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“I know now that all that glitters is not gold... However, I still go underrating men of gold, and glorifying men of mica. Commonplace human nature cannot.

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Presentation on theme: "“I know now that all that glitters is not gold... However, I still go underrating men of gold, and glorifying men of mica. Commonplace human nature cannot."— Presentation transcript:

1 “I know now that all that glitters is not gold... However, I still go underrating men of gold, and glorifying men of mica. Commonplace human nature cannot rise above that.” ― Mark TwainMark Twain

2  Republicans nominated Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant  great soldier  had no political experience  Democrats?  could only denounce military Reconstruction

3 Waving the Bloody Shirt!  The Republicans got Grant elected (barely) by “waving the bloody shirt”

4 1868 Presidential Election

5 President Ulysses S. Grant

6  Despite the Civil War, the population grew  Partially due to immigration  politics became very corrupt  Railroad promoters cheated gullible customers  Too many judges and legislators put their power up for hire

7  Jim Fisk and Jay Gould  notorious millionaires  In 1869, they concocted a plot to corner the gold market  Plan would only work if the treasury stopped selling gold  they worked on President Grant directly and through his brother-in-law  plan failed when the treasury sold gold

8  Tweed Ring (AKA, “Tammany Hall) of NYC  Headed by “Boss” Tweed  Used bribery, graft, and fake elections to cheat the city of as much as $200 million  caught when The New York Times secured evidence of his misdeeds  died in jail

9 The Tweed Ring in NYC William Marcy Tweed (notorious head of Tammany Hall’s political machine) [Thomas Nast  crusading cartoonist/reporter]

10 Who Stole the People’s Money?

11  Grant  failed to see corruption going on  many of his friends wanted offices  his cabinet was totally corrupt

12  railroad construction company that paid itself huge sums of money for small railroad construction  NY newspaper reported it  2 members of Congress were formally censured  company had given some of its stock to the congressmen  Vice President was shown to have accepted 20 shares of stock

13 And They Say He Wants a Third Term

14 The Election of 1872  Rumors of corruption during Grant’s first term discredit Republicans  Horace Greeley runs as a Democrat/Liberal Republican candidate  Greeley attacked as a fool and a crank.  Greeley died on November 29, 1872!

15 1872 Presidential Election

16 Popular Vote for President: 1872

17  Causes:  Unrestrained speculation on the railroads  Too easy credit  Started when…  failure of the NY banking firm Jay Cooke & Company, which was headed by the rich Jay Cooke, a financier of the Civil War

18  Greenbacks that had been issued in the Civil War were being recalled  but now, during the panic  “cheap-money” supporters wanted greenbacks to be printed en mass again, to create inflation  supporters of “hard-money” (actual gold and silver) persuaded Grant to veto a bill that would print more paper money

19 Resumption Act of 1875  government would withdraw greenbacks & make all further redemption of paper money in gold at face value, starting in 1879  Debtors now cried that silver was under- valued (another call for inflation),  Grant refused to coin more silver dollars, which (stopped in 1873)  new silver discoveries in the later 1870s shot the price of silver way down. Grant’s name remained fused to sound money, though not sound government.

20  greenbacks regain their value  few greenback holders exchange their more convenient bills for gold when Redemption Day came in 1879  1878, the Bland-Allison Act instructed the Treasury to buy and coin between $2 million and $4 million worth of silver bullion each month. The minimum was actually coined and its effect was minimal on creating “cheap money.”

21  Republican hard-money policy,  led to the election of a Democratic House of Representatives in 1874  Spawned the Greenback Labor Party in 1878  primarily composed of prairie farmers who went into debt during the Panic of 1873  fought for increased monetary circulation through issuance of paper currency and bimetallism (using both gold and silver as legal tender)  supported inflationary  sought benefits for labor such as shorter working hours and a national labor bureau.  wanted the government to print more greenbacks.


23 1876 Presidential Tickets

24 1876 Presidential Election

25 The Political Crisis of 1877  “Corrupt Bargain” Part II?

26 Hayes Prevails

27 A Political Crisis: The “Compromise” of 1877

28 Well-Defined Voting Blocks Democratic Bloc Republican Bloc  White southerners (preservation of white supremacy)  Catholics  Recent immigrants (esp. Jews)  Urban working poor (pro-labor)  Most farmers  Northern whites (pro-business)  African Americans  Northern Protestants  Old WASPs (support for anti-immigrant laws)  Most of the middle class

29 Laissez Faire Government  Government stayed out of domestic policies from about 1877-1900  Deliver the mail  Maintain a national military  Collect taxes & tariffs  Conduct a foreign policy

30 A Symbolic Presidency  Party bosses ruled  Presidents should avoid offending any factions within their own party  The President just doled out federal jobs.  1865  53,000 people worked for the federal govt.  1890  166,000 “ “ “ “ “ “

31  Reconstruction ended …military returned northward  whites asserted their power  Literacy requirements for voting began,  voter registration laws emerged  poll taxes began  targeted at black voters

32  Most blacks became sharecroppers  providing nothing but labor  Or tenant farmers  if they could provide their own tools  Plessy v. Ferguson :  1896, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of that “separate but equal” facilities were constitutional  “Jim Crow” segregation was legalized

33  Railroad Strike  Background  1877, the presidents of the nation’s 4 largest railroads decided to cut wages by 10%.  Workers struck back, stopping work  President Hayes sent troops to stop this  violence erupted  more than 100 people died in the several weeks of chaos

34  Failure of the railroad strike?  showed weakness of the labor movement  Note: this was partly caused by friction between races, especially between the Irish and the Chinese.  In San Francisco, Irish-born Denis Kearney incited his followers to terrorize the Chinese

35  Anti-Chinese sentiment:  1879-Congress passed a bill severely restricting the influx of Chinese immigrants (most of whom were males who had come to California to work on the railroads  Hayes vetoed the bill  Said that it violated an existing treaty with China  After Hayes left office, the Chinese Exclusion Act, was passed in  first law limiting immigration.

36  1880 : Republicans nominated James A. Garfield  from Ohio  rose to the rank of major general in the Civil War  Democrats chose Winfield S. Hancock  Civil War general (appealed to the South)

37 1880 Presidential Election

38  campaign avoided touchy issues  Garfield squeaked by in the popular vote  Garfield died after being shot in the head by a disappointed office seeker

39  Stalwarts Republicans fighting for civil service reform during Garfield's term; they supported Cleveland  Half-breeds  Favored tariff reform and social  did not seem to be dedicated members of either party

40  Chester Arthur surprised many  called for reform  Republican party slowly embraces reform

41 Pendleton Act (1883)  Civil Service Act  1883  14,000 out of 117,000 federal government jobs became civil service exam positions  1900  100,000 out of 200,000 government jobs were exam positions

42 Republican “Mugwumps”  Reformers who wouldn’t re-nominate Chester A. Arthur  Reform to them  create an impartial government run by an educated elite  Social Darwinists  Laissez faire government to them  Favoritism & the spoils system seen as govt. intervention in society.  Their target was political corruption, not social or economic reform!

43 The Mugwumps Men may come and men may go, but the work of reform shall go on forever.  Will support Cleveland in the 1884 election.

44 1884 Presidential Election Grover Cleveland James Blaine * (DEM) (REP)

45 A Dirty Campaign Ma, Ma…where’s my pa? He’s going to the White House, ha… ha… ha…!

46 1884 Presidential Election

47 Cleveland’s First Term  The “Veto Governor” from New York  First Democratic elected since 1856  A public office is a public trust!  His laissez-faire presidency:  Opposed bills to assist the poor as well as the rich  Vetoed over 200 special pension bills for Civil War veterans!

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