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GILDED AGE POLITICS. “GILDED AGE” 1869-1900 Term coined by Mark Twain in 1873 Referred to the superficial glitter of the new wealth, but internal corruption.

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Presentation on theme: "GILDED AGE POLITICS. “GILDED AGE” 1869-1900 Term coined by Mark Twain in 1873 Referred to the superficial glitter of the new wealth, but internal corruption."— Presentation transcript:

1 GILDED AGE POLITICS

2 “GILDED AGE” Term coined by Mark Twain in 1873 Referred to the superficial glitter of the new wealth, but internal corruption Era of “Forgotten Presidents”

3 CAMPAIGN STRATEGY Candidates avoided taking a position on issues Close popular votes Brass bands, flags, buttons, picnics, free beer, & crowd pleasing speeches 80% of voters turned out for Presidential elections

4 CAMPAIGN STRATEGY Republicans  “Bloody Shirt”  Lincoln  Businessmen & middle class Protestants  Economic program of high protective tariffs Democrats  Solid South  Political Machines & immigrants  Objected to temperance  Believed in states rights

5 PARTY PATRONAGE Republican Party splits  Stalwarts-Roscoe Conkling  Halfbreeds-James Blaine  Mugwumps-fence sitters

6 ELECTION OF 1880 Republicans  James Garfield (halfbreed) & Chester Arthur (stalwart) Democrats  Winfield Hancock Union General Garfield wins

7 JAMES GARFIELD 1881 Chose halfbreeds for most government positions Summer 1881-shot in back by deranged office seeker Died 11 weeks later

8 CHESTER ARTHUR Distanced himself from party patronage Civil Service Reform  Pendleton Act-required application and exam for federal government positions  Reviewed by bipartisan Civil Service Commission  Ended patronage/spoils system Not considered for re-election

9 ELECTION OF 1884 Dirtiest election to that time Republican  James Blaine Questioned about honesty while serving as senator Democrat  Grover Cleveland Takes responsibility for illegitimate child Cleveland wins  Mugwumps switch  New York Catholics

10 GROVER CLEVELAND Interstate Commerce Act (1887)-Railroad Regulation (Ch. 26) Dawes Act-Indian Policy (Ch. 26) Major Issues- Currency & Tariff

11 CURRENCY Debtor, farmers, & small business owners want more money in circulation  Lower interest loans  Pay off debt  Blamed “gold standard” for restrictive economy More paper money (greenbacks) Unlimited coinage of silver coins Bankers, creditors, investors, & established business owners-hard money  Keep dollar on gold standard  No inflation

12 CURRENCY Greenback party  Believed paper money should not be backed by specie (gold or silver) Silver money  Bland-Allison Act-limited coinage of silver

13 TARIFF Main opponent-farmers  Couldn’t sell goods overseas Main proponent-industrialists  Foreign goods expensive, so people bought American goods

14 ELECTION OF 1888 Major issue-tariff Democrats  Grover Cleveland Low tariff Republicans  Benjamin Harrison High tariff  Big Business support Harrison wins  Cleveland received majority of popular vote

15 BENJAMIN HARRISON Republican control of Congress Passed first billion dollar budget  1. McKinley Tariff-raised tax to 48%  2. Increased pensions to Civil War veterans  3. Sherman Antitrust Act- outlawed monopolies (Ch. 24)  4. Sherman Silver Purchase Act-increased coinage of silver-not enough to satisfy farmers

16 ELECTION OF 1892 Republicans  Benjamin Harrison Democrats  Grover Cleveland Populists  New 3 rd party of farmers (Ch. 26)  James Weaver  22 electoral votes-most of any third party candidate Cleveland Wins  Mostly due to unpopular tariff  Only president to serve two terms non-consecutively

17 GROVER CLEVELAND Panic of 1893  Stock market crashed  A lot of foreclosures  20% unemployment  Silver prices fell  Coxey’s Army

18 GROVER CLEVELAND  Cleveland repeals Sherman Silver Purchase Act  Borrows money from JP Morgan to save economy Big Business now rules Washington DC  Wilson-Gorman Tariff Reduction in tariff rate 2% income tax on wealthy Supreme Court declares Unconstitutional


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