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The Gilded Age: Politics, Parties, Patronage, and Presidents


The Gilded Age : Politics, Parties ... Important Issues Civil War veteran s pensions: ... Wealth and Social Darwinism Settlements and Social Gospel Reforming the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Gilded Age: Politics, Parties, Patronage, and Presidents

The Gilded Age Politics, Parties, Patronage,
and Presidents
  • Americans in the nineteenth century mistrusted
    hierarchical power and believed that everyone
    could benefit form an economy free of government
  • After the gigantic splits after the Civil War,
    the two political parties each drifted back to
    center and avoided controversy
  • None of the gilded age presidents served two
    terms or distinguished themselves in any huge way

Politics in the Pivotal 1890s Important Issues
  • Civil War veterans pensions easily approved by
    Congress with little debate
  • Trusts the Sherman Anti-Trust Act passed with
    only one nay vote
  • Tariffs after many amendments and debate,
    American protective tariffs were raised higher
    than ever
  • Money after much debate, the gold standard
    remained secure.

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Depression and Election
  • 1893 saw the worst national economic depression
    up until that time.
  • Wall Street crashed as the small gold supply was
    demanded by thousands of depositors in exchange
    for their paper money.
  • The election of 1896 boiled down to the single
    issue of free and unlimited coinage of silver,
    which many believed would solve all the problems
    of the country in short order.

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Middle-Class Reform Wealth and Social Darwinism
  • For most Gilded Age Americans, Christianity as
    well as science supported the notions of class
    divisions and the moral superiority of the
  • Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth (1889)
  • Carnegies ideas were drawn from social
    Darwinism, based in turn on the scientific works
    of Charles Darwin and the natural laws of

Settlements and Social Gospel
  • Jane Adams founded Hull House in Chicago in 1889
    to aid in the solution of the social and
    industrial problems which are engendered by the
    modern conditions of life in a great city.
  • She committed her life to reduce the suffering of
    the poor.
  • The settlement house movement blended the idioms
    of idealism and practicality

Reforming the City
  • Urban government was the structure most in need
    of reform in the nineteenth century.
  • Disease, waste, pollution, cholera, filth and
    inefficiency were everywhere in the large cities.
  • Beautification was one solution parks and
    public spaces

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The Struggle for Womens Suffrage
  • Womens rights advanced very slowly after the
    Seneca Falls Convention of 1848.
  • Before 1890 only the territory of Wyoming allowed
    women full political equity.
  • Three central arguments emerged
  • Women needed the vote to pass self-protection
  • Womens role as social housekeepers could only be
    enhanced by political participation
  • Protestant, white women needed the vote to
    counterbalance the hordes of immigrants coming
    into America.
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