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Unit 3: Birth of Modern America

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1 Unit 3: Birth of Modern America

2 Chapter 11 Politics and Reform

3 I. Stalemate in Washington
A Campaign to Clean up Politics 1. The Problem: Americans concerned that machine politics and the spoils system prevented gov’t from addressing issues and corrupted those who worked in politics

4 a. Employees working for gov’t are said to be in “civil service” b
a. Employees working for gov’t are said to be in “civil service” b. Since 1820s, most civil service jobs appointed through patronage (or the spoils system) * spoils system = the practice of giving gov’t jobs to political supporters

5 c. Results of the Spoils System
c. Results of the Spoils System? - incompetent office holders - records kept of campaign contributions from office holders - president’s loss of time dealing w/ office seekers

6 2. Stalwarts vs. Halfbreeds a
2. Stalwarts vs. Halfbreeds a. Stalwarts = Republican that is supportive of political machines & patronage Halfbreed = Republican that favored reform

7 b. 1880 Election: Republicans choose. James Garfield (a halfbreed) as
b Election: Republicans choose James Garfield (a halfbreed) as Presidential candidate & Chester Arthur (stalwart) for VP OOPS! President Garfield

8 3. Assassination of Pres. Garfield a. Charles Guiteau assassinated Pres. Garfield – furious that he had not been given gov’t job b. Public outraged at the assassination – demanded reform of the spoils system President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau on 2 July Garfield suffered through a painful summer before succumbing.

9 4. The Pendleton Act a. also known as the Civil Service Act of 1883 b
4. The Pendleton Act a. also known as the Civil Service Act of 1883 b. replaced the spoils system of appointing office-holders on a reward-for-political support basis, with a merit system based on examinations c. Reduced the power of political machines, diminished patronage-related corruption and created a more efficient federal bureaucracy

10 d. Provisions of the Pendleton Act 1) competitive exams 2) jobs awarded on merit 3) trial period before final job confirmation 4) no soliciting for political support 5) can’t be fired for political reasons 6) Presidential extension of civil service list

11 B. Two Parties Neck & Neck 1
B. Two Parties Neck & Neck 1. The Republicans (Grand Old Party = GOP): a. Their supporters? - military veterans - patriotic Americans - big biz - Great Plains Farmers - Protestants b. Party of Morality - defender of traditional American morals & values Has anything changed?

12 2. The Democrats: a. Their supporters
2. The Democrats: a. Their supporters? - white southerners - urban voters - Catholics - Immigrants b. Party of Personal Liberty - defender individual freedoms Has anything changed?

13 Republican vs Democrat
In 1880 Thomas Nast, cartoonist for the Harper’s Weekly, created the donkey and elephant as cartoon symbols representing the Democratic and Republican parties. They continue to be used today as party symbols. Thomas Nast also created Uncle Sam.

14 "Your grades won't matter -- the Supreme Court will
3. Narrow margins decided most elections btwn a & 1888 election - candidate lost popular vote, but still won the election – Thanks to electoral college system What is the Electoral College? "Your grades won't matter -- the Supreme Court will decide whether or not you graduate..."


16 When you vote for the President of. the US. you are actually voting
When you vote for the President of the US you are actually voting for an ELECTOR to vote for you Electors then actually cast the votes of who becomes President Usually the electoral vote aligns with the popular vote but on four occasions it has not Each state has a determined # of electors

17 A state’s number of electors is the total number of Senators and Representatives in the House (Census every 10 yrs determines # of reps/electors from each state Texas 2 Senators 36 Representatives Total 38 electors Electors by state

18 Electoral College Map based on 2010 census

19 Origins of the System The electoral college was created by the founding fathers of the Constitution as part of a compromise between the election of a president by congress and election by a popular vote Many of the founders of the Constitution did not trust the people of the new country to make a sound and educated decision. (Fear of the Rabble)

20 There are a total of 538 electoral votes
(the District of Columbia is not a state but is given 3 electoral votes)

21 48 out of the 50 states have a “winner takes all” method
If you get the most votes in that state you get ALL of their electoral college votes

22 2 states are different and can divide up their votes based on congressional district - Nebraska and Maine

23 A candidate must have 270 electoral votes to win the Presidential election

24 If no single candidate gets the required 270 electoral votes then the House of Representatives votes to decide the President

25 It is possible to get more votes overall in the election from the entire country and NOT be elected President Happened in 2000 with Gore vs Bush

26 Total Votes in 2000 Election:
Bush 50,461,092 total votes (47.9%) 271 Electoral Votes Gore 50,994,086 total votes (48.4%) 266 Electoral Votes Nader 2,882,728 total votes (2.7%) 0 Electoral College Votes




30 Summary! The “ticket” with the most popular votes is not guaranteed the presidency. Candidates are not competing for the nation as a whole, but for individual states and their electoral votes.

31 Effect of the Electoral College
Four times in our history, the candidate receiving the most popular votes has not won the election. Samuel Tilden 1876 Al Gore 2000 Andrew Jackson 1824 Grover Cleveland 1888

32 Effect of the Electoral College
The voting procedure of the Electoral College system has a chilling effect on 3rd party candidates. A 3rd party candidate can have appeal distributed across the nation, but without a plurality in any one of the states will not receive any electoral votes.

33 In the 1992 presidential election, independent Ross Perot received 18
In the 1992 presidential election, independent Ross Perot received 18.8% of the popular vote, but zero electoral votes. EXPLAINED William Jefferson Clinton VP: Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. Party: DEMOCRATIC Home State: AR Electoral Votes: 370 Popular Votes: 44,909,326 (43.0%) George HW Bush VP: James Danforth Quayle Party: REPUBLICAN Home State: TX Electoral Votes: 168 Popular Votes: 39,103,882 (37.4%) Ross Perot VP: James Stockdale Party: REFORM Home State: TX Electoral Votes: 0 Popular Votes: 19,741,657 (18.9%)


35 4. Republicans won 4/6 presidential elections btwn 1876-1896 a
4. Republicans won 4/6 presidential elections btwn a. but often Dems controlled H of R b. local political bosses, not the Pres. still controlled the Party c. The nearly even division of power often produced deadlock at the federal level

36 C. Democrats Reclaim the White House 1. 1884 Election a
C. Democrats Reclaim the White House Election a. The candidates: - Grover Cleveland (D) - James G. Blaine (R) b. The issues? - gov’t corruption - focused on the personal morals of candidate c. The Mugwumps – Republican reformers who supported Cleveland (D) - moral leaders who put nation above political party

37 2. Cleveland’s scandal a. Child out of wedlock b. How did he handle it
2. Cleveland’s scandal a. Child out of wedlock b. How did he handle it? - he took responsibility, told the truth and retained support of the mugwumps! Anti-Grover Cleveland political cartoon of 1884 (cropped from the front page of "The Judge" magazine), captioned "Another voice for Cleveland“. Reference is to the story that Cleveland had had an illegitimate child (giving rise to the infamous campaign chant "Ma, Ma, where's my Pa?" by Cleveland opponents, to which Cleveland supporters replied "Gone to the White House, Ha! Ha! Ha!").

38 President Grover Cleveland
3. Grover Cleveland wins 1884 election! Oops! President Grover Cleveland

39 D. A President Beseiged by Problems 1
D. A President Beseiged by Problems 1. Cleveland couldn’t make anybody happy!!! a. Some supporters expected him to reward them w/ jobs b. On the other hand, Mugwumps (Republicans who voted for Cleveland, a Democrat) expected him to X the number of positions under merit system c. Wound up angering both sides

40 2. The Interstate Commerce Commission is
2. The Interstate Commerce Commission is created in response to public concerns a. Industrialization and growth of labor unions caused unrest in US - violent strikes b. Power of big biz also caused concern, especially for small biz and farmers - belief that RRs were gouging (ripping off) small biz & farmers by giving rebates (partial refund to lower the rate of a good or commodity) and lower fares to big biz, high volume users c. States respond by regulating RR rates

41 d. Wabash v. Illinois (1886) - Supreme Court ruled that only the Federal gov’t (NOT states) could regulate interstate (across state lines) commerce e. Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) = st Fed. Law that regulated interstate commerce 1) limited RR rates to “reasonable & just” level 2) forbade rebates to high-volume users 3) illegal to charge higher rates for shorter haul f. ICC ineffective b/c of reliance on courts to enforce it’s rulings

42 3. The problem with Tariffs (Tariff = tax on imported goods)
a. effect of tariffs? price of manufactured goods rose b. unnecessary as US companies now capable of competing internationally c. other nations retaliated with tariffs on US goods (especially ag goods) making it hard for US farmers to export their surpluses - Democrats favored cutting tariffs - Republicans favored keeping tariffs to protect US manufacturers from foreign competition

43 E. Republicans Regain Power – 1888 election 1. The Candidates a
E. Republicans Regain Power – 1888 election 1. The Candidates a. Benjamin Harrison (R) b. Grover Cleveland (D) 2. Tariffs = big campaign issue a. Republicans favored keeping tariffs and gained support of big biz since they benefited from tariff protection b. Democrats campaigned against tariffs 3. Republicans win (close race! Cleveland actually won popular vote, but lost electoral vote!) – control House, Senate + White House!!

44 4. The McKinley Tariff of 1890 a. It’s provisions
1) cut tobacco taxes & sugar tariffs 2) increased tariffs on other goods such as textiles – to discourage people from buying those imports b. It’s effects 1) lowered federal revenue (income) 2) changed budget surplus to a budget deficit What else added to the federal deficit? Increased veterans’ pensions increased # of vets eligible to receive them

45 5. The Sherman Anti-trust Act of 1890
a. Passed to combat the power of trusts b. Made trusts in any form illegal c. Like the ICC, this was also ineffective because enforcement of it was the responsibility of the courts – so number of trusts continued to grow 6. Midterm election 1890 a. Americans, especially farmers, concluded that the 2-party system was incapable of solving the nations problems b. Calls for new political parties begin

46 II. Populism Unrest in Rural America
1. Populism: the movement to increase farmers’ political power and to work for legislation in their interest

47 2. Problems facing farmers
a. overproduction = lower prices - new technology led to production increases (more crops) which led to increased supply (surplus) which led to lower prices (remember, when supply is greater than demand, prices fall!) b. high tariffs = higher prices for manufactured goods + harder for farmers to sell their surplus overseas (why? Because in response to US tariffs on manufactured goods from Europe, Europe retaliated with tariffs on US goods – agricultural goods!!)

48 c. Victimized by banks and RRs
- faraway banks set loan rates - RRs set shipping rates 3. Additional concerns a. The Money Supply 1) to help finance the Civil War, gov’t issued greenbacks (paper currency that could be exchanged for gold or silver) 2) rapid increase in money supply w/o rapid increase in goods for sale caused inflation (a decline in the value of $ which causes an increase in prices)

49 3) to control inflation, gov’t stopped
3) to control inflation, gov’t stopped printing greenbacks and paid off bonds, stopped making silver coins…result? Not enough money supply to meet the needs of a growing economy 4) Decreased money supply = Deflation (an increase in the value of $$ which causes a decrease in prices) b. Deflation Hurts Farmers 1) farmers had to borrow $ to plant crops - short supply of $ caused a rise in interest rates - rising interest rates increased amt that farms owed – made mortgages & other loans more expensive & when farm prices dropped, they still had to pay mortgages & other loans at those high rates

50 2) falling prices meant farmers sold their crops for less
3) some farmers thought Eastern bankers had pressured Congress into reducing $ supply 4) some farmers wanted more greenbacks to expand $ supply – others wanted gov’t to mint silver coins 4. The Grange Takes Action a. The Grange: a national farm organization formed for social & educational purposes – st national farm org. 1) pressured state legislatures to regulate RR & warehouse rates which they thought were too high

51 2) some joined “Greenback Party” –
2) some joined “Greenback Party” – wanted more greenbacks to increase $ supply 3) put their $ together & created cooperatives (store where farmers bought products from each other; an enterprise owned and operated by those who use its services) - pooled members’ crops & held them off market to force price increase - negotiated shipping rates from RRs

52 b. The Grange fails 1) unable to improve economic conditions for farmers 2) co-ops fail - too small to have any effect on prices - Eastern biz considered them to be similar to unions so refused to do biz with them 3) by late 1870s, many farmers left the Grange & joined other orgs that helped to solve their problems

53 1. formed in 1877 – most members from South or Great Plains
B. The Farmers Alliance 1. formed in 1877 – most members from South or Great Plains 2. organized large co-ops called exchanges for the purpose of forcing farm prices up & making loans to farmers at low interest rates a. Co-ops fail 1) loaned too much $ at low interest rates (loans not repaid) 2) wholesalers, manufacturers & RRs & bankers discriminated against them 3) too small to dramatically affect world prices for farm products

54 b. Members of the Kansas Alliance formed
b. Members of the Kansas Alliance formed the People’s Party, or Populist Party to push for political reforms that would help farms solve their problems

55 C. The Rise of Populism 1. Farmers met in Ocala, FL & made a list of demands intended to guide farms in choosing whom to vote for in the 1890 midterm elections a. adopt subtreasury plan ( an attempt to help farmers by holding their crops off the market long enough to force prices up) b. free coinage of silver c. end to protective tariffs & nat’l banks d. tighter regulation of RRs e. direct election of senators by voters instead of state legislatures

56 2. Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 passed
a. Republicans pushed this through in an attempt to keep farmers from voting for Populists b. authorized US treasury to purchase silver - put more $ in circulation - did little to help farmers though Election a. Populist Party held 1st nat’l convention Nominated James B Weaver as their presidential candidate

57 b. The People’s Party (Populist Party) Platform 1) unlimited coinage of 16:1 - wanted this to increase the $ supply making it easier for farmers to repay their loans 2) federal ownership of RRs 3) graduated income tax: tax higher earnings more heavily 4) labor positions: 8 hr workday, less immigration, denounce strikebreaking c. Grover Cleveland (D) wins 1892 election

58 Results of 1892 Presidential Election

59 4. The Panic of 1893 a. begins after Reading & Philadelphia RRs declare bankruptcy b. worst economic crisis to that date – depression! 18% unemployment, stock market crash, bank failures c. Crisis with nat’l gold reserves. Why? People began cashing in their bonds for gold d. Cleveland repeals Sherman Silver Purchase Act. Why? b/c gold was being lost every time people exchanged silver for gold under that Act

60 e. Democratic Party divided
1) goldbugs: favored US currency based on gold 2) silverites: favored unlimited coinage of silver D. Election of 1896 1. The Candidates a. William Jennings Bryan (D) - supported unlimited coinage of silver - supported by Populists (farmers) b. William McKinley (R) - “front porch” campaign - promised full dinner pail - supported by urban workers & immigrants

61 Results of 1896 Presidential Election

62 2. Depression over in late 1890s + new gold
2. Depression over in late 1890s + new gold strikes = less opposition to gold-based currency a. Led to increased money supply w/o turning to silver b : US officially adopted a gold-based standard with the Gold Standard Act

63 3. Populist party declines
a. Failures: 1) economic hardships of farmers not eased 2) more regulations on big biz not achieved b. Success: several of the Populist’s proposed reforms become law later in history (such as graduated income tax and some gov’t regulation of the economy)

64 III. Rise of Segregation
Resistance and Repression 1. Life for Black Americans a. Technically free, but extremely poor b. Many are landless sharecroppers (farmer who works land for an owner who provides equipment and seed and receives a share of the crop) c. Many left to find jobs in towns & cities or headed west to claim homesteads - Exoduster = black American who participated in a mass migration from the rural South to Kansas & other Plains areas

65 2. The Colored Farmers’ National Alliance
a. Aim to help members economically by establishing cooperatives b. Supported the Populist Party hoping it would unite poor whites & poor blacks to challenge Democratic Party power in the South 3. Democratic Party challenged a. Feared losing South if poor whites left Dem party to join black Populists b. To win back the poor white vote, Dems appealed to racism – claimed Populist support would return the South to Republican rule as it was during Reconstruction

66 B. Black Americans are disenfranchised
disenfranchise: deny the right to vote ** Southern States restricted voting rights of black Americans 1. Poll Tax: (a tax of a fixed amount per person that had to be paid before the person could vote) – Kept black Americans from voting b/c many were extremely poor 2. Literacy Tests – kept black Americans from voting b/c over 50% were illiterate in this era Even those who could read often failed b/c local officials picked complicated reading passages that few could understand

67 3. Grandfather Clause a. Grandfather Clause (a clause that allowed individuals who did not pass the literacy test to vote if their fathers or grandfathers had voted before Reconstruction began b. The effect? In LA, made nearly all formerly enslaved LA citizens ineligible to vote There were also provisions in some states that required property ownership as a pre-requisite to voting

68 C. Legalizing Segregation
1. Segregation (separation or isolation of a race, class or group) 2. Segregation North vs South a. North = defacto segregation (segregation by custom and tradition) b. South = dejure segregation (segregation by law) Jim Crow Laws (statutes or laws created to enforce segregation) : Supreme Court overturns Civil Rights Act of 1875 setting the stage for legalized segregation

69 4. 14th Amendment a. Says that no State could deny equal protection under the law based on race b. But private organizations and businesses, were still free to practice segregation c. As a result, Southern states passed a series of laws that enforced segregation in virtually ALL public places: restaurants, RRs, hotels, pools, etc

70 5. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) a. Background: 1892, Homer Plessy rode in the whites only RR car and was arrested – case went to Supreme Court b. Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” facilities for the races was legal c. Established the legal basis for discrimination in the South for 50 yrs + d. Facilities always separate, but almost never equal.

71 6. Racial Violence a. Mob violence in the South
b. Lynchings (executions w/o lawful approval) 1) 80% in the South 2) 70% of the victims were black Americans

72 D. African American Response
1. Ida Wells led campaign against lynching a. Said greed, not just racial prejudice was behind lynching - reported in the Memphis Free Speech that 3 blacks were lynched in Memphis simply because the competed successfully against white grocers b. b/c of her activism, lynchings decreased significantly in the 1900s

73 2. Booker T Washington a. His solution to discrimination? Black Americans should concentrate on achieving economic goals (through education) instead of legal/political ones b. In what is known as the Atlanta Compromise, he said black Americans should focus on education in an effort to achieve full equality

74 3. W.E.B. Du Bois a. Disagreed with Booker T Washington
- said blacks still stripped of civil rights even with improvements in education and vocational training b. His solution to discrimination? Protection of voting rights

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