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Politics in the Gilded Age

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Title: Politics in the Gilded Age


1
Politics in the Gilded Age
2
A. The Gilded Age
Samuel Clemens Mark Twain
Charles Dudley Warner
3
  • 1.Gilding coating something in a thin layer of
    gold.
  • 2. The nickname The Gilded Age was coined by
    Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their
    fictional book The Gilded Age A Tale of Today
    (1873). It referred to the period of time in
    American history stretching from roughly 1870
    1900

4
3. What made it Gilded?
  • a. America, despite its appearance of promise and
    prosperity, was plagued with corruption and
    scandal.
  • b. Two themes caused dissention
  • i. Laissez Faire hands off
  • ii. Government gained new authority and power at
    all levels- especially local level.

http//us.history.wisc.edu/hist102/lectures/lectur
e04.html
5
4. Democrats Republicans
  • a. After the Civil War, both parties appeased
    special interest groups.
  • b. Neither party had clear control of the
    government
  • i. Republicans maintained the presidency from
    1868-1912 (except for Clevelands presidencies)
  • ii. Democrats controlled Congress and most state
    legislature
  • c. Each struggled to find clear platforms

6
  • d. When all else failed, Republicans quickly
    jumped waving The Bloody Shirt, reminding
    voters of the Souths dishonor of seceding and
    causing the Civil War (Southern states were
    Democrat).
  • This tactic painted all Democrats as traitors.

7
Political Parties of the Gilded Age
DemocraticBloc
RepublicanBloc
  • Northern whites(pro-business)
  • African Americans
  • Northern Protestants
  • Most of the middleclass
  • White southerners(preservation ofwhite
    supremacy)
  • Catholics
  • Recent immigrants(esp. Jews)
  • Urban working poor (pro-labor)
  • Most farmers

8
5. Political Machines
  • a. As city officials gained more power, they
    increased taxes to pay for city up-keep.
    Competition among groups for control of city
    government grew intense.
  • b. Political machines unofficial city
    organizations designed to keep a particular party
    or group in power (arose due to clashing
    interests among groups of politicians)

9
  • c. Most political machines were headed by a
    powerful boss who may or may not have actually
    held a public office.
  • d. Kickback promising a job contract to a
    company, hiking the price of the job, and then
    receiving a portion of the earnings, which would
    be known as graft funds illegally acquired
    through dishonorable behavior.

10
  • e. Most political bosses were corrupt however
    there were a few honest leaders.
  • i. Ex. George Cox (Republican) who won election
    to Cincinnatis city council in 1879
  • aa. He used his machine to guarantee victories
    and business contracts to party faithfuls, but
  • bb. He also worked with local reformers to
    improve the quality of the police force and city
    services.

11
  • f. Most notoriously corrupt political boss was
    William Boss Tweed of NYC.
  • i. Led Tammany Hall in the early 1870s
  • ii. Grew rich off kickbacks/graft from the citys
    construction jobs, which were padded with fake
    expenses
  • iii. Tweed was arrested in 1873 and died in jail.

I don't care who does the electing, so long as I
get to do the nominating. -Boss Tweed
12
Analyze Nast vs Boss Tweed Cartoon
13
(No Transcript)
14
Political Machine Basics
  • WHAT???
  • Political parties that controlled local and state
    government in late 1800s
  • WHY??
  • Cities were growing fast!
  • City government disorganized with few reliable
    services (police, fire, welfare)
  • Immigrants wanted protection, help

15
The Dwarf and the Thief by Thomas Nast
Can The Law Reach Him ?
16
B. Election of 1876
  • 1. Rutherford B. Hayes (OH)- Repub
  • a. Promised home rule in the South and civil/
    political rights for all (contradictory).
  • 2. Samuel Tilden (NY)- Democrat
  • 3. Tilden won popular vote, but electoral college
    votes from SC, FL, LA were disputed.
  • 4. Each party claimed they won.

17
Election of 1876
18
C. The Compromise of 1877
  • 1. An electoral commission was set up to
    determine who would be awarded the disputed
    votes Congress also had to approve their
    decision.
  • 2. Republicans and Democrats agreed that if
    Hayes won the election he would remove federal
    troops from the south.

19
3. As a result of the compromise, Democrats
regained control of SC, LA, FL
andReconstruction in the South officially ended
on May 1, 1877. 4. A political
cartoon by Thomas Nast of
Harpers Weekly used a sports analogy
for the Compromise of 1877.
20
A brief FYI
Nast created todays symbols of the Republican
(Elephant) and Democrat (Donkey) Parties (Dec.
27, 1879).
21
  • After the removal of the troops from the South
    after Reconstruction, whites are again free to
    discriminate against African-Americans (thus, the
    passage of Jim Crow laws).

22
Analyze Election of 1877 Map
23
D. Political attitude of the late 19th century
  • 1. With few exceptions, Washington (that means
    federal politicians) generally ignored the social
    consequences of industrialization.
  • 2. However, others throughout the country forced
    the issues.

24
E. Stirrings of Reform
  • 1. With the presidency of Hayes came the first
    stirrings of government reform.
  • 2. The use of public offices as rewards for
    political party work is known as the "Spoils
    System." This system cycled in and out of
    government through presidencies from Jefferson to
    Grant.

25
  • 3. Hayess presidency marked the beginning of
    Civil Service Reform.
  • a. Civil service jobs government jobs held by
    non-elected workers.
  • b. Hayes tried to appoint qualified political
    independents to Cabinet posts and fired employees
    that were not needed however, Hayes did not have
    Congressional backing in this endeavor and
    angered many politicians.

26
  • 4. Because of differences over civil service
    reform, the Republican party split into two
    factions
  • a. Stalwarts conservative Republicans
  • who opposed Civil Service Reform
  • b. Half-breeds moderate faction of
    Republicans who supported Civil Service Reform
    (which began
  • under Rutherford B. Hayes)
  • 5. This split caused confusion over who to
    choose as the presidential candidate in 1880!

27
F. Election of 1880
  • 1. Incumbent (current holder of office)
    president Rutherford B. Hayes planned to retire
    at the end of one term, which opened wide the
    door of opportunity!
  • 2. Candidates for the Election of 1880
  • a. Democrat Winfield S. Hancock (P)
  • William English (VP)
  • b. Republican James Garfield (P)
  • Chester A. Arthur (VP)

28
G. Republicans and the 1880 Election
Half Breeds
Stalwarts
Conflict!
Compromise!
James A. Garfield (P) Chester A. Arthur (VP)
29
H. Issues of the Election
  • 1. Only the tariff question divided the parties
  • Tariff tax on imported goods, used
    primarily to protect young American industries
  • a. Democrats Supported tariff for revenue only
    (what would pay for the cost of govt)
  • b. Republicans Supported a high tariff to help
    protect industry in the North (make Americans buy
    American products!!!)

30
Election Results? Garfield wins!!!
Solid South term which describes the voting bloc
of the South from 1876 to 1960
31
I. The 2nd Presidential Assassination
32
  • 1. July 2, 1881, 930 a.m., Wash,
  • D.C.- President Garfield was shot by Charles
    Guiteau.
  • a. Guiteau stalked the president for
  • weeks and had backed down three
  • previous times.
  • b. Fired a .44 British Bulldog at the
  • back of the president in the waiting
  • room of the railway station.
  • 2 shots one grazed the arm, one
  • entered his back

33
Random info
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • invented a metal-detecting
  • device he thought would find
  • the bullet in Garfields body.
  • The results of the experiment
  • were inconclusive as there was
  • a humming sound no matter
  • where the wand was placed on
  • the presidents body. Bell was
  • unaware that the White House
  • bed had a coil spring mattress
  • (a new invention). If Bell had
  • moved Garfield off the bed,
  • the apparatus would have
  • detected where the bullet was
  • and, knowing this, the surgeons
  • may have saved Garfields life.

34
  • 2. Garfields Death
  • a. The bullet didnt kill him- the doctors
    did!!! (Doctors stuck their un-sanitized fingers
    and un-sterilized instruments into the open
    wound)
  • b. In the end, the doctors had taken a
    three-inch wound and turned it into a twenty-inch
    gouge that was massively infected. On September
    15, 1881, symptoms of blood poisoning appeared.
    On September 19, after a few hours of
    unconsciousness, he died.

35
  • c. At the autopsy, examiners determined that the
    bullet had lodged itself some four inches from
    the spine in a protective cyst.  Their
    conclusion? 
  • Garfield would have survived if the
  • doctors had left him alone!!! 
  • (At his trial, Guiteau argued that he did not
    kill the President the doctors did.  That
    argument might get you off today but not in the
    1880's.)
  • d. Guiteau was hanged a year later.

36
  • 3. Why did Guiteau shoot the Pres?
  • His death was a political necessity
  • It will unite the Republican party
  • Guiteau written on the
  • morning of the assassination
  • a. He thought civil service reform would end
    under Arthur.
  • b. Will be classified as a disappointed office
    seeker yep, he was crazy!

37
4. Significance of Garfields death
  • a. Pushed Congress to change the
  • Spoils System
  • b. Arthur changed course and focused
  • on creating a modern civil service
  • system
  • c. Result? Pendleton Act of 1883
  • i. Provided for open, competitive exams for
    applicants of government civil service jobs
  • ii. Banned practice of requiring political
    contributions from civil servants

38
5. Effect of the Pendleton Act??
  • 1883 ? 14,000 out of 117,000 federal govt. jobs
    became civilservice exam positions.
  • 1900 ? 100,000 out of 200,000 civil service
    federal govt. jobs.
  • Much more accountability in govt!

39
J. Arthur as President
  • Pendleton Act is his most lasting legacy
  • The tariff issue came to the forefront.
  • Wanted to lower the tariff
  • Congress compromise Mongrel Tariff (1883)
    reduced the overall tax by less than 1.5 -
    satisfied no one!
  • c. Beginning of the 2 parties tariff
  • struggle
  • i. Repub ? high tariff
  • ii.Dem ? free trade

40
From the map, omit the following
  • I. 1.
  • Whole section
  • letters b c
  • Whole section
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