Presentation on theme: "Themes of the Gilded Age: Politics: hard vs. soft money ('70s & '90s); tariff ('80s); corruption due to greed, patronage & trusts (throughout late 19th."— Presentation transcript:
Themes of the Gilded Age: Politics: hard vs. soft money ('70s & '90s); tariff ('80s); corruption due to greed, patronage & trusts (throughout late 19th c.) Industrialism: U.S. became the world’s most powerful economy by 1890s: railroads, steel, oil, electricity, banking America was transformed from an agrarian nation to an urban nation between 1865 and 1920. Urbanization: millions of "New Immigrants" came from Southern and Eastern Europe, mostly to work in factories. Unions and Reform movements sought to curb the injustices of industrialism. Farmers increasingly lost ground in the new industrial economy and eventually organized (Populism) The "Last West": farming, mining, & cattle raising By 1900 society had become more stratified into classes than any time before or since.
By: Ms. Susan M. Pojer Edited by: Mr. Mark Temple By: Ms. Susan M. Pojer Edited by: Mr. Mark Temple
What was the political climate of the time period known as the “Gilded Age”?
1. A Two-Party Stalemate, Why? Highly Competitive, House changed leadership 6 times from 1869-91
Two-Party “Balance” Parties were cautious not to tip the balance to the other party.
2. Intense Voter Loyalty to the Two Major Political Parties
3. Well-Defined Voting Blocs Fundamental differences created partisan politics 3. Well-Defined Voting Blocs Fundamental differences created partisan politics Democratic BlocRepublican Bloc White southerners (preservation of white supremacy) Catholics Recent immigrants (esp. Jews & Irish) Urban working poor (pro-labor) Most farmers Opposed govt. imposed standards Economic equity Northern whites (pro-business) African Americans Northern Protestants Old WASPs (support for anti-immigrant laws) Middle class values Emphasized identity of interest-place in soc.
4. Very Laissez Faire Federal Govt. From 1870-1900 Govt. did very little domestically. Money & Tariff were main issue Main duties of the federal govt.: Deliver the mail. Maintain a national military. Collect taxes & tariffs. Conduct a foreign policy. Exception administer the annual Civil War veterans’ pension.
5. The Presidency as a Symbolic Office Party bosses ruled. Presidents should avoid offending any factions within their own party. The President just doled out federal jobs. 1865 53,000 people worked for the federal govt. 1890 166,000 “ “ “ “ “ “ Senator Roscoe Conkling
Grant Administration 1868 - 1876 Election of 1868: defeated Horatio Seymour Election of 1872: defeated Horace Greely
Issues of the Grant Administration Jim Fiske and Jay Gould try to corner the gold market = 1869 depression Tweed Ring – Wm. Marcy Tweed –Tammany Hall (NYC) corruption –Exposed by Thomas Nast –Prosecuted by Samuel Tilden Credit Mobilier Whisky Ring Panic of 1873 – (horse epidemic of 1872) 15 th amendment only significant accmpl.
Samuel Tilden Rutherford B. Hayes Can you state either of Hayes’ nicknames? Election of 1876
The Compromise of 1877 between the Republicans and Democrats, occurring in January of that year, was the solution to the contested Presidential election of 1876. In the end, returns in three states, South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana were disputed. Tilden was one state short of victory. Congress appointed a congressional committee to investigate. The committee decided to award all the disputed votes (20) to Hayes. Hayes, in return, however, promised to end reconstruction. Hayes became the next President. Aspects of the Compromise: Funds will be provided to build the Texas and Pacific Railroad. A southerner will be appointed as Postmaster General. Funds will be appropriated to rebuild the economy in the South. The solution to the race problem will be left to the state governments. Troops will be recalled from the statehouse property in the three remaining states. (FL, SC, LA)
Long Term Results of the Election of 1876 African Americans lost their equal status in society promised to them by the 14 th and 15 th amendments. –Would be 2 nd class citizens until the 1960’s. Gap between rich and poor widened. –Laborers were controlled by wealthy owners Big Government took a backseat to Southern Landowners and Northern Industrialists. (laissez – faire)
1880 Presidential Election: Republicans Half BreedsStalwarts Sen. James G. Blaine Sen. Roscoe Conkling (Maine) (New York) James A. Garfield Chester A. Arthur (VP) compromise
1881: Garfield Assassinated! Charles Guiteau: I Am a Stalwart, and Arthur is President now!
Chester A. Arthur: The Fox in the Chicken Coup?
Pendleton Act (1883) Civil Service Act. The “Magna Carta” of civil service reform. 1883 14,000 out of 117,000 federal govt. jobs became civil service exam positions. 1900 100,000 out of 200,000 civil service federal govt. jobs. Federal patronage reduced, forced politicians to turn to industry for money
Republican “Mugwumps” Reformers who wouldn’t re-nominate Chester A. Arthur. Reform to them create a disinterested, impartial govt. run by an educated elite like themselves. Social Darwinists. Laissez faire government to them: Favoritism & the spoils system seen as govt. intervention in society. Their target was political corruption, not social or economic reform!
The Mugwumps Men may come and men may go, but the work of reform shall go on forever. Will support Cleveland in the 1884 election.
Rum, Romanism & Rebellion! Led a delegation of ministers to Blaine in NYC. Reference to the Democratic Party. (Irish) Blaine was slow to repudiate the remark. Narrow victory for Cleveland [he wins NY by only 1149 votes!]. Dr. Samuel Burchard
Cleveland’s First Term The “Veto Governor” from New York. First Democratic elected since 1856. A public office is a public trust! His laissez-faire presidency: Leave the free market alone Opposed bills to assist the poor as well as the rich. Vetoed over 200 special pension bills for Civil War veterans! GAR
The Tariff Issue Republicans in favor / Democrats opposed The Tariff Issue Republicans in favor / Democrats opposed After the Civil War, Congress raised tariffs to protect new US industries. Big business wanted to continue this; consumers did not. Stifled foreign trade 80% of which is agriculture 1885 tariffs earned the US $145 mil. in surplus! Mugwumps opposed it WHY??? President Cleveland’s view on tariffs???? Tariffs became a major issue in the 1888 presidential election. Other Issues for Cleveland = Dawes Act ---- Interstate Commerce Act
Changing Public Opinion Americans wanted the federal govt. to deal with growing soc. & eco. problems & to curb the power of the trusts: Interstate Commerce Act – 1887 Sherman Antitrust Act – 1890 McKinley Tariff – 1890 Based on the theory that prosperity flowed directly from protectionism. Increased already high rates another 4%! Rep. Party suffered big losses in 1890 (even McKinley lost his House seat!).
1892 Presidential Election Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison again! * (DEM) (REP)
Cleveland Loses Support Fast! The only President to serve two non- consecutive terms. Blamed for the 1893 Panic. Defended the gold standard. Used federal troops in the 1894 Pullman strike. Refused to sign the Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894. Repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act.