Presentation on theme: "Politics in the Gilded Age"— Presentation transcript:
1 Politics in the Gilded Age The Emergence of the Political MachineMunicipal Graft and ScandalCivil Service Replaces PatronageBusiness Buys Influence
2 The Emergence of the Political Machine An organized group that controlled the activities of a political party in a city.Offers services to voters and businesses in exchange for political or financial support.Controlled most local / city governmentsOrganized like a pyramid.
3 Local Precinct Workers Pyramid StructureCity BossWard BossLocal Precinct Workersand CaptainsImmigrants / Working Class
4 Role of the Political Boss Controls thousands of city jobsPolice, fire, and sanitation departmentsControls business licenses and inspectionsInfluences courts and municipal agenciesUses power to build public worksWater works, parks, schools, hospitals etc.
5 Motives of Political Bosses Money - business would pay for the bosses support or to look the other wayVotes – did good things for people living in their district to reinforce voter loyaltyInfluence and PowerPolitical Support
6 Immigrants and the Political Machine Bosses frequently 1st or 2nd generation immigrantsRaised in povertyWorked their way up the machineSpeak the language and understand the challenges for immigrantsHelp immigrants find place to live, get them jobs, and to become naturalizedIn return the immigrant provides votes
7 Municipal Graft and Scandal Election Fraud and GraftFraud – fraudulent votes cast by ineligible voters i.e. dogs, children, deceased.Graft – illegal use of political influence for personal gain.Kickbacks – illegal payments
8 The Tweed Ring ScandalTammany Hall – New York City’s powerful Democratic Political MachineBoss Tweed – William Marcy Tweed, head of Tammany Hall and leader of the Tweed RingTweed Ring – group of corrupt politicians who pocketed as much as $20 million in kickbacks and payoffs.
9 Tweed Ring ScandalNew York County Courthouse cost taxpayers $13 million, actual construction cost $ 3 millionThomas Nast – political cartoonist who blew the whistle on the corruption of the Tweed Ring and Boss Tweed by publishing telling cartoons about their illegal activities.
13 Tweed Ring Broken Tweed indicted on 120 counts of fraud and extortion Sentenced to 12 yearsServed 2 and escaped only to be recaptured in Spain because someone ironically recognized him from a Thomas Nast cartoon.
14 Civil Service Replaces Patronage Patronage – giving of government jobs to people who helped get a candidate electedSpoils System – “To the Victor goes the Spoils” – the system of rewarding one’s political supporters
15 Problems with the Spoils System Some government employees were not qualified for their positionsSome used their positions for personal gainInterfered with daily functioning of government because with each change 1000’s of positions had to be filled, meaning very little got done because the politician spent his time making appointments to the 1000’s of positions
16 Call for Civil Service Reform Civil Service – government jobsMerit System – filling government jobs based on qualification, regardless of political views or affiliation
17 Hayes the Reformer Named independents to his cabinet Named independents to his cabinetFired workers who had nothing to doSet up commission to investigate the national customhousesFired the top two officials in New York City’s customhouse based on reportCleaned up nations customhousesUpset many in the Political Machine
18 Election of 1880After much debate between Stalwarts and Mugwumps Republicans compromiseStalwarts – oppose changes to the spoils system. Supports the use of Patronage.Mugwumps – want civil service reformRepublicans nominate independent James A. Garfield for PresidentNominate Chester A. Arthur for V.P. with ties to the political machine
19 Garfield Wins Presidency Gives most of patronage jobs to Reform Republicans (Mugwumps)Garfield is shot twice at a train station by man upset about not getting a government job.Assassin was a Stalwart and wanted Arthur to become President.Garfield dies of his wounds 2 ½ months after incident and Arthur becomes President.
20 Arthur Turns Reformer Arthur calls for passage of the Pendleton Act. Pendleton Act – authorized a bipartisan civil service commission to make appointments to federal jobs through the merit system based on performance on an exam.40% of federal jobs covered then90% of federal jobs covered today
21 Consequences of Pendleton Act Increased # of federal jobs held by qualified peoplePublic administration became more honest and efficientPoliticians had to seek other sources for campaign contributions since they could pressure people with promises of jobsThe alliance between big business and politics become much stronger
22 Efforts to Regulate Tariffs Fail Tariff – Tax on imports1884 Grover Cleveland (Democrat) wins PresidencySupports Tariff Reform (lower tariffs)Does not have congressional support
23 Election of 1888 Cleveland (Dem) v. Benjamin Harrison (Rep) Harrison has backing of big business and winsCleveland had more popular votes, but Harrison captured more electoral votesHarrison supports high protective tariffsMcKinley Tariff Act of 1890 – raised tariffs to highest level ever
24 Cleveland Tries Again in 1892 Cleveland ran and won in 1892Only President to serve two non-consecutive terms (22nd & 24th Pres.)Supported the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act to lower tariffs, but refused to sign it when congress added a provision to raise federal income tax.Wilson-Gorman Tariff became law w/o signature.
25 Election of William McKinley The election of McKinley in 1896 killed tariff reform, because upon his inauguration tariffs were raised again.However the spirit of reform would live on in the new century.