7.3 Gilded Age Politics

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7.3 Gilded Age Politics. Political Machines. Large cities were run by political machines with corrupt “bosses” making decisions Their neighborhood captains would bribe people (especially immigrants) for their votes and support - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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7.3 Gilded Age Politics

7.3 Gilded Age PoliticsPolitical MachinesLarge cities were run by political machines with corrupt bosses making decisionsTheir neighborhood captains would bribe people (especially immigrants) for their votes and supportBosses would get very wealthy but also used their power to help develop their communityPolitical MachinesBoss Tweeds Democratic machine in NYC was the most famousThomas Nast drew political cartoons mocking himCaught (several times) for massive corruption and graft

Civil Service ReformTraditionally, people gained govt. jobs by knowing the guy who was elected (patronage)Q: What effect would that have on govt. workers?Civil service reform suggested giving govt. jobs who scored the highest on a testLet the best job-candidate win!

Civil Service ReformRutherford B Hayes (1877, Repub.) pushed civil service reform to clear out corruptionJames A Garfield (1881, Repub) tried to balance those wanting reform with those wanting patronageHe was assassinated 3 months into office, his VP (Chester A. Arthur) became Pres.

Civil Service ReformArthur continued to push for reform, signed Congresss Pendleton Civil Service Act in 1883To get a govt. job, you needed to score high on the Civil Service test.

Civil Service ReformWhat people would have been crushed by civil service reforms?stalwarts: Republicans who wanted to keep the patronage system of government jobsWhat civil service reform law do you need to know by name?The Pendleton Act

Big Business & the Govt.Remember, this is a time of big businesses and the govt. being very closeBusinesses would fund political campaigns, politicians allowed business owners to do what they wantedBusinesses biggest concern was keeping tariffs (taxes on imports) highHigh tariffs meant foreign goods would be expensive (so Buy American!)

Big Business & the Govt.1885 Grover Cleveland (Democ.) became president, wanted to lower the tariff1889 Benjamin Harrison (Repub.) beat Cleveland in a close electionHarrison agreed to raise tariffs even higher (McKinley Tariff Act)1892 Cleveland wins again!1896 ____________ wins and tariffs increase again.