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Think About It What does the word “gilded” mean?

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Presentation on theme: "Think About It What does the word “gilded” mean?"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Think About It What does the word “gilded” mean?

3 EQ: What events and issues characterized politics in the Gilded Age?

4 1. A Two-Party Stalemate

5 2. Intense Voter Loyalty to the Two Major Political Parties

6 3. Well-Defined Voting Blocs Democratic Bloc Republican Bloc  White southerners (preservation of white supremacy)  Catholics  Recent immigrants (esp. Jews)  Urban working poor (pro-labor)  Most farmers  Northern whites (pro-business)  African Americans  Northern Protestants  Old WASPs (support for anti-immigrant laws)  Most of the middle class

7 Opposing Politic Parties Republican Appeal to industrialists, bankers, eastern farmers Want $ backed by gold (keep inflation down); high tariffs, pensions to veterans; gov’t aid to RRs; limits on immigration Enforcement of blue laws: prohibit activities seen as immoral Democrats Appeal to less privileged urban workers, laborers, southern planters, western farmers Want increase of $ supply; low tariffs; high farm prices; less gov’t aid to business; less blue laws

8 4. Very Laissez Faire Federal Govt.  From  Govt. did very little domestically.  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.

9 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

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11 1868 Presidential Election

12 President Ulysses S. Grant

13 Grant Administration Scandals  Grant presided over an era of unprecedented growth and corruption. * Credit Mobilier Scandal. * Whiskey Ring. * The “Indian Ring.”

14 The Tweed Ring in NYC William Marcy Tweed (notorious head of Tammany Hall’s political machine) [Thomas Nast  crusading cartoonist/reporter]

15 The Election of 1872  Rumors of corruption during Grant’s first term discredits Republicans.  Horace Greeley runs as a Democrat/Liberal Republican candidate.  Greeley attacked as a fool and a crank.  Greeley died on November 29, 1872!

16 1872 Presidential Election

17 The Panic of 1873  It raises “the money question.” * debtors seek inflationary monetary policy by continuing circulation of greenbacks. * creditors, intellectuals support hard money.  1875  Resumption Act of 1875 (Specie Redemption Act.) -

18 And They Say He Wants a Third Term

19 1880 Presidential Election: Republicans Half BreedsStalwarts Sen. James G. Blaine Sen. Roscoe Conkling (Maine) (New York) James A. Garfield Chester A. Arthur (VP) compromise

20 1880 Presidential Election

21 1881: Garfield Assassinated! Charles Guiteau: I Am a Stalwart, and Arthur is President now! *Death causes reexamination of the spoils system

22 Pendleton Act (1883)  Civil Service Act.  The “Magna Carta” of civil service reform.

23 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!

24 1884 Presidential Election Grover Cleveland James Blaine * (DEM) (REP)

25 A Dirty Campaign Ma, Ma…where’s my pa? He’s going to the White House, ha… ha… ha…!

26 1884 Presidential Election

27 Cleveland’s First Term  The “Veto Governor” from New York.  First Democratic elected since  A public office is a public trust!  His laissez-faire presidency:  Opposed bills to assist the poor as well as the rich.  Vetoed over 200 special pension bills for Civil War veterans!

28 The Tariff Issue  tariffs to protect new US industries.  Big business wanted to continue this; consumers did not.  1885  tariffs earned the US $100 mil. in surplus!  Lower Tariff hurts factories and economy  Tariffs became a major issue in the 1888 presidential election.

29 1888 Presidential Election Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison (DEM) * (REP)

30 Coming Out for Harrison

31 1888 Presidential Election

32 Changing Public Opinion  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 to 48.4%

33 1892 Presidential Election Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison again! * (DEM) (REP)

34 1892 Presidential Election

35 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: set to lower tariffs and tax incomes over $4000 by 2%  Repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act.

36 Gilded Age Presidents in a Nutshell The Forgettable “Presidents”

37 18 th -Ulysses S Grant ( ) –Political Corruption Credit Mobilier Scandal –Panic of th -Rutherford B. Hayes ( ) –Electoral Count Act (Compromise of 1877) –Jim Crow Laws 20 th -James A. Garfield (1881) –Assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau on September 19, 1881 (due to this reform of Spoils System

38 21 st -Chester Arthur ( ) –Before taking office had benefited from the system In office-works for reform –Passes Pendleton Civil Service Act 1883 Classify gov’t jobs and tests fitness 22 nd and 24 th -Grover Cleveland ( , ) Supports RR, business (laissez-faire) –In 2 nd term manages to turn many voters to Democratic party- sent troops to break up Pullman strike –Panic of 1893

39 23 rd -Benjamin Harrison ( ) Signed Sherman Anti-Trust Act Approves high tariffs –Hurts economy; dips too deep into treasury to pay pensions 25 th -William McKinley ( ) Oversees tariff bill and stronger gold standard Imperialist (more on this later!) Society begins climb out of depression –assassinated by an anarchist, September 6 th, 1901

40 Writing Prompt Do you think government reforms made a difference during this period? Why or Why not? What role do you think government should play in business (even today)?


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