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Chapter 20 POLITICAL REALIGNMENTS IN THE 1890s America Past and Present.

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1 Chapter 20 POLITICAL REALIGNMENTS IN THE 1890s America Past and Present

2 Politics of Stalemate  Americans were fascinated by politics of the late nineteenth century –It was considered a form of entertainment –Very high voter turnout  White males made up bulk of electorate –Women may vote in national elections only in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Colorado –Black men denied vote by poll tax, literacy tests, grandfather clause p.574

3 The Party Deadlock  Post-Civil War Democratic party divides electorate almost evenly with Republicans –Democrats emphasize state’s rights & limited govt –Republicans see govt as agent to promote moral progress & material wealth in nation as a whole  One-party control of both Congress & White House rare  Each party has safe states, control of fed govt rests with 6 “doubtful” states NY, CN, IL, OH, IN, NJ  In three of the five elections from 1876 to 1892, victor won by <1% of vote; in 1876 & 1888, losing candidate actually had more popular votes p.574-575

4 Experiments in the States  State govts establish commissions to investigate & regulate railroads, etc.  Munn v. Illinois (1877) upheld authority of states to regulate commerce  Wabash v. Illinois (1886) weakened the Munn decision by saying that a state could not regulate beyond its borders; only Cong could –Spurred estab of Interstate Commerce Com- mission as first attempt at federal regulation –ICC prototype of modern fed regulatory agencies p.575

5 Reestablishing Presidential Power  Impeachment of Johnson, Grant scandals, election of 1876, weakened the presidency  Later presidents reassert executive power – Hayes ended military occupation of the south – James Garfield lowered tariffs to cut taxes, & asserted Am economic & strategic interests in Latin Am Assassinated by Charles Guiteau, disappointed office seeker – VP Arthur strengthened navy, reformed civil svc – Cleveland vetoed 2/3 of bills put before him & forced the return land obtained fraudulently by railroad, lumber & cattle companies p.576-577

6 The Election of 1880 p.576Chester A. Arthur completed Garfield’s term

7 The Election of 1884 p.577 Cleveland first democrat since Buchanan (before Lincoln)

8 p.577 Cleveland will be back in 1892 Republicans are back

9 Chapter 20 POLITICAL REALIGNMENTS IN THE 1890s America Past and Present ¼ Point

10 Republicans in Power: The Billion-Dollar Congress  Election of 1888 gave the Republicans Presidency & both houses of Congress –Stalemate broken, but…  Democrats stall progress in Congress using the “disappearing quorum” trick –Refused to answer roll call determine if a quorum was present  1890 ~Spkr of House Thomas B. Reed instructed the clerk to record the names of those present but refusing to vote –“Reed Rules” adopted p.577-578

11 Tariffs, Trusts, & Silver Harrison Administration  Laws began to pour out of Cong in 1890  McKinley Tariff Act ~ Duties raised to all time high –Tariff (duty) = A tax or fee paid by those importing goods caused the price of goods to be higher  Dependents Pension Act ~ Pensions for Union Army veterans, their widows & children –By 1893 ~ 1 million receiving pensions (costly)  Sherman Anti-Trust Act ~ Aimed at breaking up monopolies (give the little guys a chance) –E.C. Knight Co controlled 98% of sugar refining in US –U.S. vs. E.C. Knight = Does not apply to manufacturers  Sherman Silver Purchase Act ~ Treasury directed to purchase 4.5M oz Ag/mon & issue Treasury notes –Notes exchange for Ag or Au (Bimetallic system) p.578-579

12 The 1890 Elections 1890 Congress  The Democrats labeled the 1890 Congress the “Billion Dollar Congress” for spending that much in appropriations & grants  Republicans had passed unpopular policies on state level – Sunday closing laws, prohibition, mandatory English in schools (Roman Catholics & German Lutherans resented such laws)  Republicans lost 78 seats in the House of Reps in the 1890 mid-term elections  1890 Cong shaped future of natl policy p.579

13 The Rise of the Populist Movement  The National Farmers' Alliance & Industrial Union works to recruit discontented farmers  The Farm Problem ~ Farmers’ complaints – Rising railroad rates (rates actually declining) – Onerous mortgages (loans permit production expansion) – Lower prices for crops (purchasing power rising) p.579-580

14 Selected Commodity Prices p.580

15 The Fast-Growing Farmers' Alliance  1875 ~ Southern Alliance starts in Texas  Loosely affiliated w/ Southern Alliance, the Colored Farmer’s Natl Alliance struck for better conditions –Leaders lynched in 1891  1889: Regional Alliances merge into Natl Farmer’s Alliance  Starting 1890, Alliance runs candidates –Mary “Yellin’” Lease promoted Alliance cands “Raise less corn & more hell”  Major objective = Organize & politicize the American farmer p.580-582

16 The People's Party  Southern Alliance splits from Democrats to form the Populist party  Southern Populists recruit African Americans, give them influential positions  1892: Populist presidential candidate James Weaver draws over 1M votes –Loses South to violence & intimidation –Loses urban areas  While it lived, the Alliance was one of the most powerful protest movements in American history  Alliance wanes after 1892 elections p.582-583

17 Major issue: Tariffs Demos interested in Free Market Reps want Protectionism Populist candidate: James Weaver p.583

18 The Crisis of the Depression  Economic crisis dominated the 1890s  Railroads overbuilt, companies grew beyond their markets, farms & businesses went deeply in debt  The Panic of 1893 –Feb 1893 ~ Railroad failures spark panic in NY Stock Exchg –Investors sell stock to purchase gold –Depleted Treasury shakes confidence –May 1893 ~ Market hits record low, many business failures displace 2 million workers –1894 ~ Corn crop fails –Caused by the economic changes of the period p.583-584

19 Coxey's Army & the Pullman Strike  1894 ~ Jacob Coxey led “Coxey’s Army” to Washington demanding govt jobs ~ Arrested, jailed 20 days  Pullman strike joined by Eugene V. Debs’ American Railway Union closed western ½ of nation –Refused to handle trains that carried Pullman cars –Grain & livestock couldn’t reach markets –Factories needed coal –Economy tied up p.584-585

20 Coxey's Army & the Pullman Strike  President Cleveland suppressed strikes with fed troops on the grounds that it obstructed the delivery of the mail  Peaceful when troops arrived, but soon rail cars were being overturned & burned  Army occupied railroad yards  Debs was jailed  Workers resent Cleveland  Debs became prominent p.584-585

21 The Miners of the Midwest  Even in best of times, mining was a dirty & dangerous business –1889: 97 cents/ton; 1896: 80 cents/ton  “Old Miners” (English & Irish) resented the “New Miners” (Italians, Poles, Russians, etc.), who lacked skills & worked longer hrs for less pay  United Mine Workers Strike of 1894 ~ New Miners more prone to violence –UMW dominated by Old Miners urged state & fed legislatures to stop immigration p.585-586

22 A Beleaguered President  Cleveland repeals Sherman Silver Purchase Act to remedy Panic of 1893 (was causing inflation) –Gold was leaving the country –Repeal fails to stop depression  Democrats renege (fail to make good) on promise to lower tariffs (which would reduce the cost of goods)  Not looking good for Democrats p.586-587

23 Breaking the Party Deadlock  The mid-term elections of 1894 were devastating to the Democrats –Lost 113 seats in the H of R –Even lost in the “solid South” & destroyed in the Midwest  Grover Cleveland became a scapegoat for the country’s economic ills –Police barracks placed on White house lawn  Americans became more accepting of the use of govt power to regulate the economy & safeguard individual welfare p.587

24 Changing Attitudes  Americans had thought of unemployment as the result of personal failure, affecting primarily the lazy & immoral –In the midst of a depression, such views were harder to maintain –Respected neighbors were laid off & factories in town were shut down  Americans accepted the need for govt intervention to help the poor & jobless –Pressures for reform increased p.587-588

25 “Everybody Works but Father” A 1905 Popular Song  The depression accelerated the entrance of women & children into the labor force –More than half of the principal breadwinners were out of work  Employers retained women & children after depression to hold down costs –Female telegraph & telephone operators nearly tripled during 1890s –Child workers increased by 160%; youngsters of 8 & 9 worked 12 hrs/day for pitiful wages p.588-589

26 Changing Themes in Literature  The greatest change in American literature during the 1800s was the rise of realism  Novels (130) of Horatio Alger provided simple lessons about hard work & success –Sold 20M copies  Louisa May Alcott –Little Women related the daily lives of four girls in New England  Anna Sewell –Black Beauty charmed readers with the story of an abused horse that found a happy home p.589-590

27 Changing Themes in Literature  The writings of Mark Twain relied on realism & the humor of American life –His “Life on the Mississippi,” “Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” gained international prominence –Twain used dialect & common speech instead of literary language –Real name? –“Always do the right thing. It will gratify some & astonish the rest.” –“If there’s no malice in my heart; there can’t be any in my words.” p.589-590

28 The Presidential Election of 1896  Known as the “battle of the standards” because it focused on gold & silver as the standard for currency  The Mystique of Silver –The “Silverites” called for free & independent coinage of silver Set ratio of silver to gold at 16:1 Mints would coin all silver offered them, regardless of other nations’ policies Believed amount in circulation determined level of economic activity p.590-591

29 Republicans & Gold  The Republicans selected William McKinley as their candidate in 1896 –Had served in the Union Army during Civil War –Senator from Ohio since 1876  Campaign mgr Marcus Hanna marketed McKinley as “the advance agent for prosperity” –Promised Au standard would restore prosperity p.591

30 Democrats & Silver  Outgoing Pres Cleveland opposed the Ag standard, but Southern & Western Democrats disagreed  They selected the handsome, well spoken William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska –A bit of a religious zealot, he appealed to the “plain folk” & promised the “old America.” –Used vivid imagery in his speeches “Crucify mankind on a cross of gold” .... p.591-594

31 Campaign & Election  Populist party endorsed Bryan  Bryan offered return to rural, religious US –He said, “Farms are as important as factories & the virtues of rural life & religion outweigh the doubtful lure of city life”  McKinley defended urban, industrial society  Populist party vanished after 1896 P594-595

32 p.595 McKinley declined the invitation to debate Bryan. He chose to stay home and have voters come to him & use the press. Bryan tvled over 18k mi & visited 27 states. Spoke 600 times to some 3M people.

33 The McKinley Administration  McKinley took office at depression’s end  An activist president; tvled far more than any previous  1897 ~ Dingley Tariff raised rates to record highs –One of the few taxes available to the fed govt  1900 ~ US placed on gold standard  1900 ~ McKinley won landslide reelection against William Jennings Bryan (next slide) p.595-596

34 The Election of 1900 p.596

35 The Election of 1900 p.596 September 6, 1901, only a few months after second inauguration, McKinley was shot by Leon Czolgosz, a 28-yr old out of work laborer & anarchist. Electrocuted 45 days after McKinley died

36 The Election of 1900 p.596 September 6, 1901, only a few months after second inauguration, McKinley was shot by Leon Czolgosz, a 28-yr old out of work laborer & anarchist. VP Theodore Roosevelt, former Governor of NY & veteran of the Spanish American War became president. Mark Hanna, who had never approved of TR, said, “Now look, that damned cowboy is president of the United States.” A new century was under way

37 Chapter 20 POLITICAL REALIGNMENTS IN THE 1890s America Past and Present End

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