops were called out, precipitating violence. – Government created national guards to prevent similar occurrences. Workers organized stronger unions that increasingly resorted to strikes and created labor parties. Henry George ran for mayor of New York on the United Labor Party ticket and finished a respectable second. In the late 1880s, labor parties won seats on numerous city councils and in state legislatures in industrial areas where workers outnumbered other classes.

22 Women Build Alliances Women actively shaped labor and agrarian protest. The Knights included women at their national convention and even ran day-care centers and baking cooperatives. Women were active members in the Grange and Alliances. The greatest female leader was Frances E. Willard, who: – was president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union – mobilized nearly 1 million women to promote reform and to work for women’s suffrage

23 Populism and the People’s Party Between 1890 and 1892, the Farmers’ Alliance, the Knights of Labor, the National Colored Farmers’ Alliance and other organizations formed the People’s Party. The People’s Party platform called for: – government ownership of railroads, banks, and the telegraph – the eight-hour day – the graduated income tax, and other reforms Though the party lost the 1892 presidential race, Populists elected three governors, ten congressional representatives, and five senators.

24 Populism and the People’s Party Between 1890 and 1892, the Farmers’ Alliance, the Knights of Labor, the National Colored Farmers’ Alliance and other organizations formed the People’s Party. The People’s Party platform called for: – government ownership of railroads, banks, and the telegraph – the eight-hour day – the graduated income tax, and other reforms Populists emerged as a powerful 3 rd party & got numerous state & national politicians elected In 1892 they even launched a 3 rd party candidate…

25 BENJAMIN HARRISON Congress passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the McKinley Tariff Acts and admitted Idaho and Wyoming as new states The McKinley tariff of 1890 raised duties on manufactured goods to the highest level ever 1890 midterm election: landslide Democratic victory 1892: Cleveland becomes the only president in history to ever serve two, non-consecutive terms

26 The Election of 1896 William Jennings Bryan A Populist-Democrat merger looked possible in 1896 when William Jennings Bryan received the Democratic nomination against Repub William McKinley: – Called for free silver & income tax; attacked trusts & injunctions – Bryan visited 26 states on his whistle-stop campaign to educate Americans about silver

27 The McKinley Administration Republicans benefited from an improving economy, better crop production, & discoveries of gold: – The election of 1896 cemented Republican rule & became the party of prosperity promoted regulate – From 1860-1890, Republicans had promoted industry; by 1900, it was time to regulate it

28 The McKinley Administration McKinley was an activist president and became the first “modern” president: – He communicated well with the press – The Spanish-American War brought the USA respect as a world power – The Gold Standard Act – The Gold Standard Act (1900) ended the silver controversy


30 The Depression of 1893 The most serious blow to politics in the Gilded Age was a five-year depression that began in 1893: – Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 destabilized currency (remember, it was repealed in 1893 by Cleveland) – A stock market panic occurred when the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad went bankrupt – 500 banks (nearly 50%), 200 railroads, & 1,500 businesses failed – Companies cut wages & laid off workers; unemployment hit 20%

31 Long Depression Full recovery was not achieved until the early 1900s. – Unemployment soared and many suffered great hardships. – Tens of thousands took to the road in search of work or food. – The Klondike Gold Rush of 1897 finally pulled the US out of the “Long Depression” Jacob Coxey called for a march on Washington to demand relief through public works programs. – “ Coxey’s Army” was greeted warmly by most communities on the way to Washington. – The attorney general, who was a former lawyer for a railroad company, conspired to stop the march. – Police clubbed and arrested the marchers for trespassing on the grass in Washington.

32 Coxey’s Army (1894) In 1894, there were 1,400 strikes led by hordes of unemployed people demanding gov’t relief: – Jacob Coxey led an “army” from Ohio to D.C. to convince Congress to create jobs by spending $500 million on new roads

33 The Pullman Strike (1894) In 1894, Pullman Palace Car workers went on strike when the company cut wages by 50% Eugene V. Debs – American RR Union leader Eugene V. Debs called for a national railroad strike – President Cleveland issued an injunction & sent the army to end the strike & resume rail traffic – Strikers in 27 states resisted U.S. troops & dozens died

34 Pullman Strikes 1894 3000 Wildcat Strike  125,000 (four days)  250,000 in 27 states Scabs Pres. Cleveland Eugene V. Debs & Clarence Darrow

35 The Pullman Strike (1894) Effects of the Pullman Strike: – Eugene Debs was arrested & became committed to socialism while in jail, sparking a brief U.S. socialist movement In re Debs – In the 1895 case, In re Debs, the Supreme Court used the Sherman Antitrust Act to uphold Cleveland’s injunction since the strike “restrained” U.S. trade

36 Strikes: Coeur d’Alene, Homestead, and Pullman Strikes were sparked by wage cuts, longer work days, and big business attempts to destroy unions. In Idaho, a violence-plagued strike was broken by federal and state troops. – The miners formed the Western Federation of Miners. The hard times precipitated a bloody confrontation at Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead steel plant. A major strike in Pullman, Illinois: – spread throughout the nation’s railroad system – ended with the arrest of Eugene Debs – resulted in bitter confrontations between federal troops and workers in Chicago and other cities.

37 The Free Silver Issue Grover Cleveland won the 1892 election by capturing the traditional Democratic Solid South and German voters alienated by Republican nativist appeals. When the economy collapsed in 1893, government figures concentrated on longstanding currency issues to provide a solution. The debate was over hard money backed by gold or soft money backed by silver. – Cleveland favored a return to the gold standard, losing much popular support.

38 Populism's Last Campaign The hard times strengthened the Populists, who were silver advocates. They recorded strong gains in 1894. But in 1896, when the Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan as a champion of free silver, Populists decided to run a fusion ticket of Bryan and Tom Watson. Republicans ran William McKinley as a safe alternative to Bryan. – Republicans characterized Bryan as a dangerous man who would cost voters their jobs.

39 The Election of 1896 Bryan won 46% of the vote but failed to carry the Midwest, Far West, and Upper South. – Traditional Democratic groups like Catholics were uncomfortable with Bryan and voted Republican. The Populists disappeared and the Democrats became a minority party. McKinley promoted a mixture of pro-business and expansionist foreign policies. The return to prosperity after 1898 insured continued Republican control.


41 Nativism and Jim Crow Neither McKinley nor Bryan addressed the increased racism and nativism throughout the nation. – Nativists blamed foreign workers for hard times and considered them unfit for democracy. The decline of the Populist party led to the establishment of white supremacy as the political force in the South. – Southern whites enacted a system of legal segregation and disenfranchised blacks, approved by the Supreme Court. Reformers abandoned their traditional support for black rights and accepted segregation and disenfranchisement. 1896 legal case, Plessy v. Ferguson, legalized “separate but equal” in private establishments, ex. railroads

42 Mob Violence and Lynching Racial violence escalated. Between 1882 and 1900 lynchings usually exceeded a hundred each year. – They were announced in newspapers and became public spectacles. – Railroads offered special excursion prices to people traveling to attend lynchings. – Postcards were often printed as souvenirs. Ida B. Wells launched a one-woman anti-lynching crusade. – She argued that lynching was a brutal device to get rid of African Americans who were becoming too powerful or prosperous.


44 The White Man’s Burden Many Americans proposed that the economic crisis required new markets for American production. Others suggested Americans needed new frontiers to maintain their democracy. The Chicago World’s Fair: – showed how American products might be marketed throughout the world – reinforced a sense of stark contrast between civilized Anglo-Saxons and savage people of color. A growing number of writers urged America to take up the “White Man’s Burden.” Clergymen like Josiah Strong urged Americans to help Christianize and civilize the world.

45 For and Against American Anti-Imperialist League Republicanism White Man’s Burden Missionary Capitalism Social Darwinism Manifest Destiny (Turner, City Upon a Hill) Anti-ImperialismImperialists

46 Foreign Missions After the Civil War, missionary activity increased throughout the non-western world. – College campuses blazed with missionary excitement. – The YMCA and YWCA embarked on a worldwide crusade to reach non-Christians. Missionaries helped generate public interest in foreign lands and laid the groundwork for economic expansion.

47 An Overseas Empire Beginning in the late 1860s, the United States began expanding overseas. Secretary of State William Henry Seward launched the nation’s Pacific empire by buying Alaska and expanding the United States presence in Hawaii. The U.S. policy emphasized economic control, particularly in Latin America. During the 1880s and 1890s, the United States strengthened its navy and began playing an increased role throughout the Western Hemisphere and the Pacific.

48 Imperialism  Creating economic, cultural, and territorial relationships  Empire building  Global Context  Source of Raw Materials  Market for Exports  Divert urban energies  New Frontier in American History???

49 China’s Open Door End of Sino-Japanese War in 1895 leaves a power vacuum in China Secretary of State, John Hay requests “Open-Door Policy” spheres of influence 1900 – Boxer Rebellion “kill foreign devils”

50 Annexation of Hawaii 1880s July 1898 – Newlands Resolution Joint Resolution Extension of Chinese Exclusion Act to Hawaii and restriction of immigration 1900 -

51 Hawaii The United States annexed Hawaii in 1898. Hawaii was a stepping-stone to Asian markets. In 1899, Secretary of State John Hay proclaimed the Open Door policy in Asia to ensure American access and laid the basis for twentieth-century foreign policy.

52 Campaign of 1900 – McKinley reelected in 1900 campaign on “return to prosperity” as the Long Depression is finally over – Bryan seen as one-issue candidate – Theodore Roosevelt elected as VP – Roosevelt takes over presidency in 1901 after McKinley is shot and killed Uses presidency as “bully pulpit” Big Stick diplomacy

53 Panama! Panama Canal – Hay-Paunceforte Treaty of 1901 – British consent to American plan for a canal across Panama – 1903 - Colombia rejects the treat (Panama was province of Colombia) 500 Panamanians revolt against Colombians and US prevents Colombian troops from surprising the rebellion – Nov. 7, 1903 – Panama is declared independent Nov. 18 Panama signs treaty extending Canal Zone – Canal opens two weeks after the outbreak of WWI

54 Roosevelt Corollary Roosevelt Corollary - 1904 – Starts over crisis in Dominican Republic – Stabilize Caribbean and Central America – Monroe Doctrine prohibited European intervention in the regions, the US was justified in intervening first to prevent the actions of outsiders and would act as an “international police power”

55 Plessy v. Ferguson; McKinley defeats Bryan for President 18961898 Sinking of the Maine; Philippines Islands Hawaii Annexed by US 1899 Filipino insurrection; Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American War; Open Door Policy in China 1900 Boxer Rebellion in China 1901190219031904 Theodore Roosevelt elected President Platt Amendment US Recognizes Panama’s independence Roosevelt issues the Roosevelt Corollary


57 The United States and Cuba A movement to gain independence from Spain began in the 1860s. Americans sympathized with Cuban revolutionaries. – The Spanish were imposing harsh taxes. – By 1895, public interest in Cuban affairs grew, spurred on by grisly horror stories of Spanish treatment of revolutionaries. Spanish misrule of Cuba only provided a justification American Investments in Cuba and Sugar and mining were increasing Cuban Revolt/ “Cuba Libra”

58 Remember the Maine February 15, 1898, the USS Maine explodes in Havana harbor Blame the Spanish for torpedoing the ship Battle cry of “Remember the Maine! To Hell With Spain” Roosevelt (Sect. of Navy) “An act of dirty treachery on the part of the Spaniards.” The US, “Needs a war.” New York Journal, “The Whole Country Thrills with War Fever”

59 Yellow Journalism Yellow Journalism (Hearst and Pulizter) De Lome Letter McKinley’s war message – April 11 th, 1898 Approved April 21 st, 1898 April 22 – Blockade of Cuba, an act of war under international law Teddy Roosevelt resigns as Secretary of the Navy to form the Rough Riders

60 A “Splendid Little War” in Cuba The United States smashed Spanish power in what John Hay called “a splendid little war.” The Platt Amendment protected U. S. interests and acknowledged its unilateral right to intervene in Cuban affairs. – This amendment paved the way for U.S. domination of Cuba’s sugar industry and provoked anti-American sentiments among Cuban nationals. The United States also annexed a number of other Caribbean and Pacific islands including the Philippines. July 25 th – Americans moved to Puerto Rico Treaty of Paris – December 10, 1898 (144 day war)

61 War in Philippines – Roosevelt ordered Commodore George Dewey to Philippines to engage Spanish ships – Dewey destroyed or captured all the Spanish warships in Manila Bay – Fight for control of the island against Emilio Aguinaldo (until 1930s)

62 War in the Philippines Initially, Filipino rebels welcomed American troops in their fight against Spain. After the United States intended to annex their country, they turned against their former allies. Between 1899 and 1902, Americans fought a war that led to the death of one in every five Filipinos. – Supporters defended the war as bringing civilization to the Filipinos. – Critics saw the abandonment of traditional support for self- determination and warned against bringing in dark-skinned people.

63 Critics of Empire The Filipino war stimulated the founding of an Anti- Imperialist League that denounced the war and territorial annexation in no uncertain terms. Critics cited democratic and racists reasons for anti- imperialism. Most Americans put aside their doubts and welcomed the new era of aggressive nationalism.

64 A Decade of Changes: The 1890s The Depression of 1893 and the problems faced by farmers & industrial workers forced people to rethink industry, urbanization, & the quality of American life Many embraced the need for reform which opened the door to the Progressive Era

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