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Chapter 16: Politics and Reform American History.

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1 Chapter 16: Politics and Reform American History

2 Disagreements in Washington  When Hayes took office, he attacked the practice of patronage, or the spoils system introduced by President Jackson, by appointing reformers and replaced officials who owed their jobs to party bosses  Party bosses were called “Stalwarts” by the papers  The Stalwarts were already angry with Hayes for abandoning Reconstruction because it allowed Democrats to regain control of the South  Senator Roscoe Conkling, a party boss, labeled the Republicans “Halfbreeds” and accused them of backing up reforms to create openings for their own supporters

3 Garfield and Arthur  With Hayes not running again, the Republicans nominated a halfbreed, James A. Garfield, and a stalwart, Chester A. Authur, for president  won the election of 1880  A few months after being inaugurated, Garfield was assassinated  further excited public opinion on the spoils system  Congress passed the Pendleton Act, which allowed the president to decide which federal jobs would be filled based on rules laid down by the Civil Service Commission  candidates took exams, and positions were filled based on those who took the exams

4 Election of 1884  With the Democrats and Republicans holding equal power and representation in the states and on Capital Hill, there was a political stalemate, where no reforms were being enacted  Democratic Governor Grover Cleveland of New York and Republican Representative James Blaine were the candidates for president  Both were against corruption, which was the main focal point of each campaign  Because of Blaine’s lavish style of campaigning, many Republicans turned and supported Cleveland  “mugwumps”: more concerned with helping the nation than a political party

5 Cleveland wins, with problems on his shoulders  Cleveland won the election of 1884, but stepped into issues immediately  Angered both supporters and mugwumps by not giving supporters government jobs and not multiplying positions for mugwumps  Industrialization caused workers to organize into unions, which often became violent  Large corporations began issuing rebates, or partial refunds, which caused other consumers to pay higher rates

6 Interstate Commerce Commission  In 1886, the case of Wabash v. Illinois was ruled that Illinois could not restrict the rates that the Wabash Railroad charged for traffic between states because that was an interstate issue  Public pressure forced Congress to pass the Interstate Commerce Act that created the Interstate Commerce Commission  regulated railroad rates, forbade rebates to high volume users, and made it illegal to charge higher rates for shorter hauls  Cleveland proposed to lower tariffs, since it raised prices on manufactured goods, and Congress passed a tariff reduction bill, but the Senate vetoed it  became an issue for the election of 1888

7 Harrison takes charge  Republican Benjamin Harrison won the election of 1888  With the Republicans in control of the Senate and House, Harrison was able to pass major bills addressing key issues  The McKinley Tariff: cut taxes in tobacco and raw sugar, increased rates on other goods, lowered federal revenue, and turned surplus into deficit  Sherman Antitrust Act: made it illegal for companies to combine into trusts

8 Populism  Populism was the movement to increase farmers’ political power and to work for legislation in their interest  A main concern for farmers during this time period was the economy and the money supply  New technology had increased the food supply, which decreased the value of food  Inflation, or a decrease in the value of money, occurred when the government issued greenbacks, or paper currency, without being accompanied by the increase in goods for sale  Deflation, or an increase in the value of money, also occurred when prices of goods fell, greenbacks stopped being printed, and silver was no longer minted

9 Deflation hits farmers hard  Farmers had to borrow money for seeds and equipment, and because the money was in short supply, interest rates began to rise, which increased what the farmers owed  Farmers sold their crops for less, and were unable to expand their lands because of high mortgage rates  Farmers desired for the printing of greenbacks and the minting of silver coins  Without representation, farmers began to organize

10 The Grange  Inspired by a visit to the rural South to check on farmers, Oliver Kelley created the first farmers organization, the Patrons of Husbandry, or the Grange  To address the issue of the evolving recession, the Grange members did one of three things:  Regulate railroad and warehouse rates  Join the Independent National Party (Greenback Party)  Pool resources and create cooperatives, or marketing organizations that worked for the benefit of their members  Held crops off the market to force prices up and eliminate extreme competition  The Grange’s plans did not work because of legislation, the Greenback Party failed to gain support, and cooperatives failed to gained support because people saw them as unions

11 The Farmer’s Alliance and the People’s Party  As the Grange fell, The Farmer’s Alliance began to form  began to gain support in the West and South  organized cooperatives called exchanges  The exchanges the Alliance organized began to fail for several reasons:  many loaned too much money that was never repaid  still too small to effect the world prices of products  The failure of the Alliance caused others to break away from the organization and create a new party, the People’s Party, or Populist Party  called for a subtreasury plan, where subtreasuries, or warehouse, were built, where farmers could store crops and receive low interest rates

12 Attempts to topple Populism  The Farmer’s Alliance met and issued the Ocala Demands, which called for:  adoption of subtreasuries, free coinage of silver, an end to protective tariffs and national banks, tighter regulation of railroads, and direct election of senators  To prevent farmers from voting Populist, Senator John Sherman pushed through the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890  authorized Treasury to purchase 4.5 million ounces of silver per month to put more money into use and reduce deflation  Many still voted for Democratic candidates who agreed to the Ocala Demands in the South and West, but many did not keep their promises  forced farmers to join People’s Party

13 A Populist for President  The People’s Party held its first convention and nominated James Weaver for president  denounced the coining of silver, federal ownership of railroads, and a graduated income tax, which taxed higher earnings more heavily  The People’s Party could not gain popular support, and many still sided with the Democrats, who voted for Grover Cleveland to return to the presidency in 1890

14 The Panic of 1893  After Cleveland was inaugurated, the country plummeted into the worst economic crisis it had seen  began when the Pennsylvania and Reading Railroads declared bankruptcy due to inability to pay off loans  investors began to cash out their bonds for gold, depleting the U.S. gold deposits  Cleveland called Congress to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchas Act  Opinions split into two factions:  Goldbugs : believed currency should be based only on gold  Silverites : coining silver would solve economic crisis

15 Election of 1896  Candidates made the coining silver issue the focus of their campaigns  Democrats and Populists nominated William Jennings Bryan  Supported coining silver  Republicans nominated William McKinley, responsible for the McKinley tariff  conducted “front porch campaigns” when delegates came to visit him  Supported plans to provide workers with a “full dinner pail”  McKinley ended up winning the election, and with the depression over and gold discoveries in Canada and Alaska, the value of money increased, and the Populist Party decline

16 Repression in the South  After Reconstruction, most African Americans were sharecroppers, or farmers who handed their crops to landowners to cover the cost of rent and supplies  The conditions for African Americans in the South were not entirely better than slavery  Many migrated to Kansas: Exodusters  Those who stayed in the South formed the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance, which helped its members economically by setting up cooperative

17 Restrictions towards African Americans  The government used a loophole in the Fifteenth Amendment, which restricted illiterate people from voting, and incorporated that to illiterate African Americans, which was a large majority  The South began to demand that voters pay a poll tax, or a tax on voting, of $2, which was beyond the means of most African Americans  Literacy exams were also given to all voters  For those who were white and illiterate, they were granted the grandfather clause and allowed to vote if they had an ancestor registered to vote in 1867

18 Segregation legalized  Segregation, or separation of the races, was enforced by the Jim Crow laws  The Supreme Court overturned the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which banned people from keeping other off their property based on racial discrimination  In 1892, Homer Plessy challenged segregation by riding in a railroad car reserved for whites  Plessy v. Ferguson: upheld Louisiana law and expressed a new doctrine endorsing “separate but equal” facilities for African Americans  Violence escalated in the South, resulting in many African Americans being lynched, or hung without court proceedings, by unruly mobs

19 African American Response  Many African American spoke out and protested, in their own way, against segregation  Ida B. Wells: spoke out against lynching; wrote newspaper articles denouncing lynching  Booker T. Washington: proposed that African Americans focus on economic goals rather than political and legal; proposed the Atlanta Compromise, which urged African Americans to postpone the urge to fight for civil rights and instead preparing themselves in education and vocation  W.E.B. Du Bois: proposed that in order for African Americans to achieve educationally and vocationally, they have to press for their rights


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