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Politics in the Gilded Age 1869-1889


Politics in the Gilded Age 1869-1889 Chapter 23 The Bloody Shirt Elects Grant At the end of the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant accepted gifts, houses, and money. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Politics in the Gilded Age 1869-1889

Politics in the Gilded Age1869-1889
  • Chapter 23

The Bloody Shirt Elects Grant
  • At the end of the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant
    accepted gifts, houses, and money.
  • Grant owed the election of 1868 to the former
    slaves who voted.

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  • After the Civil War, some political candidates
    would wave a bloody shirt to remind the voters
    of the treason of the Confederate Democrats
    during the Civil War.

The Era of Good Stealing
  • Gold Market Scandal
  • Jim Fisk and Jay Gould plotted with
    Grants brother-in-law to corner the gold
  • Black Friday Stock Market crash on
    September 24, 1869

  • Credit Mobilier Scandal
  • involved railroad construction
  • profits from the construction of the Union
    Pacific Railroad went to the roads promoters.
  • In an attempt to avoid prosecution for their
    corrupt dealings, the owners distributed shares
    of the companys valuable stock to key

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  • Whiskey Ring Scandal
  • bribing of the Secretary of War by corrupt
    Indian agents
  • robbed the Treasury of millions of dollars in
    excise-tax revenues.

  • Tweed Ring
  • New Yorks Tammany Hall was a political
    machine headed by William M. Tweed.
  • Through graft and corruption, machines were
    also vehicles for making money.

The Liberal Republican Revolt of 1872
  • Republicans nominated Grant for a second term
  • Democrats nominated Horace Greeley
  • Greeley was also a candidate for the Liberal
    Republicans (who had bolted over the issue of
    political corruption).
  • Grant was reelected because his opponents chose a
    poor candidate to run for the presidency.

Election of 1872
Depression and Demands for Inflation
  • The Panic of 1873 began a six-year depression.
  • One cause of the panic was the erection of more
    factories than existing markets could bear.
  • Some debtors suggested inflationary policies as a
    possible solution.
  • The Redemption Act of 1875 provided for payment
    for greenbacks in gold.

  • Because of the Republican hard money policies
    the Greenback Labor Party was formed.

Pallid Politics in the Gilded Age
  • Those who enjoyed a successful political career
    in the post-Civil War decades were usually party
  • During the Gilded Age, the Democrats and the
    Republicans had few significant economic
  • The presidential elections of the 1870s and 1880s
    aroused great interest among voters.

  • One reason for the extremely high voter turnouts
    and partisan fervor of the Gilded Age was sharp
    ethnic and cultural differences in the membership
    of the two parties.
  • The lifeblood of both the Democratic and the
    Republican parties was political patronage.
  • Spoilsmen was the label attached to those who
    expected government jobs from their partys
    elected officeholders.

  • Stalwarts term first used by a group of
    Republicans who supported Grant for a third term
    against Garfield.
  • leader Roscoe Conkling (New York
  • Senator)
  • Half-breeds term (used mostly after the
    election of Rutherford B. Hayes) referring to a
    section of the Republican party.
  • supported civil service reform and opposed
    corruption in government.
  • leader James G. Blaine.

The Hayes-Tilden Standoff, 1876
  • Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio became the Republican
  • Republicans waved the bloody shirt and gained
    some votes because the party was hurt by the
    corruption in Grants administration.

  • Samuel J. Tilden, a reform governor from New
    York, was the Democrat Candidate.
  • He helped to smash the Tweed Ring.

  • The major problem with the election of 1876 two
    sets of election returns were submitted by the
    southern states.
  • 20 votes in 3 states were in dispute (Louisiana,
    South Carolina, Florida)
  • Tilden, with a popular majority, was one
    electoral vote short (184 and he needed 185)
  • A special electoral commission voted 8 7 along
    party lines for Hayes, who would win by 185-184.
  • With control of the two houses of Congress split,
    a constitutional crisis loomed.

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The Compromise of 1877 and the End of
  • A bargain was struck between the two parties.
  • The last federal troops would leave South
    Carolina and Louisiana.
  • Republicans would pledge financial aid and
    patronage to Southern states.
  • The election of Hayes would be certified.

  • Redemption
  • Return to home rule in the South
  • Occupation of federal troops ended in the South
  • Conservative Democratic control returned (Solid
  • Jim Crow segregation laws began to be passed
    throughout the South. (legal codes that
    established the system of segregation)
  • Southern whites disenfranchised African Americans
    with literacy requirements, poll taxes, and
    economic intimidation.

  • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
  • Plessy (1/8th African American) attempted to sit
    in the white section of a train.
  • He was ordered to move, but refused
  • He was forcefully removed from the train.
  • First person of color to challenge racial
    segregation laws in court.

John Marshall Harlan
  • Plessy appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on the
    grounds that the Louisianas statue violated the
    Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.
  • The Supreme Court ruled 7-1 in favor of the state
    statue. (one justice dissented)
  • Justice John Marshall Harlan was the only justice
    on Plessys side.
  • The Court ruled separate but equal facilities
    were constitutional.

Class Conflict and Ethnic Clashes
  • The Railroad Strike of 1877
  • started when the four largest railroads cut
    salaries by ten percent.
  • First major strike
  • Began against BO Railroad Company and spread to
    other lines.
  • Railroad workers went back to work at lower wages
    set by the railroads.

  • Labor unrest during the Hayes administration
    stemmed from long years of depression and
  • Labor unrest resulted in the use of federal
    troops during strikes.
  • In the wake of anti-Chinese violence in
    California, the U.S. Congress passed a law
    prohibiting the immigration of Chinese laborers
    to America (Chinese Immigration Act)

The Chinese
  • The seizure of farmland by landlords, the
    disintegration of the Chinese Empire, and the
    intrusion of European powers were all internal
    developments in China that resulted in Chinese
    Immigration to the United States.
  • Chinese came to the U.S. to dig for gold.

Election of 1880
The Garfield Interlude
  • Supported civil service reform
  • James A Garfield, was the second president to be
    assassinated while in office.
  • He was assassinated by a deranged, disappointed
    office seeker. (Charles J. Guiteau)

Chester Arthur Takes Command
  • Arthur was Vice president under Garfield.
  • Before he was a supporter of Roscoe Conkling and
    of the traditional spoils system.
  • As president he urged Congress to enact the Civil
    Service law (Pendleton Act)

  • Pendleton Act
  • Required appointees to public office to take a
    competitive examination.
  • After the passage, politicians now sought money
    from big corporations.

The Blaine-Cleveland Mudslingers of 1884
  • The election was noted for its personal attacks
    on the two candidates.
  • James G. Blaine was the Republican candidate
  • Grover Cleveland was the Democrat candidate
  • Mugwumps a group of Republicans that withdrew
    from the party in protest of Blaine and gave
    their support to Cleveland.

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Old Grover Takes Over
  • The only Gilded Age president that was a
  • As president, his hands-off approach to
    government gained the support of businesspeople.

Cleveland Battles for a Lower Tariff
  • Cleveland supported civil service reform and a
    lower tariff but was not successful in getting
    Congress to lower tariffs in 1887.
  • The tariff would be a real issue for dividing the
    two parties and dominating the election of 1888.

Election of 1888
Harrison Ousts Cleveland in 1888
  • The major issue was the tariff policy.
  • Harrison was a Republican from Indiana
  • Cleveland the Democrat
  • Harrison is the Grandson of William Henry
    Harrison (9th President)
  • Congress was the locus of political power in the
    latter nineteenth century.

Forgettable Presidents of the Gilded Age
  • Rutherford B. Hayes
  • James A. Garfield
  • Chester A. Arthur
  • Benjamin Harrison
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