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Chapter 23 Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 23 Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 23 Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age

2 Facts… 1870 population of 39 million Major contributing factor: immigration 1868 and 1872 Ulysses S. Grant (Republican) elected President of the U.S.

3 Bloody Shirt “Waving the bloody shirt”-used by Republicans to win support in the 1868 election. To keep memories of the civil war fresh in peoples minds.

4 “Grantism” “Grantism” term used to refer to the greed, corruption and incompetence that characterized Grant’s two terms in office.

5 Scandals Black Friday- gold speculation financial crisis, Sept.1869. Jay Gould and James Fisk tried to corner the gold market and tricked Grant into preventing his Sec. of Treasury from stopping the fraud

6 Scandals William Marcy “Boss” Tweed- controlled the Tweed Ring (Tammany Hall) and the Democratic Party in New York City- Controlled the finances of the city Thomas Nast- prominent political cartoonist who exposed Tweed to the public.

7 Scandals Credit Mobilier Several congressman and other influential stockholders of the Union Pacific Railroad organized the Credit Mobilier construction company. Made contracts with themselves, process depleted generous congressional grants to the Union Pacific leaving it in debt. Sold or gave shares of the stock to some members of Congress.

8 Scandals Whiskey Ring 1875 over $3million dollars in taxes stolen from federal government with aid of top officials. Private Secretary of Pres. Grant was indicted. Grant pardoned him.

9 Scandals Belknap Scandal Secretary of War William Belknap took bribes in exchange for the sale of Native American trading post. Grant accepted his resignation.

10 Scandals Sanborn Incident Involved Grant’s Secretary of the Treasury (Richardson) who hired a private citizen to collect back taxes. Agreed to let Sanborn keep half of what he collected, other kicked back to Richardson

11 Panic of 1873 Banks had loaned too much money Construction of more factories, railroad tracks and planted more crops than existing markets could bear

12 Panic of 1873 Solution to panic suggested by debtors- inflationary policies Result of Republican “hard money” policies Greenback Labor Party-1878

13 The Gilded Age Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warren, 1873 The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today Refers to the 30 years following the Civil War

14 Voter Turnout Reason for high voter turnout of the 1870’s and 1880’s: sharp ethnic and cultural differences in the membership of the two parties

15 “Hard Money” Ways “hard money” policies reflected during Gilded Age: Resumption Act of 1875 The Crime of’73 Contraction “gold bugs”

16 Terms Political patronage-handing out jobs in exchange for votes (Jackson-spoils system) Civil service-government administration should go to the most qualified people regardless of political views

17 Terms Stalwarts- they opposed changes in the spoils system. Led by Roscoe Conkling- Republican boss of New York Half-Breeds- favored mild reform of civil service. Led by James G. Blaine

18 Election of 1876 Samuel Tilden (Democrat) the end of reconstruction in the south, end of land grants to RR’s and restriction of oriental immigration Rutherford B. Hayes (Republican) continued control of the south, civil service reform. ◦ Investigation of the effects of oriental immigration

19 Election of 1876 Disputed electoral votes Congressional Committee- 8 Republicans, 7 Democrats. They decided to award all disputed votes to Hayes in return for the Compromise of 1877.


21 Compromise of 1877 Ended reconstruction All federal troops withdrawn from the south

22 Voting Barriers Used in South to keep African Americans from voting: Literacy test- only people who passed a test proving they could read were allowed to vote Poll Tax- had to pay a fee to vote Grandfather Clause- any man could vote if his father or grandfather had been eligible to vote prior to January 1, 1867

23 Jim Crow Laws Jim Crow Laws- segregation laws- used in South to separate the races

24 Plessy v Ferguson 1896 Supreme Court case Ruled that separation of races in public accommodations was legal and did not violate the 14 th amendment – “separate but equal”

25 Chinese Exclusion Act 1882 Banned entry of all Chinese to US except students, teachers, merchants, tourists, government officials. In effect until 1943.

26 1880 Election James Garfield (Republican) (VP candidate Chester A. Arthur) Winfield Scott Hancock (Democrat) Garfield won. Assassinated 4 months after taking office by a disappointed office seeker and a Stalwart

27 Pendleton Act Classifies certain jobs, removed them from the patronage ranks and set up a Civil Service Commission to administer a system based on merit rather than political connections. Requires a competitive examination.

28 Election of 1884 James G. Blaine - Republican Grover Cleveland - Democratic Bitter campaign – focused on negative aspects of the candidates character. Cleveland won

29 Mugwumps Mugwumps- people often portrayed as “fence-sitters” (part of body on the side of the Democrats and part on the Republican side)

30 Cleveland’s First Term Replaced 100’s of Republicans who held unclassified jobs/replaced with Democrats Vetoed bill to distribute seed grain to drought-stricken farmers in Texas Vetoed many private pension bills to Civil War veterans

31 Cleveland’s First Term Angered railroads by ordering investigation of western lands they held by grants and forced the return of millions of acres Signed the Interstate Commerce Act-1 st law attempting to regulate the railroads 1887-he called upon Congress to reduce the tariff

32 1888 Election Cleveland lost election to Benjamin Harrison, a Republican Harrison

33 Harrison’s Presidency McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 ◦ Raised tariffs to the highest level they had been to protect American corporations Passage of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 requiring that silver be used in federal coinage Advocated conservation of forest reserves

34 Harrison’s Presidency Foreign policy include US expansion into the Pacific and Central America Sherman Antitrust Act-1890- in an effort to control/outlaw monopolies 1 st “Billion Dollar Congress” passed Dependant Pension Act that increased number of people receiving pensions and increased spending

35 People’s Party/Populists Party Formed by Southern Alliance and Northwestern Alliance of farmers 1892 drafted the Omaha Platform

36 Omaha Platform Government ownership of railroads Free and unlimited coinage of silver Direct election of US senators The secret ballot A graduated income tax 8 hour work day

37 Omaha Platform Limits on immigration Government storage of crops and advances to farmers on the price of crops until farm prices improved

38 1892 Election Populist candidate in 1892- James B. Weaver 1892 Grover Cleveland won the election.

39 Depression of 1893 Cleveland’s 2 nd term was dominated by the Depression of 1893. Hundreds of banks and businesses failed, stock market plunged, European investors pulled funds from US. Became a worldwide depression.

40 Depression of 1893 Sherman Silver Purchase Act and McKinley Tariff were blamed for the panic. Cleveland asked congress to repeal Sherman Silver Purchase Act. Congress agreed. Populists were furious. Cleveland lost more support as a result of his involvement with J.P. Morgan. The depression brought about an increase in business consolidations.

41 Wilson-Gorman Tariff (1894) During campaign Democratic Party promised a reduction in the tariff. This tariff did little to reduce the rate and included an income tax. Became law without Cleveland’s signature.

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