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Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age 1869-1896 A. Best and worst of American civilization---1870 to 1900 Major events Industrial expansion, inventors.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age 1869-1896 A. Best and worst of American civilization---1870 to 1900 Major events Industrial expansion, inventors."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age

3 A. Best and worst of American civilization to 1900 Major events Industrial expansion, inventors and inventions Settlement of the West Railroad = symbol of growth = distribution system Rise of a labor unions (rise of the factory worker) Rise of immigration Urbanization (from farms to cities) Political parties took no clear cut stand on issues Captains of industry influenced political leaders laissez-faire systemcapitalism..protect a laissez-faire system and capitalism.. B. Examples of Corruption & “the Forgettable Presidents” 1.Ulysses S. Grant ( )–Presidential scandals 2. Rutherford B. Hayes ( )- Ends Reconstruction!

4 3. James A. Garfied Republican Assassinated by an upset spoils man--Charles Guiteau 4. Chester A. Arthur to Republicans Pendleton Civil Service Act--reformed the spoils system 5. Grover Cleveland to 1889 and 1893 to 1897 Only Democrat---Serves two terms but not consecutive Conflicts between business and labor. Formation of Labor Unions Haymarket Riot Pullman Strike Interstate Commerce Act Tariff of Benjamin Harrison to Republican Four major laws were signed during his presidency: Sherman Anti-Trust Act Sherman Silver Purchase Act McKinley Tariff Act Dependent Pension Act

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7 Two Different Worlds 1  “The Gilded Age”- book by Mark Twain; echoed the disillusionment with the time.  millionaires ,800  1900, 90% of wealth, controlled by 10% of population.

8 Gilded Age Politics Every presidential election was close. House majority party changed hands 6 times in 11 sessions few differences between the Democrats & Republicans (agreed on economic issues). Evenly organized= Elections competitive & tight; turnout = 80% Major differences= (ethnic & cultural) & religious A)Republicans- stressed personal morality (Puritan influence), tend to be Protestant, from the mid-west & small-town NE, supported by Freemen & GAR * Government should regulate moral & economic affairs. B) Democrats- mainly Catholic or Lutheran, less stern view of human weakness, supported strongly in the South & northern industrial cities (ruled by Political Machines)

9 **The Spoils System (Patronage) The life blood of both parties. Became a contentious issue in the Republican Party in the 1870’s & 1880’s. Stalwarts- Republicans who favored the Spoils System (led by Roscoe Conkling of NY). Half-Breeds- Republicans who favored reforming the Spoils System. (James G. Blaine of Maine).

10 America After the Civil War census- 39 million people; US is 3 rd largest nation behind Russia & France. Election of 1868 – “Waving the Bloody Shirt” Republicans : nominated Ulysses S. Grant Platform- continue Congressional (Military) Reconstruction “Let us have peace”- Grant Hometown- Galena, Ohio Democrats: met at convention & denounced Military Reconstruction; party was split over monetary policy. Wealthy eastern delegates= demanded federal war bonds to be redeemed for gold (most bonds had been purchased in greenbacks which had been depreciated). Poor Mid-western delegates= The Ohio Idea (redemption of war bonds for greenbacks)= more money in circulation= low interest rates (wealthy eastern elite-redeem war bonds for gold) Nominated former NY Governor Horatio Seymour who repudiated the Ohio Idea (killed chance to win).

11 The 1868 Campaign Republicans- waved the bloody shirt; “Vote as You shot” Grant won (214 to 80 electoral)- 300,000 more popular votes most whites supported Seymour ballots in 3 unreconstructed states (Miss., Texas, Virginia) not counted. Grant received 500,000 votes from former slaves= gave Grant the advantage.

12 Electoral Map 1868

13 “The Era of Good Stealing” –Corruption in the Gilded Age Most Business people & government officials conducted themselves with decency but… 1.Jim Fiske & Jay Gould- scheme to corner the gold market (1869) Conspirators worked on Grant (get Treasury to stop selling gold) through his brother-in-law (who got $25,000) “Black Friday” (Sept. 1869) Fiske & Gould bid the price of gold up= US Treasury had to release gold Congressional investigation= Grant did nothing wrong 2. * Tammany Hall (**William “Boss” Tweed) Engaged in bribery, graft, fraud elections- swindled $200 million from public coffers. NY Times- 1871; published evidence against Tweed Thomas Nast- NY Times political cartoonist; attacked Tweed. District Attorney- Samuel Tilden prosecuted Tweed; Tweed died in prison (1873).

14 *Political Machine Organized group that controls a city’s political party Give services to voters, businesses for political, financial support After Civil War, machines gain control of major cities Machine organization: precinct captains, ward bosses, city boss The Emergence of Political Machines

15 The Role of the Political Boss May serve as mayor he: controls city jobs, business licenses influences courts, municipal agencies arranges building projects, community services Bosses paid by businesses, get voters’ loyalty, extend influence Immigrants and the Machine Many captains, bosses 1 st or 2 nd generation Americans Machines help immigrants with naturalization, jobs, housing Election Fraud and Graft Machines use electoral fraud to win elections GraftGraft—illegal use of political influence for personal gain Machines take kickbacks, bribes to allow legal, illegal activities

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18  Exposed for his corruption by cartoonist and editor, *Thomas Nast  Tweed Ring fell and 1873 Tweed convicted of embezzlement  Later Tweed was arrested on a civil charge and jailed in NYC, later died there

19 Election of 1872 Republicans Re-nominated U.S. Grant (Henry Wilson VP) Liberal Republicans & Democrats nominate Horace Greeley (Greeley Finally ran as a Dem.) “Throw the rascals out” Liberal Republicans –oppose Grant/ corruption Equal Rights Party – nominated Victoria Woodhull pres. And Frederick Douglas for VP Grant Wins General Amnesty Act- 500 former confederate leaders pardoned. Congress-reduced high Civil War tariffs, passed mild civil service reforms.

20 Election of 1872

21 *Credit Mobilier (1872) 1860’s Congress authorized the Union Pacific & Central Pacific to oversee the building of Transcontinental RR. Began in Union Pacific investors bought a construction company (Credit Mobilier) Instead of hiring others to construct the RR, UP investors would pay themselves. Credit Mobilier charged the UP double the cost of the build- going into the pockets of the UP stockholders. (348% dividend) News paper & Congressional Investigations= 2 Congressmen censured & stories that the VP had taken payments

22 *The Panic of 1873 Causes: over speculation (too many risky loans) & overproduction (too many miles of track, mines, factories, grain fields). 15,000 bankruptcies Banks collapse 2 groups Hardest hit- A.African-Americans (Freedmen’s Savings & Trust went bankrupt= $7 million lost from black depositors. B.Debtors= increase calls for inflationary policies. Debtors wanted more Greenbacks to be issued (1868- US Treasury had withdrawn $100 million in Greenbacks). Creditors wanted tight money policy (more Greenbacks withdrawn; or gold based money)= convinced Grant to veto a bill to print more paper money.

23 **The Currency Issue Creditors-people who loan or have money to loan. Favor “hard money” Favor “hard money” Deflation Deflation Gold standard Gold standardWhy? Less $ in circulation=makes money worth more Less $ in circulation=makes money worth more Credit tighter/fewer loans/less competition Credit tighter/fewer loans/less competition More opportunities to consolidate/monopolize/ acquire goods More opportunities to consolidate/monopolize/ acquire goods Debtors- people who owe or borrow. Favor “soft money” Favor “soft money” Inflation Inflation Silver or “greenbacks” Silver or “greenbacks”Why? More money in circulation More money in circulation Easier to pay loans/bills Easier to pay loans/bills Easier to get credit Easier to get credit Expanded jobs Expanded jobs More small businesses More small businesses Less monopolies Less monopolies

24 Silver & Monetary debate Debtors- began to demand coinage of silver (soft or loose money policy!) US Treasury claimed that one ounce of silver was worth= 1/16 of an ounce of gold (silver actually sold for more in open market). Silver miners stopped offering silver to federal mints Congress dropped coinage of silver=“Crime of 73”- Congress formally stopped coinage of silver dollars. Westerners (miners) joined debtors= attacked Crime of 73’. “Contraction Policy” -Republicans Grant vetoed a bill to print more paper money Resumption Act- US gov’t pledged to withdraw more paper money from circulation & redeem paper money for gold at face value. Debtors began to demand coinage of silver & paper money Value DECREASED! ($19.42 TO $19.37) Political Backlash over Hard Money Policy Democrats take the House 1874 & 1878

25 The Greenback Labor Party ( ) Created because of the policies of the Republicans (contraction) (deflation) Created because of the policies of the Republicans (contraction) (deflation) Polled over a million votes Polled over a million votes Elected 14 members of Congress Elected 14 members of Congress “Opportunities naturally exist for the energies of all, but man's selfishness towards man has discouraged industry, by sanctioning for ages, through law and usage, the excessive value of money and interest, thereby causing deprivation and suffering to the many for the benefit of the few.”-Work for the Worker: Wealth to the Nation (Dupuy)

26 *Whiskey Ring ( ) A group of President Grant’s officials imported whiskey Used their offices to avoid paying taxes Cheated US treasury of millions. Grant’s private secretary involved (Grant wrote a letter to exonerate) Salary Grab Congress gave itself a raise, $5,000 to $7,500 annually. Congressmen received a retroactive check for $5,000, plus their raise……Became a political issue….Later repealed.

27 Election 1876 HOR-PASSED RESOLUTION THAT PREVENTED GRANT FROM RUNNING FOR A THIRD TERM. Republicans nominated Ohioan Rutherford B. Hayes (185 electoral votes– 4.0 million pop. Vote) Democrats nominated Samuel Tilden (184 electoral votes—4.3 million pop. Votes). **Ohio was a swing state –important to elections of the late 19 th century.

28 Rutherford B. Hayes Samuel Tilden

29 total electoral votes, need 185 to win Election Tilden did not receive enough electoral votes. Special Commission gives votes to Hayes. Hayes wins the election Democrats refuse to recognize Hayes as President 1876 Election Tilden did not receive enough electoral votes. Special Commission gives votes to Hayes. Hayes wins the election Democrats refuse to recognize Hayes as President * *Disputed Electoral votes

30 The Election of 1876 & *The Compromise of electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency (Tilden 184) 4 states (3 in the South still under reconstruction) worth 20 electoral votes remained. Both parties sent “visiting statesmen” to the disputed states of Louisiana, SC, & Florida. (all had submitted two sets of returns) Feb A commission of House, Senate, & Supreme Court members met= Democrats agreed to allow Hayes the victory IF: he removed US troops from the two states where they remained (SC & Louisiana). Republicans promised Democrats patronage & support a bill for southern transcontinental RR. ** RECONSTRUCTION ENDS--THE POLITICAL COMPROMISE SACRIFICED THE COMMITMENT TO BLACK EQUALITY IN THE South.

31 The Era of Jim Crow As the last of the federal troops left the South, Democratic “Redeemer” governments began to take away the advancements that African-Americans had made since the end of the war. POLL TAXES LITERACY TESTS Grandfather Clause 1.Sharecropping system emerges- blacks & poor whites trapped in debt peonage through crop liens ’s Segregation laws ** (Jim Crow)- 3.Lynching –record numbers of blacks lynched in the 1890’s.

32 Important Civil Rights Action The *Civil Rights Act of guaranteed equal accommodations in public places; prohibited discrimination in jury selection- weak & not enforced. The *Civil Rights Act of guaranteed equal accommodations in public places; prohibited discrimination in jury selection- weak & not enforced. *Civil Rights Cases (1883)- Supreme Court ruled much of Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional; declared that 14 th Amendment prohibited only government violations of civil rights, not violations by individuals. *Civil Rights Cases (1883)- Supreme Court ruled much of Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional; declared that 14 th Amendment prohibited only government violations of civil rights, not violations by individuals. *Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)- Supreme Court ruled that states could have “separate but equal” facilities for blacks & whites… (does not violate 14 th Amendment- not discriminatory). *Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)- Supreme Court ruled that states could have “separate but equal” facilities for blacks & whites… (does not violate 14 th Amendment- not discriminatory).

33 Class Conflict in the Gilded Age * The Great Railroad Strike (1877) 1 st major labor strike in US History. 1000’s of railroad workers involved 1000’s of railroad workers involved Pres. Hayes sent federal troops to stop the strike (100 people dead) Pres. Hayes sent federal troops to stop the strike (100 people dead) Inspired other workers to strike from Baltimore to St. Louis Inspired other workers to strike from Baltimore to St. Louis Failure showed weakness of labor movement Failure showed weakness of labor movement Factors that contributed to labor disunity Racial & ethnic divisions among workers Racial & ethnic divisions among workers Asian Immigrants vs. California Irish Asian Immigrants vs. California Irish 1850’s-1880’s Asians came to work in gold mines & Railroad 1850’s-1880’s Asians came to work in gold mines & Railroad Asians took menial jobs, faced discrimination Asians took menial jobs, faced discrimination “Kearneyites”- resented cheap Asian labor. “Kearneyites”- resented cheap Asian labor * The Chinese Exclusion Act- prohibited immigration from China until 1943; 1 st law to limit immigration! * The Chinese Exclusion Act- prohibited immigration from China until 1943; 1 st law to limit immigration! US v. Wong- Supreme Court ruled that 14 th Amendment granted citizenship to all born in US- EVEN ASIANS! US v. Wong- Supreme Court ruled that 14 th Amendment granted citizenship to all born in US- EVEN ASIANS!

34 President Rutherford Hayes  Elected in 1877  Reformed the civil service, appointing qualified political independents instead of giving positions to supporters.  No Congressional support or from the Republican Party.  Hayes did not seek a second term. President James A. Garfield  1880 election, Republicans were split into 3 factions. Stalwarts defended the spoils system—Senator Roscoe Conkling Half-Breeds reform but still supported it– Senator James Blaine Independents opposed the spoils system.  Garfield wanted reforms. His running-mate was Chester Arthur, a Stalwart.

35 1880 Presidential Election: Democrat Candidates Hancock was a Civil War Union vet

36 1880 Presidential Election - Republicans “dark horse” candidate James Garfield & Chester Arthur Arthur was a “stalwart” & Garfield was a “half-breed”.

37 1880 Presidential Election

38 1881: Garfield Assassinated! Charles Guiteau, a “stalwart”: I Am a Stalwart, and Arthur is President now!

39 First Metal Detector- invented By Alexander Graham Bell to locate the bullet in Garfield. Several attempts were unsuccessful in locating the bullet.

40 Assassinated by an upset Spoils man. Led to VP Chester Arthur (Stalwart) becoming president Unlike stalwarts; Arthur supported a change to the corrupt spoils system. Pendleton Act the Civil Service ActArthur signed into the law the * Pendleton Act also called the Civil Service Act.

41 *Pendleton Act (1883)  Civil Service Act.  ** required potential government workers take an exam to determine qualifications.  1883  14,000 out of 117,000 federal govt. jobs became civil service exam positions.  1900  100,000 out of 200,000 civil service federal govt. jobs.  * Significance- End of the Spoils System in US & led politicians to Look elsewhere for money- big corporations!!

42 Arthur Reforms: the Civil Service

43 The 1884 Election Republican- James G. Blaine's nomination split the Republican Party (“Mulligan Letters”- “burn this letter”.) Republicans who could not support Blaine bolted to Democrats (“Mugwumps”) Republicans who could not support Blaine bolted to Democrats (“Mugwumps”) Democrats- nominated Grover Cleveland (reformer); mayor (Buff.) governor (NY); “Grover the Good” Democrats- nominated Grover Cleveland (reformer); mayor (Buff.) governor (NY); “Grover the Good” Mudslinging – Cleveland was accused of fathering illegitimate child Mudslinging – Cleveland was accused of fathering illegitimate child * “waving the bloody shirt” did not materialize- neither candidate served in the war * “waving the bloody shirt” did not materialize- neither candidate served in the war

44 Ma…Ma… Where’s my Pa? Gone to Washington ha.. Ha.. Ha. Pivotal election came down to NY Blaine’s Blunder- failed to Repudiate a Republican clergymen who referred to the Democrats as the party of “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion”- cost Blaine Irish votes in NY Cleveland won NY votes Cleveland -1 st Democratic President since Buchanan (1856)

45 Cleveland’s Presidency 1. Supporter of “Laissez-Faire” government vetoed a bill to provide seeds to Texas farmers in drought stricken areas– “Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people” vetoed a bill to provide seeds to Texas farmers in drought stricken areas– “Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people” 2. Patronage- fired 2/3 of 120,000 federal government workers to make room for Democrats. 3. Vetoed many Veteran (GAR) pension bills 4. Keep tariff low

46 Grover Cleveland & the Economy tariffs had been kept to high levels= annual surplus of $145 million tariffs had been kept to high levels= annual surplus of $145 million Cleveland appealed to Congress to lower tariffs== provided a real issue that divided the parties for the 1 st time in years! Cleveland appealed to Congress to lower tariffs== provided a real issue that divided the parties for the 1 st time in years! Election of 1888 Cleveland Democrats- re-nominated Cleveland Republicans- nominated Benjamin Harrison (grandson of William Henry Harrison) Primary issue- the Tariff (Republicans raised $3 million in political campaign funds from corporations- unintended consequence of Pendleton Act)- Mark Hannah Primary issue- the Tariff (Republicans raised $3 million in political campaign funds from corporations- unintended consequence of Pendleton Act)- Mark Hannah Harrison edged out Cleveland Harrison edged out Cleveland

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48 The Billion Dollar Congress Republicans held on 3 more votes in the House for a quorum = Democrats could threaten to delay & hold up votes. Republicans held on 3 more votes in the House for a quorum = Democrats could threaten to delay & hold up votes. Speaker of the House (Republican- Thomas Reed)- “Czar Reed” used his power to thwart the Democrats Speaker of the House (Republican- Thomas Reed)- “Czar Reed” used his power to thwart the Democrats 1 st Congress in history to appropriate $1 million 1 st Congress in history to appropriate $1 million Spent money on: pensions for war vets, increased purchases of silver Spent money on: pensions for war vets, increased purchases of silver **McKinley Tariff (1890)- raised tariffs to highest peacetime level ever (48.4% on dutiable goods) Hurt US farmers- buy expensive US industries & sold products overseas (competitive & unprotected) Hurt US farmers- buy expensive US industries & sold products overseas (competitive & unprotected) Congressional elections Rural voters gave Democrats a majority in the House- ANGRY VOTERS Congressional elections Rural voters gave Democrats a majority in the House- ANGRY VOTERS Farmer’s Alliance –elects 9 members to Congress. Farmer’s Alliance –elects 9 members to Congress.

49 1892 Election Grover Cleveland (Democrat) Grover Cleveland (Democrat) Benjamin Harrison (Republican) Benjamin Harrison (Republican) James B. Weaver (Populist Party-People’s Party) James B. Weaver (Populist Party-People’s Party) Election demonstrated the DISCONTENT in the country. Election demonstrated the DISCONTENT in the country. 2 major labor strikes 2 major labor strikes Homestead Strike Coeur d’Alene Silver Miners Strike- fed. Troops crush the strike & kill miners.

50 **The Populist Movement People’s Party (Populists) formed; Movement by farmers to have their needs/concerns addressed People’s Party (Populists) formed; Movement by farmers to have their needs/concerns addressed. **The Omaha Platform: free unlimited coinage of silver at rate of rate of 16:1 (1 oz. of gold) ratio free unlimited coinage of silver at rate of rate of 16:1 (1 oz. of gold) ratio Graduated income tax Graduated income tax Government ownership of RR, telegraph, & phone Government ownership of RR, telegraph, & phone Direct election of Senators Direct election of Senators One term limit for president One term limit for president Adoption of initiative & referendum Adoption of initiative & referendum Shorter workday Shorter workday Immigration restriction Immigration restriction The “Australian Ballot” secret ballot The “Australian Ballot” secret ballot * NOMINATED Gen. James Weaver for Pres (Green backer)

51 **The Homestead Strike (1892) Part of a series of nationwide strikes in 1892 Part of a series of nationwide strikes in 1892 Place: Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead Steel Plant (NEAR Pittsburgh PA) Place: Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead Steel Plant (NEAR Pittsburgh PA) Company used 300 armed, hired detectives (Pinkerton’s) to crush the strike (10 dead;60 wounded) Company used 300 armed, hired detectives (Pinkerton’s) to crush the strike (10 dead;60 wounded) US troops eventually joined in- strike & union were broken. US troops eventually joined in- strike & union were broken.

52 Election of 1892 Populist Party- tallied over a million Popular votes & 22 electoral votes Industrial workers (Eastern) never rallied to Populist cause the South did not rally with Populists (race)= white voters Turned more to poll taxes & literacy test * Except in NC – Fusion Party controlled many gov’ts & cities; leads to Wilmington Riots- supposedly only Coup de tet in US history Populist lapsed into racism. Watson quote p. 526 l

53 Cleveland’s 2 nd Term Only President reelected after a defeat Only President reelected after a defeat Depression of 1893 lasted 4 years; the most devastating in the 19 th century lasted 4 years; the most devastating in the 19 th century Causes: overbuilding, over speculation, labor disputes, agricultural depression- free silver Causes: overbuilding, over speculation, labor disputes, agricultural depression- free silver 8,000 US businesses closed in 6 months 8,000 US businesses closed in 6 months Soup kitchens fed unemployed, hobos wandered looking for work Soup kitchens fed unemployed, hobos wandered looking for work Government had a deficit- Cleveland supported a bill to do away with purchase of silver- alienated silverite Democrats like (William J. Bryan) Government had a deficit- Cleveland supported a bill to do away with purchase of silver- alienated silverite Democrats like (William J. Bryan) US treasury dropped to $41 million ($100 was safe) US treasury dropped to $41 million ($100 was safe) Cleveland turned to J.P. Morgan & US bankers ($65 million in gold loan)- commission of $7 million Cleveland turned to J.P. Morgan & US bankers ($65 million in gold loan)- commission of $7 million Wilson-Gorman Tariff- did not lower tariffs; included an income tax on income over $4,000 (1895- supreme court struck income tax down) Wilson-Gorman Tariff- did not lower tariffs; included an income tax on income over $4,000 (1895- supreme court struck income tax down)

54 1896 Congressional Elections Republicans regain control of the House Republicans regain control of the House Stage is set for class conflict in 1896 (debtors, farmers, industrial worker v. rich for control of government. Stage is set for class conflict in 1896 (debtors, farmers, industrial worker v. rich for control of government. Wizard of Oz allegory Wizard of Oz allegory

55 Populists? Rural hicks resisting progress or Pure, Progressive grassroots movement? Little country businessmen Little country businessmen Resisted progress Resisted progress Prejudiced against blacks, urbanization, Prejudiced against blacks, urbanization, Immigrants, East, modernity Backwoods-anti- intellectual Backwoods-anti- intellectual Petty politicians Petty politicians New “plutocratic class’ New “plutocratic class’ Anti- business Anti- business Pro-labor, farmer, reform Pro-labor, farmer, reform Defiant of Wall Street Defiant of Wall Street Last real popular movement in US History? Last real popular movement in US History?


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