GILDED AGE POLITICS

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GILDED AGE POLITICS. Amanda Donner St. James H.S. The Abandonment of Reconstruction. Northern Support Wanes. “Grantism” & corruption. Panic of 1873 [6-year depression]. Concern over westward expansion and Indian wars. Key monetary issues: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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GILDED AGE POLITICS

Amanda DonnerSt. James H.S.GILDED AGE POLITICSTheAbandonmentof ReconstructionNorthern Support Wanes

Grantism & corruption.Panic of 1873 [6-yeardepression].Concern over westwardexpansion and Indian wars.Key monetary issues:should the government retire $432m worth of greenbacks issued during the Civil War.should war bonds be paid back in specie orgreenbacks.

1876 Presidential TicketsRegional Balance?

1876 Presidential Election

The Political Crisis of 1877

Corrupt BargainPart II?Hayes Prevails

Alas, the Woes of Childhood

Sammy TildenBoo-Hoo! Ruthy Hayess got my Presidency, and he wont give it to me!A Political Crisis: The Compromise of 1877

The "Politics ofEquilibrium"1. A Two-Party Stalemate

Two-Party Balance

2. Intense Voter Loyalty to theTwo MajorPolitical Parties

Politics a major fascination of late nineteenth century

White males make up bulk of electoratewomen may vote in national elections only in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Colorado

3. Well-Defined Voting BlocsDemocraticBlocRepublicanBlocWhite southerners(preservation ofwhite supremacy)CatholicsRecent immigrants(esp. Jews)Urban working poor (pro-labor)Most farmersNorthern whites(pro-business)African AmericansNorthern ProtestantsOld WASPs (supportfor anti-immigrant laws)Most of the middleclass4. Very Laissez Faire Federal Govt.From 1870-1900 Govt. did verylittle domestically.Main duties of the federal govt.:Deliver the mail.Maintain a national military.Collect taxes & tariffs.Conduct a foreign policy.Exception administer the annual Civil War veterans pension.5. The Presidency as a Symbolic OfficeParty bosses ruled.Presidents should avoid offending anyfactions within theirown party.The President justdoled out federal jobs. 1865 53,000 people worked for the federal govt. 1890 166,000

Senator Roscoe Conkling1880 Presidential Election: Republicans

Half BreedsStalwartsSen. James G. Blaine Sen. Roscoe Conkling (Maine) (New York)James A. Garfield Chester A. Arthur (VP)

compromise Stalwart or HalfbreedStalwartSupported the spoils system & Radical RepublicanismHalfbreedSupported Civil Service reform

Republican Question1880 Presidential Election: Democrats

Inspecting the Democratic Curiosity Shop

1880 Presidential Election

Garfield (R) Halfbreed wins election, on July 2, 1881 he was assassinated by Charles Guiteau who said I am a StalwartGarfields VP Chester A. Arthur (Stalwart) was now president1881: Garfield Assassinated!

Charles Guiteau:I Am a Stalwart, and Arthur is President now!Chester A. Arthur:The Fox in the Chicken Coop?

Civil Service Reform

The assassination of the Pres pushed people to reform

Beginning of the end for the Spoils System

Pendleton Act (1883)Civil Service Act.The Magna Carta of civil service reform.1883 14,000 out of117,000 federal govt.jobs became civilservice exam positions.1900 100,000 out of 200,000 civil service federal govt. jobs.

Republican MugwumpsReformers who wouldnt re-nominateChester A. Arthur.Reform to them create a disinterested, impartial govt. run by an educated elite like themselves.Social Darwinists.Laissez faire government to them:Favoritism & the spoils system seen as govt. intervention in society.Their target was political corruption, not social or economic reform!TheMugwumps

Men may come and men may go, but the work of reform shall go on forever.Will support Cleveland in the1884 election.1884 Presidential Election

Grover Cleveland James Blaine * (DEM) (REP)

A Dirty Campaign

Ma, Mawheres my pa?Hes going to the White House, ha ha ha!Little Lost Mugwump

Blaine in 1884

During election many Rep. bolted the party. Blaines indiscretions came out (he took graft & sold his votes)

Cleveland ran an election on reform platformbattle graft & corruption Rum, Romanism & Rebellion!Led a delegation of ministers to Blaine inNYC.Reference to the Democratic Party.Blaine was slow torepudiate the remark.Narrow victory forCleveland [he wins NYby only 1149 votes!].

Dr. Samuel Burchard1884 Presidential Election

Clevelands First TermThe Veto Governor from New York.Cleveland uses veto to curtail federal activitiesvetoed bills for fraudulent pensions for veterans First Democratic elected since 1856.A public office is a public trust!Establishes the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)regulate R/Rs 1st timeHis laissez-faire presidency:Opposed bills to assist the poor aswell as the rich.Vetoed over 200 special pension billsfor Civil War veterans!Bravo, Seor Clevelando!

The Tariff IssueAfter the Civil War, Congress raisedtariffs to protect new US industries.Big business wanted to continue this;consumers did not.1885 tariffs earned the US $100 mil. in surplus!Mugwumps opposed it WHY???President Clevelands view on tariffs????Tariffs became a major issue in the 1888presidential election.Filing the Rough Edges

Tariff of 18881888 Presidential Election

Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison (DEM) * (REP)

Cleveland wins popular vote, but loses election

Harrison ran on platform of giving $ to veteran pensionsComing Out for Harrison

The Smallest Specimen Yet

1888 Presidential Election

1888Republicans control both White House and Capitol Hill

Disposing the Surplus

Changing Public OpinionAmericans wanted the federal govt. to dealwith growing soc. & eco. problems & to curbthe power of the trusts:Interstate Commerce Act 1887Sherman Silver Purchase Act 1890 requires treasury to purchase 4.5 million ounces of silver monthly (backs paper money with silver)not enough for farmersMcKinley Tariff 1890Based on the theory that prosperityflowed directly from protectionism.Increased already high rates another 4%!raises duties on manufactured goods (hurt farmers)Raised taxes on agricultural imports (helped)

1890Sherman Anti-Trust Act regulates big businessbreak up monopoliesDoes not define trust completely

Rep. Party suffered big losses in 1890 (evenMcKinley lost his House seat!).

Changing Public Opinion