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Parties, Patronage, and Pork: National Politics,

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Presentation on theme: "Parties, Patronage, and Pork: National Politics,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Parties, Patronage, and Pork: National Politics, 1876-1892
Chapter 25 Parties, Patronage, and Pork: National Politics,

2 How the System Worked Politics of the late 19th century
Uninspired, dignified president Congress provides initiative Politics a business itself Politics a sport to public Two Balanced Parties Evenly matched Close elections Predictable electorate Republican party strong in north; south for Democrats except blacks Swing states decide winners: New York, Indiana, Ohio

3 How the System Worked (cont.’d)
Bosses at conventions National conventions very important Opportunity for bosses to network Conventions decide nominations Bosses broker political deals Patronage: The spoils system 50,000 federal jobs in 1877 Positions awarded to party activists Job holders contribute to campaigns Higher government jobs very lucrative

4 How the System Worked (cont.’d)
Pork Private contributors to campaigns receive government contracts Focus on rewarding contributors, not getting work done Party Tactics Republicans wave “bloody shirt” to remind voters of veterans’ sacrifices Democrats wave Stars and Bars to remind South of Reconstruction Grand Army of the Republic veterans organization Pensions Congress passes strict pension bill Others receive pensions through special bills Evolves into major abuse Republicans use pensions to gain votes

5 Presidents and Personalities
Rutherford Hayes Hayes lacks support for re-election in 1880 Stalwarts and Half-Breeds reject Hayes Half-Breed James G. Blaine wants presidency Ulysses S. Grant wants presidency James Garfield Republicans deadlock over Blaine, Grant Republicans turn to James A. Garfield Half-Breed Garfield courts Stalwarts Running mate: Stalwart Chester A. Arthur

6 Presidents and Personalities (cont.’d)
Assassination Garfield attempts to please both wings with appointments Mentally deranged Charles Guiteau assassinates president Stalwart Guiteau wants political office Civil Service Reform Pendleton Act of 1883 sets up Civil Service Commission Administers exams for low-level government jobs Office holders free from political pressure By 1900 covers 40% of government jobs

7 Presidents and Personalities (cont.’d)
Chester Arthur Able president, wants second term Reaches out to stalwarts, Half-Breeds Republicans nominate Blaine instead 1884: Blaine versus Cleveland Blaine loses support of liberal Republicans Blaine expects to win Irish vote Cleveland father of illegitimate child Blaine guilty of dubious stock deals

8 Presidents and Personalities (cont.’d)
Little things that decide great elections Blaine dines with millionaires Ignores ethnic, religious slur against Democrats Blaine loses Irish vote, loses election 1888: Cleveland loses election by appearing pro-British

9 Issues Issues do play a part in politics in 1884 The tariff
A few Republicans still interested in civil rights Main goal of parties to win power Parties have supporters on both sides of issues The tariff Farmers, bankers, railroaders want low tariff Industrialists want protective tariff McKinley Tariff (1890): 50% rates Depression lowers rates to 39%

10 Issues (cont.’d) Value of Greenbacks uncertain in war
Government gradually removes Greenbacks Less money supply leads to deflation Deflation hurts farmers with big debts Greenback Labor Party Farmers form party in 1876 Work to attract labor to party Makes some gains in Congress in 1878 Party declines in 1880s, but issue still alive

11 Discussion Questions What were politics like in the late 1800s? What did the political parties stand for? How was it different than it is today? Why was there a need to reform the patronage system in the later 1800s? What legislature helped enact this change? What sort of president was Chester Arthur? How did his becoming president change him? What were his notable accomplishments? Discuss the main political issues of the times.

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