The Gilded Age Post Reconstruction Period (1877 to 1900) Gilded - covered with a thin layer of gold “Gilded Age” – term used by the writer Mark Twain to describe what he believed was a time of –great prosperity for the wealthy captains of industry –misery and poverty for immigrants, farmers, and workers –corruption in government
Laissez-Faire French for “allow to be” Economic principle that the government should play a very limited role in business. Prosperous businesses create a wealthy nation.
Subsidy A payment made by the government to help the growth of some industries Example - Land grants to the railroads
Credit Mobilier Scandal Company hired by the Union Pacific Railroad to actually lay the tracks for the transcontinental railroad They greatly overcharged the UP They bribed members of Congress to keep funding the project by giving them valuable shares of stock in CM
Spoils System “To the victor goes the spoils.” Also called the patronage system First openly practiced in U.S. by President Andrew Jackson The practice of giving government jobs to friends and supporters Causes government corruption and incompetence
Civil Service Non-elected government workers, such as cabinet members and customs office or post office officials Often positions of power or money (through bribery and graft) Usually appointed by some elected official (such as the Pres)
Rutherford B. Hayes 19 th President (1877-1881) Republican from Ohio “Won” the 1876 election by one electoral vote and a committee decision
Rutherford B. Hayes continued Refused to use the spoils system Appointed qualified people to government jobs instead of supporters Angered fellow Republicans
James A. Garfield 20 th President (1881) Republican congressman from Ohio Part of the “Half- Breed” faction of the party
James A. Garfield continued Planned to reform the spoils system July 2, 1881 -Shot by a mentally unstable lawyer who had expected a political job appointment
Chester A. Arthur 21 st President (1881-1885) Republican from NY Garfield’s Vice Pres Had been a supporter of the spoils system (a Stalwart), but changed his viewpoint and worked for reform
Pendleton Civil Service Act Passed in 1883 Created Civil Service Commission which tested applicants’ fitness for government jobs Government workers could not be fired for political reasons or forced to make campaign contributions
Grover Cleveland 22nd President 1885-1889 Democrat Governor of NY Took back 80 million acres of lands given to RR’s 1887 – signed Interstate Commerce Act Vetoed pension for Civil War veterans
Grover Cleveland continued Only President to get married in the White House Married 20-year- old Francis Folsom
Benjamin Harrison 23 rd President 1889-1893 Republican – Indiana Huge tariff increase 1890 – signed the Sherman Antitrust Act Gave huge pensions to Civil War veterans
Grover Cleveland 2 nd Term 24th President 1893-1897 Vetoed 413 pieces of legislation Vetoed a bill to help farmers recover from a severe drought Economic depression in 1893 caused massive unemployment “While the people should support the government. The government should not support the people.”
William McKinley 25 th President 1897-1901 Republican from Ohio Supported gold standard Defeated the Populist Wm. Jennings Bryan in 1896 and 1900 Campaign slogan – “A Full Dinner Pail”
William McKinley continued September 6, 1901 shot by an anarchist at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo
McKinley Assassination (Do not copy) On August 31, 1901, Czolgosz moved to Buffalo, New York and rented a room near the site of the Pan- American Exposition. On September 6 he went to the exposition with a revolver pistol in his pocket, concealed in a handkerchief. McKinley had been standing in a receiving line outside of the Temple of Music greeting the public for several minutes when, at 4:07 p.m., Czolgosz reached the front of the line. The President thrust out his hand; Czolgosz slapped it aside and shot McKinley twice at extremely close range, close enough to leave powder burns on the President's vest. Members of McKinley's security team as well as citizens in the crowd immediately subdued Czolgosz, beating him so severely it was initially thought he might not live to stand trial. McKinley died from his wounds on September 14.
McKinley Assassination (Do not copy) A special grand jury forthwith indicted the assassin, who, talking freely enough with his guards, refused all interaction with the attorneys assigned to defend him, and with the expert sent to test his sanity. He was convicted and sentenced to death on September 23, in a brief trial that lasted eight and a half hours from jury selection to verdict, and executed by electrocution, by three jolts at 1700 volts each, on October 29, 1901, in Auburn Prison in Auburn, New York. His last words were "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people — the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime." As the prison guards strapped him into the chair, however, he did say through clenched teeth, "I am sorry I could not see my father." Sulfuric acid and lye were thrown into his coffin so that his body would be completely disfigured, and to aid in its decomposition. His letters and clothes were burned.