Presentation on theme: "The Gilded Age & Corruption"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Gilded Age & Corruption Essential Question: How did economic growth impact NC and the US during the Gilded Age?
2 First some background/review to US Politics and Business: The “Politics of Equilibrium” US Politics dominated by a Two-Party system: Democrats & RepublicansIntense voter loyalty to each of these partiesWell-Defined Voting BlocsDemocratic Bloc: White southerners (preservation of white supremacy), Catholics, Recent immigrants (esp. Jews), Urban working poor (pro-labor), Most farmersRepublican Bloc: Northern whites (pro-business), African Americans, Northern Protestants, Old WASPs (support for anti-immigrant laws), Most of the middle classLaissez Faire Federal Govt: From Govt. did very little domesticallyMain duties of the federal govt.:Deliver the mail,Maintain a national military,Collect taxes & tariffs,Conduct a foreign policyThe Presidency a Symbolic Office: Party Bosses Ruled, Presidents should avoid offending any groups in their party, and President gave out Federal Jobs (think Jackson and Spoils System)
3 3 Main Factors of Corruption Federal: think of the PresidentLocal: think of cities and what were called Political MachinesCorporate: think of the Robber Barons – Rockefeller, Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, and Biltmore
4 Federal Government & The Presidency Credit Mobilier & Federal government: paying more for something than what it really costsUnion Pacific employee Thomas Durant get into railroad building businessgains government contract to build transcontinental railroad giving an inflated estimatehis is only bid because of unscrupulous actionsPays construction company lot less and profits the restPresident Grant's Vice-President and several Congressmen received bribes from Credit Mobilier, the construction company building the Union Pacific Railroad, to fraudulently bill the government.
5 Federal Government & The Presidency The Presidency & Patronage (Spoils System):Patronage: give government jobs to people that helped you get electedPeople usually not qualified to do the work 7 these individuals used jobs for personal gainPendleton Civil Service Reform Act changed this by making people pass a Civil Service Exam
6 Local-City Corruption – Political Machines Organized group that controlled activities of a political party in a city by taking advantage of the needs of the immigrants and urban poor.Ensured voter loyalty by providing jobs and social services to immigrants’ most pressing problemsJobs, housing, healthcare, licensesStructure of Political Machines:City Boss: typically but not always, a mayorControlled jobs, business licenses, and influenced the court systemsWard Boss and then Precinct Captains: 1st or 2nd generation immigrants, helped new immigrants with jobs, housing, and naturalization in exchange for votes
7 Political Machine Corruption – Graft & Scandal Voter Fraud: use of fake names, multiple votes, using pets’ names to ensure a political victory at the ballotGraft: (Bribes & Kick Backs) the illegal use of political influence for personal gainBribe: official takes money from a citizen and then ensures citizen will get what they wantKick Back: typical example is in constructionElected official guarantees company gets the job at an inflated price, the difference goes into official’s pocket
8 Political Machine Example Boss Tweed – William M. Tweed: head of famous Tammany Hall, New York City’s powerful Democratic political machineHe was a bookkeeper & volunteer firemenWorked his way up in political machinePlundered over $30 million 19 century money from NYC
9 Corporate Corruption – Robber Barons Companies develop from small businesses into corporations and then into TrustsTrusts: a group of independent organizations formed to limit competition by controlling the production and distribution of a product or service.Also: Corporate Trust acts as a financial manger for the task of handling the corporation’s financial assets.Robber Baron practice: build up multiple companies doing same thing, move all money into one of the companies and then file bankruptcy in the others