Presentation on theme: "Gilded Age Politics. The Gilded Age To be “Gilded” means to look like gold on the outside, while the inside is anything but gold. Politics during the."— Presentation transcript:
The Gilded Age To be “Gilded” means to look like gold on the outside, while the inside is anything but gold. Politics during the late 1800’s were much the same. Robber Barons and politicians went from being poor to being wealthy through corrupt means Mark Twain coined the term “Gilded Age”
Political Machines This is an organized group, often members of a political party, who control politics in a city. Political Machines used election fraud and grafts to make their members rich. “Grafts” = illegal use of power to gain wealth at the expense of others
Gaining Support from Voters Political Machines could only work if they had candidates elected into local offices such as the office of Mayor. To win elections, the machine would bribe voters by promising to give them money, jobs, hospitals, schools, parks, etc..
Immigrants join Political Machines Many “Bosses, leaders of Political Machines, were immigrants. They used their power to help new immigrants find jobs and get naturalization papers. Immigrants gave their support to poilitical machines because they viewed the Bosses as men who understood their problems
Fraud With support from the poor and fresh immigrants, Political Machines quickly dominated Local governments Machines used common people to rig elections by voting multiple times, using names of dead citizens to vote, intimidating others to vote a certain way, paying voters to support a candidate, etc.
Grafting the Public Once elected, a Political Machine Candidate began a program to steal money from the citizens to make the Boss and machine members wealthy. Machines would over charge on taxes and city projects. The tax payers pay the high sums while the machine pocketed the majority of the money.
The Tweed Ring William M. Tweed, “Boss Tweed,” ran the Democrat political machine in NY City. Their headquarters were in Tammany Hall. Boss Tweed used grafts to make millions at the expense of the tax payers
Thomas Nast Thomas Nast was a political cartoonist. He was angry at Boss Tweed’s Tammany Hall Machine. Although newspaper articles had already exposed Tweed’s corruption, immigrant voters still supported him. Nast realized that they supported him because they could not read, therefore they didn’t realize Tweed was robbing them.
The Pen is Mightier than the Sword Nast began drawing cartoons that showed the illiterate immigrants what Tweed and his machine members had been doing. The Cartoons worked. Boss Tweed lost his support. The City turned against Tweed and his machine. Tweed was arrested and sentenced to jail
Tweed on the Run! Tweed however controlled the police and the prison system. Many guards were on his bribe pay roll Tweed escaped from jail and flees to Spain. However, police in Spain had seen Nast’s cartoons and identified Tweed. They arrested him and sent him to a new prison