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:
“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
Republicans nominated Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant great soldier had no political experience Democrats? could only denounce military Reconstruction
Waving the Bloody Shirt! The Republicans got Grant elected (barely) by “waving the bloody shirt”
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
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
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
The Tweed Ring in NYC William Marcy Tweed (notorious head of Tammany Hall’s political machine) [Thomas Nast crusading cartoonist/reporter]
Grant failed to see corruption going on many of his friends wanted offices his cabinet was totally corrupt
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
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!
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
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
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.
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.”
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.
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
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
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 “ “ “ “ “ “
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
campaign avoided touchy issues Garfield squeaked by in the popular vote Garfield died after being shot in the head by a disappointed office seeker
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
Chester Arthur surprised many called for reform Republican party slowly embraces reform
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
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!
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.
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!