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POLITICS IN THE GILDED AGE, 1869-1889

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Title: POLITICS IN THE GILDED AGE, 1869-1889


1
Chapter 23
  • POLITICS IN THE GILDED AGE, 1869-1889

2
The Bloody Shirt Elects Grant
  • Grant was immensely popular after the war
  • Nation was weary after war, and eager for a fresh
    face.
  • Republicans, nevertheless, enthusiastically
    nominate Grant
  • Grant is singularly unequipped to be President.

3
The Bloody SHIRT Elects Grant
  • Democrats divided between eastern and western
    democrats.
  • Nominate Horatio Seymour
  • Republicans wave the Bloody Shirt
  • Democrats divided over redemption of Bonds.
  • Grants wins easily in the electoral college, but
    by only 300,000 votes.
  • Impact of Black vote.

4
The Era Of Good Stealings
  • Civil War bred corruption and graft.
  • RR corruption
  • Jim Fisk and Jay Gould scheme to corner the gold
    market.
  • Boss Tweed/Tammany Hall.

5
A Carnival Of Corruption
  • Grants administration was
  • riddled with corrupt officials.
  • Credit Mobilier scandal. JTFV
  • Exposed in 1872.
  • Members of congress censured.
  • Vice President implicated.
  • Whiskey Tax scandal.
  • Republican politicians siphon off millions of
    dollars in federal taxes on liquor the scheme
    involved an extensive network of bribes involving
    tax collectors, storekeepers, and others.

6
Liberal Republican Revolt Of 1872
  • Liberal republicans were tired of corruption
  • Liberal Republican party.
  • Nominate Horace Greeley
  • Democrats endorse him, too.
  • Campaign very ugly
  • Greely died before the electoral votes counted

7
Grant v. Greeley
  • Grant wins easily, 286-66, because
  • Grant is perceived to be the lesser of two evils
  • Democrats are still stained with fault for the
    Civil War.
  • General Amnesty Act pardoned more than 150,000
    former Confederate troops, restoring their right
    to vote and right to hold political office
  • Lowered tariffs
  • Mild civil-service reform

8
Depression And Demands For Inflation
  • 1873 severe recession hits
  • High prices and business activity which had
    followed the war yielded its legitimate effect in
    an abnormal speculation.
  • RR causes collapse of Jay Cooke and Co. It was
    the first "wire" brokerage house
  • 15,000 businesses went under.

9
Depression And Demands For Inflation
  • Debtors advocate inflationary policies.
  • Call for more Greenbacks.
  • Federal government had removed one-fourth from
    circulation.
  • Grant sides with conservatives and signs
    Resumption Act of 1875
  • Replacement of the Civil War fractional currency
    by silver coins. Reduced the greenback total to
    300 million. The Treasury was directed to
    "redeem, in coin" legal-tender notes presented
    for redemption on and after 1 January 1879
  • Paper is a good as gold

10
Silver
  • Debtors advocated the coinage of silver dollars.
  • Congress had formally dropped silver money in
    1873.
  • Grant rejects call to mint Silver.

11
Bland-Allison Act 1878
  • Bland-Allison Act.
  • requiring the U.S. treasury to buy a certain
    amount of silver and put it into circulation as
    silver dollars passed over veto by Hayes
  • Following the Panic of 1873, the Grange spread
    rapidly throughout the farm belt, since farmers
    in all areas were plagued by low prices for their
    products, growing indebtedness and favoritism by
    the railroads. These concerns helped to transform
    the Grange into a political force

12
Pallid Politics In The Gilded Age
  • Balance of two political parties during the
    Gilded Age from 1869-99.
  • Majority in Congress flipped back and forth six
    times in the 11 terms between 1869-91
  • Few controversial stands
  • Few dramatic policy differences between parties.
  • Voter turnout /voter loyalty.
  • Political machines and patronage

13
Republicans v. Democrats
  • Republicans
  • Embodied the old Puritanical ideals.
  • Strict moral codes and belief that government
    should be an instrument in regulating economic
    and moral affairs of the community.
  • Strong in Midwest and in rural and small-town New
    England.
  • Got most of votes from Freedman and from Union
    Civil War Vets.

14
Republicans v. Democrats
  • Democrats
  • More Roman Catholic and Lutheran.
  • South and northern industrial cities
  • Large immigrant base and strong Dem. machines.

15
Stalwarts v. Halfbreeds
  • Republicans had two rival factions
  • Stalwarts (Conklingites)
  • led by NY Sen. Roscoe Conkling).
  • Big believers in patronage.
  • In favor of Ulysses S. Grant
  • Half-Breeds.
  • Led by James Blaine.
  • Flirted with civil service reform.
  • The only real issue between Stalwarts and
    Half-Breeds was patronage.

16
The Hayes-Tilden Standoff, 1876
  • Republicans dissuade Grant from running again.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes.
  • Hayes largely unknown, but a civil war officer
  • Also, importantly, former three-term governor of
    Ohio.

17
The Hayes-Tilden Standoff, 1876
  • Samuel Tilden.
  • Platform.
  • Attacks against Republicans.
  • Tilden won the popular vote proving that the
    Democrats were back in the political picture
    following the Civil War
  • Electoral College dispute
  • Electoral Count Act
  • Compromise of 1877 was reached whereby the
    Democrats agreed to Hayes' election and he agreed
    to withdraw all federal troops in the South

18
Hayes-Tilden Disputed Election of 1876
19
End of Reconstruction
  • Compromise was the end of reconstruction.
  • Literacy tests and poll taxes
  • Crop-Lien System/Share Cropping
  • Jim Crow Laws
  • Plessy v. Ferguson 1896 U.S. Supreme Court
    decided that a Louisiana law mandating separate
    but equal accommodations for blacks and whites on
    intrastate railroads was constitutional.

20
Sharecropping
21
Tenancy the Crop Lien System
Furnishing Merchant Tenant Farmer Landowner
Loan tools and seed up to 60 interest to tenant farmer to plant spring crop. Farmer also secures food, clothing, and other necessities on credit from merchant until the harvest. Merchant holds lien mortgage on part of tenants future crops as repayment of debt. Plants crop, harvests in autumn. Turns over up to ½ of crop to land owner as payment of rent. Tenant gives remainder of crop to merchant in payment of debt. Rents land to tenant in exchange for ¼ to ½ of tenant farmers future crop.
22
Class Conflicts And Ethnic Clashes
  • Driven by wage cuts and poor working conditions,
    violent outbreaks of strikes and a long series of
    battles occurred all over the country during the
    1870s.
  • The Great Strike of 1877 sparked battles between
    militia and the crowds. Only after federal
    soldiers were brought in, was ordered restored
  • Chinese in California
  • Dennis Kearney/Kearneyites
  • Chinese Exclusion Act

23
Election of 1880
  • Hayes administration was not very noteworthy.
    Did not accomplish much beyond end to
    reconstruction.
  • Old 8-7 and His Fraudulency.
  • He did not run for reelection and wouldnt have
    been renominated had he tried.

24
Republicans in 1880
  • Stymied by Stallwart-Halfbreed rivalry it takes
    35 ballots to settle on a candidate.
  • Chose James Garfield. Dark-Horse.
  • Chester Arthur, was chosen VP.
  • Platform is for higher tariffs and (weakly) for
    civil service reform

25
Election of 1880
  • Democrats chose Winfield Hancock
  • Civil War General, but popular in south
  • Thought to be fair as Military Gov Tx-La
  • Both parties shun substantive political issues.
  • Garfield wins by only 40,000, but 214-155 in
    electoral college.
  • He was besieged by office seekers.
  • Made Blain Sec. of State
  • Battle raging politically between Stalwarts and
    Half-Breeds.

26
Election of 1880
27
1881 Garfield Assassinated!
Charles Guiteau I Am a Stalwart, and Arthur is
President now!
28
CHESTER ARTHUR TAKES COMMAND
  • Not many expected much from Arthur.
  • Puppet of Congling machine
  • Dandy
  • Displayed surprising integrity, intelligence and
    independence.
  • Arthur threw his support behind reform of spoils
    system.
  • Pendleton Act of 1883
  • Merit system for 10 of Federal jobs
  • Father of the Civil Service

29
THE BLAINE-CLEVELAND MUDSLINGERS OF 1884
  • Republicans nominate Blain
  • Tainted with numerous rumors of scandals.
  • The tattooed man
  • Mulligan letters detailed his corruption
  • Republican reformers, called "Mugwumps,"
    supported Cleveland because of Blaine's
    reputation for corruption.

30
Grover Cleveland
  • Democrats nominate Grover Cleveland.
  • Reputation for reform and honesty.
  • Clevelands Bastard.
  • One of the ugliest campaigns in American history
  • New York the key state
  • Blain NY Rum, Romanism and Rebellion

31
Election of 1884
32
Old Grover Takes Over
  • First Dem. president since Buchanan
  • Issues raised by this?
  • Clevelands political philosophy
  • Last Jeffersonian Democrat?
  • Named two former confederates to his cabinet,
    helping to heal the north-south divide

33
Tariffs and Pensions
  • Cleveland fires 2/3 of federal employees
  • Military Pension issue GAR
  • Tariffs
  • Country was running at a surplus because of high
    tariffs.
  • Republicans had little motivation to reduce these
    tariffs.
  • Cleveland makes tariff reduction his number-one
    issue.

34
Harrison Ousts Cleveland
  • Dems renominate Cleveland.
  • Rep. turn to Benjamin Harrison, grandson of
    William Henry Harrison.
  • The tariff was the main issue in the election.
    Harrison opposed tariff reduction while Cleveland
    supported it. Cleveland and the Democrats did not
    wage a strong campaign, Cleveland's attitude
    toward the spoils system had antagonized party
    politicians, and his policies on Civil War
    pensions, the currency, and tariff reform had
    made enemies among veterans, farmers, and
    industrial workers
  • Harrison wins electoral vote but looses the
    popular vote.

35
1888 Presidential Election
36
Cleveland and History
  • Cleveland the first sitting president to be voted
    out of office since Van Buren in 1840. (Others
    J. Adams, J.Q. Adams, Harrison, Hoover, Carter,
    Bush)
  • Cleveland last to win popular vote and lose
    electoral college until Gore.
  • Cleveland only president to have two
    non-consecutive terms.

37
Political Gravy For All
  • Billion Dollar Congress
  • Pension Act of 1890
  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act
  • United States Federal statute to limit cartels
    and monopolies
  • Tariffs and Silver
  • Easterners wanted a higher tariff
  • Westerners and farmers wanted more silver minted

38
Tariff Ire
  • Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 While not
    authorizing the free and unlimited coinage of
    silver that the Free Silver supporters wanted,
    the government was required to purchase every
    month
  • McKinley Tariff Bill
  • raised tariff rates to their highest peace-time
    level48
  • Farmers hated the new tariff.
  • Republicans punished in 1890 congressional
    election.
  • Lose nearly 60 seats and Dems have a huge
    majority in Congress

39
1892 Presidential Election
Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison again!
(DEM) (REP)
40
Populists
  • Populists emerge as a potent third party.
  • Officially the Peoples Party
  • Nominate James B. Weaver
  • Populist Agenda
  • free and unlimited coinage of silver at the ratio
    of sixteen to one
  • graduated income tax
  • Govt ownership of telephone, telegraph and RR
  • direct election of US senators
  • one-term limit on presidency
  • use of the initiative and referendum to allow
    citizens to propose and review legislation.
  • Shorter work day-to appeal to labor
  • restriction on immigrationto appeal to labor

41
Populists
  • Labor is mad and are ripe for wooing by
    Populists.
  • Populists poll over one-million votes and become
    one of the few third parties to win electoral
    votes
  • Populists dont embrace black farmers

42
1892 Presidential Election
43
OLD GROVER CLEVELAND AGAIN
  • Depression of 1893
  • Causes
  • Over-building and over-speculation RR
  • labor unrest
  • agricultural depression from low commodity prices
  • reduction of US credit abroad because of Silver
    Purchase Act
  • Problems with overseas banks, which were forced
    to call in US loans.
  • Cleveland does next to nothing laissez faire

44
Gold Problem
  • Treasury was running a deficit because of the
    Silver Purchase Act.
  • Cleveland saw no choice but to repeal the Silver
    Purchase Act.
  • William Jennings Bryan
  • Cleveland forced to issue bonds to raise money in
    order to buy gold

45
DEMOCRATIC TARIFF TINKERING
  • McKinley Tariff causes deficit
  • Democrats propose bill to reduce tariff but add
    income tax
  • Senate tacks on lots of provisions to help
    special interests.
  • Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act of 1894.
  • Cleveland refused to sign it, but cant veto.
  • Supreme Court throws out income tax
  • Public opinion hates the bill and blame Dems.
  • Democrats hammered in 1894 mid-term election.
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