2Main Ideas of this chapter……. During this period, political parties often focused on party competition rather than on important issues. Rural Americans (farmers) were suffering economically, and they began to organize politically in order to obtain relief.* Many states passed laws segregating African Americans and limiting their voting rights.
3Section 1 - Stalemate in Washington Main Idea: From 1877 to 1896 the Republicans and Democrats were so evenly matched that only a few reforms were possible at the national level.Campaign to Clean up PoliticsA. Stalwarts - GOPs who supported politicalmachines & the spoils system (patronage-government jobs going to supporters of the winning party in an election).B. Halfbreeds - GOPs who wanted to reformthe spoils system.
4C. Pendleton Act1. President Garfield’s assassinationa. He was killed by disgruntledsupporter who wasangry because hecouldn’t get agovernment job.b. Highlighted problemswith the spoils system2. Pendleton Act created the Civil ServiceCommission - jobs on merit, not patronage.3. Jobs were obtained through civil serviceexaminations.
5II. Two Parties, Neck & Neck - 1870s & 1880s. A. Stalemate1. House of Representatives - usually aDemocrat majority.2. Senate - usually a Republican majority.3. President - narrow margins in most electionsof the period.a. In two elections, candidate winning thepopular vote lost in Electoral College.b. Republican party won 4 of 6 pres. elections…BUT theyhad to try to govern w/ a split Congressnearly even division of power = politicaldeadlock = not much chance for reform.
6III. Democrats Reclaim the White House A. 1884 election 1. Grover Cleveland vs.James G. Blaine2. Dirty campaigna. Blaine tainted by CreditMobilier scandalb. GOPs split over reforms; thosewanting reforms - mugwumpsc. Cleveland - bachelor; hadfathered a child out of wedlockten years earlier.3. Cleveland won election by 1,000 votes in NY“Ma, Ma…where’s my Pa? Gone to the White House….ha, ha, ha….”Grover ClevelandDemocratGOP slogan used against Cleveland: “Ma, Ma, where's my Pa? Gone to the White House.Ha, ha, ha.”James G. BlaineRepublican
7IV. President Cleveland with Problems A. Labor unrest - strikes & violenceB. Powerful corporations (ex: RRs)* Small businesses & farmers angry at RRs.a. Large corporations could get rebates(partial refunds) & lower shipping ratesbecause of their volume of business.b. Farmers & small business owners felt theypaid unfair rates.
8C. Interstate Commerce Commission 1887 - designed to regulate interstate trade & to create “reasonable & just” rates.* Problem: ICC couldn’t enforce rulings,had to rely on courts to do so. Courtsoften unwilling to interfere withcorporations (property rights).D. Tariffs1. Dems. in House passed tariff reduction bill(to lower prices on manufactured goods)2. GOP-controlled Senate would not pass thetariff reduction bill.3. Became the major issue in election of 1888.
91. GOP- Benjamin Harrison - for high tariffs. V. GOPs Regain PowerA. Election of 18881. GOP- Benjamin Harrison - for high tariffs.2. Dems - Grover Cleveland - against tariffs.3. Harrison lost popular vote, but wonelectoral vote.4. GOP won control of both housesof Congress.B. McKinley Tariff - compromise bill1. Lowered tariff on some goods;raised it on others (ex: textiles)2. Hurt federal revenue because tariffs hurtAmerican trade.BenjaminHarrison
103. Budget surplus became a deficit. C. Sherman Antitrust Act (1890)1. Meant to control huge trusts which createdmonopolies & hurt consumers.2. Wording vague - hard to enforce.3. Not much impact on business.* Although ICC & Sherman Antitrust Act wereweak & hard to enforce, they established animportant precedent: The federalgovernment could regulate privatecorporations to protect American citizens/consumers.
11* By 1890 elections -- some Americans, especially farmers, believed that the two-partypolitical system was incapable of solving the nation’sproblems.What would those voters do?Where do they go to see thattheir interests are beingprotected?
12Section 2 - PopulismMain idea: In the 1890s, an independent politicalmovement called populism emerged to challenge thetwo major political parties.Unrest in Rural America - Why were they angry?A. Improved technology farmers producedmore greater supply = lower prices forcrops & cattle. At the same time….B. High tariffs higher cost of manufacturinggoods that farmers had to buy. Also….
13C. High tariffs on foreign imports to America other countries retaliated by raising their tariffson American exports to them farmershad trouble selling their goods overseas.D. Farmers thought eastern bankers were unfairto them (foreclosures, etc.)E. Farmers thought RRs were unfair to them(charged them higher rates than manufacturers)Farmersvs.Railroad Companies
14II. The Money SupplyA. Greenbacks (paper currency) issuedduring Civil War caused inflation(decline in value of $$)B. After Civil War1. Three types of currency in circulation:a. Greenbacksb. Gold & silver coinc. Bank notes (government bonds)2. Feds stopped printing greenbacks; stoppedminting silver coins; paid off bondsnot enough $$ in circulation deflationdecrease in price of goods.
15C. Deflation hurt farmers Had to borrow $$ for seed, suppliesMoney supply scarce = higher interest ratesFarmers owe more $ for mortgages/other loansFalling prices = less income on cropsCouldn’t pay mortgagesWanted more greenbacks printed and/or silverBlamed Congress & eastern bankers.
16Farmers decided they needed to organize politically!!D. Grange Takes Action1. Patrons of Husbandry, aka Grange -first nat’l. farm organization* At first, it was a social & educational org.2. Grange’s response to farmers’problems:a. Pressured state legislaturesto regulate RRs.b. Joined Greenback Party -wanted govt to print more$$.
17c. Cooperatives - pooled their resources to create businesses to benefit farmers.Ex: Pooled their crops & held them offthe market to force up prices. Could alsonegotiate better RR rates due to highvolume.E. Grange fails1. “Granger laws” setting RR rates were foughtin courts. RRs usually won.2. Greenback Party failed; too many peoplewere afraid of paper $$.3. Co-ops failed - not strong enough andfarmers had too little business experience.
18III. Farmers’ AllianceA. Replaced Grange as farmers’ “union.”B. People’s Party, aka Populist Party, formed toaddress farmers’ issues.
19A. Populist party platform: IV. Rise of PopulismA. Populist party platform:1. Subtreasury plan (store crops to raise prices)2. “Free silver” unlimitedcoinage of silver3. End protective tariffs &national banks.4. Tighter regulation of RRs5. Direct election of senatorsby voters instead of by statelegislatures.17th Amendment
20B. Populist for President 1892 1. James Weaver - Populist candidate2. Platform:a. Included all of populist platform….plus…b. Federal government ownership of RRsc. Graduated income tax - you make more,you pay at a higher rate.d. 8-hour workday To try appeal toe. Immigration restriction the labor vote.C. Grover Cleveland (Dem) defeatedPres. Benjamin Harrison (GOP) & Weaver(Populist)
21D. Panic of 18931. Businesses went bankrupt.2. Stock market crashed.3. Banks closed.% unemployment…..Depression!!E. Panic caused Amer. & Eur. investors to cashin bonds for gold gold reserves becamedangerously low!1. Cleveland wanted gold as basis for currency2. Congress would not allow silver to beexchanged for gold.3. Dems split: Goldbugs favored gold currency;Silverites wanted unlimited coinage of silver.
23For a time, there was fear among many Democrats that the Populist Party would consume them.
24V. Election of 1896A. Dems & Populists nominatedWilliam Jennings Bryan for Pres. - electrifyingcampaigner, but didn’t appeal to NE labor.B. GOP - William McKinley1. “Front-Porch” campaign.2. Blamed Cleveland & Dems for depression.3. Had support of business & urban workersC. Populism declines1. Depression over2. New gold strikes led to increased $$ supply.3. Congress adopted gold-based $$ standard.4. Too radical (Ex: govt-owned RR)
25Even though Populist Party failed, some of its WilliamJenningsBryanWilliamMcKinleyEven though Populist Party failed, some of itsreforms will be adopted in the 20th century.(Ex: Income tax)