Presentation on theme: "Chapter 16: Politics and Reform"— Presentation transcript:
1 Chapter 16: Politics and Reform Section 1: Stalemate in Washington
2 President James A. Garfield Office term 1880-1881 I’m not comfortable with the “spoils system”President James A. Garfield was elected in Many of his supporters tried to claim the “spoils of office” and get jobs for themselves in the government after helping him to win office. One of these job seekers was Charles Guiteau who would ask daily for a job. He believed that Vice President Chester Arthur was comfortable with the old spoils system and would give him the position that he deserved and shot him on July 2, 1881.
3 “The President’s tragic death was a sad necessity, but it will united the Republican party and save the Republic…I had no ill-will toward the President. His death was a political necessity. I am a lawyer, theologian, and politician. I am a Stalwart of the Stalwarts…”Charles Guiteau
4 Stalwarts vs. Halfbreeds Stalwart (strong)- patronage-oriented faction of the Republican party late 19th c.Halfbreeds-Republican reformersAssassination of President Garfield highlighted the need to work on reforming politicsPatronage-government jobs assigned to supporters of the winning party in an electionWhen Rutherford B. Hayes entered the White House in 1877, attacked patronage system by appointing reformers to his cabinet.Reformers deemed “halfbreeds”. They were accused of backing reform simply to create openings for their own supporters.“THEY ARE WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING…THEIR REAL OBJECT IS OFFICE AND PLUNDER”VS.
5 Pendleton ActAllowed president to decide which federal jobs would be filled according to rules laid down by a bipartisan Civil Service CommissionCandidates competed for these jobs through exams and appointments could be made only from the list of those who took those exams. Once appointed, a civil service official could not be removed for political reasons.When Chester A. Arthur became president after Garfield’s death, he placed 14,000 jobs (about 1/10 total) of government jobs under the control of civil service.This marks the beginning of a shift away from the spoils system.A+
6 RepublicansRepublicans had voting edge in New England and upper Midwest b/c they had “preserved the Union” as well as established pensions for Civil War veterans-Support of Big business-Farmers of Great Plains-Support abolition, temperance and other reforms-Most Republicans were Protestants who viewed their party as the defender of traditional American morals and values
7 Democrats “Party of personal liberty” Democrats dominated the South where white voters remained anti-Republican following the Civil War and reconstructionSupport of Catholics and immigrants in big cities
8 Voter turn-out and elections Narrow wins betweenSwing states of N.Y., Ohio, and P.A.In 1876 and 1888, candidates lost popular vote but won electionThis happens if candidates win several states by slim popular vote margins, they still receive all the electoral votes in those states. These narrow victories then give the candidate an Electoral College majority, regardless of the overrall popular vote count
10 Election of 1884 Democrats nominate Grover Cleveland of N.Y. Republicans nominate James G. Blaine, former Speaker of the HouseCredit Mobilier scandalMugwumps- Republicans who support Cleveland-moral leaders who help nation over political parties and divisions. N.Y. and MassachusettsCleveland opposes Tammany Hall of N.Y.Bachelor who had fathered a child 10 years earlier “tell the truth”
11 Business and Economy Worker unrest- Haymarket Square Riot 1886 Rebates for large corporationsGovernment should not interfere with corporations’ property rightsWabash v. Illinois 1886Interstate Commerce CommissionLimited RR rates to “reasonable and just”Forbade rebates to high volume usersMade it illegal to charger higher rates for shorter haulsWhile large corporations such as Standard oil were able to negotiate rebates-or partial refunds- and lower rates because of the volume of goods they shipped, others were forced to pay much higher rates.Supreme Court ruled that Illinois could not restrict the rates the Wabash RR charged for traffic between states because only the federal government could regulate interstate commerce.
12 Election of 1888Cleveland and Democrats campaign against unnecessarily high tariffsRepublicans nominate Benjamin HarrisonMcKinley Tariff- cut tobacco taxes and rates on raw sugar but increased textiles to discourage people from buying imports -> Budget deficit Increased payment to Civil War veterans as well
13 Sherman Antitrust Act 1890Declared illegal any “combination in the form of trust…in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States…”The courts were responsible for enforcement. Legislation was vaguely worded, didn’t make big companies change the way they did big business.After act, continued forming many trusts. In 1899, over 1, 200 recorded mergers in manufacturing and mining firms. Sherman Antitrust Act was important for establishing a precedent then its immediate impact.