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Title: Political%20Paralysis%20of%20the%20Gilded%20Age


1
Political Paralysis of the Gilded Age
  • AP Chapter 23

2
What were the patterns of party strength?
  • Elections were close
  • Voter participation very high 80 to 95
  • Family tradition, ethnic ties, religious
    affiliation often determined how one voted

3
What were the issues?
  • Tariff
  • Nature of the nations money supply
  • Pensions awarded to Civil War veterans
  • waving the bloody shirt
  • Lackluster presidents

4
Greenbacks and Silver
  • Create a money supply adequate for a growing and
    diverse economy
  • Gold and silver trustworthy
  • Bankers and creditors wanted gold
  • Farmers and debtors wanted an expanded money
    supply backed by gold and silver even greenbacks

5
The Spoils System
  • Since the Jacksonian era
  • Reward supporters and contributors with
    government jobs maintain party loyalty
  • Unqualified and incompetent often received jobs
  • Office holders had to contribute to future
    campaigns
  • Battle for reform in the GOP Stalwarts vs.
    Half-breeds
  • Stalwarts led by Conkling and were pro-patronage
  • Half-Breeds led by Blaine and were for reform

6
Election of 1868
  • Republican
  • Bloody Shirt campaign
  • Inexperienced in politics
  • Inept in choosing assistants
  • Deferred to Congress

7
Era of Good Stealings
  • Corruption Railroads, Stock-market, judges and
    legislators for hire
  • Political machines and bosses Tweed Ring of NYC
    cheated the city of 200 million
  • Scandals in the presidency

8
The Fisk Gould Scheme
  • Jim Fisk and Jay Gould wealthy businessmen
  • Attempted to corner the gold market
  • Bribed government officials to stop selling gold
  • Sept. 24, 1869 began to bid up the price of
    gold - Treasury released more gold

9
Tweed Ring - NYC
  • Tammany Hall NYC democratic headquarters
  • Political machine politics
  • Graft, bribery, fraudulent elections
  • Bilked the city of almost 200 million
  • Brought down by the cartoonist Thomas Nast

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12
Grant Scandals
  • Credit Mobilier - VP received stock not to
    investigate fraud by a RR construction company --
    1872
  • Whiskey Ring Grants private secretary took
    bribes not to collect taxes from distillers
    1874-75
  • Sec. of War accepted bribes from agents on
    Indian reservations --1876

13
Election of 1872
  • Liberal Republicans fed up with corruption and
    graft nominated Horace Greeley
  • Editor of NY Tribune
  • Democrats nominated Greeley
  • Republicans Grant
  • Mud spattered campaign
  • Both were unqualified

14
Depression of 1873
  • First major economic depression in U.S. history
  • Result of rapid economic expansion after the
    Civil War
  • Boom bust
  • Overextended economy risky loans
  • The Crime of 73 de-monitized silver
  • Millions out of work

15
Resumption Act of 1875
  • Debtors and farmers sought the reissue of
    greenbacks
  • soft money vs. hard money
  • hard money won redemption of all paper money
    in gold beginning 1879
  • Contraction decrease in nations money supply
  • deflation
  • stabilized greenbacks
  • soft money began demanding free coinage of
    silver

16
Bland Allison Act - 1878
  • The U.S. Treasury purchase between 2 and 4
    million in silver each month from the western
    mines
  • The silver was to be purchased at market rates,
    not at a pre-determined ratio of 16 to 1
  • The metal was to be minted into silver dollars
    as legal tender
  • Government purchased a minimal amt. of silver
    little effect

17
Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890
  • Govt required to 4.5 million ounces of silver
    each month
  • Issue redeemable in gold and silver
  • Surplus of silver drove down value
  • People preferred to redeem issue for gold and not
    silver ? drain on gold reserves
  • Panic of 1893

18
Who voted Republican during the Gilded Age?
  • Region?
  • Religion?
  • Blue laws?
  • Tariffs?
  • Money issues?
  • Union pensions?

19
Who voted Democratic during the Gilded Age?
  • Region?
  • Religion?
  • Blue laws?
  • Tariffs?
  • Money issues?
  • Union pensions?

20
The Election of 1876 The End of Reconstruction
  • Rutherford B. Hayes vs. Samuel Tilden
  • Tilden (D) won 184 votes out of the needed 185 to
    win the Electoral College
  • Votes in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida
    in dispute ( 2 sets of results)
  • Commission of 15 (8 republicans and 7 democrats)
    counted the disputed votes

21
Compromise of 1877
  • Hayes (R) would get the votes and become
    president
  • Federal troop withdrawn from Louisiana and S.
    Carolina ending Reconstruction
  • Repubs abandon commitment to racial equality
  • Bill to subsidize the Texas Pacific Rail - line

22
The Great RR Strike of 1877
  • Wild-cat strike 1st national strike
  • Baltimore and Ohio RR
  • 10 wage cut
  • Spread from the East to Mid-west
  • 2/3 RR idle property burned
  • Hayes called in federal troops 100 dead
  • Exposed weakness of labor movt

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26
The Election of 1880 and the Patronage Issue
  • Republican convention split between Half-Breeds
    and Stalwarts
  • James A. Garfield Half-Breed nominated for
    president
  • Chester Arthur Stalwart VP nominee
  • Garfield beat Winfield Hancock by 40,000 out of
    9.2 million votes
  • 1881 Garfield assassinated by Charles Guiteau a
    stalwart
  • Arthur became president
  • Shocked nation into reforming spoils system

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28
Pendleton Act
  • Created an independent civil service outside of
    party politics
  • Civil Service Commission to classify government
    jobs and administer an examination est.
    standards of merit
  • Govt employees could not be forced to contribute
    to political campaigns and could not be fired for
    political reasons

29
Consequences of the Pendleton Act?
  • Stopped the most blatant abuses
  • Politicians forced to look elsewhere for money
  • Turned to businesses and lobbyists

30
Election of 1884
  • Republican candidate James G. Blaine of Maine
    not know for his honesty
  • Mugwumps Republicans who refused to support
    Blaine
  • Democrats Grover Cleveland had a reputation
    for integrity
  • Mud slinging again Democrats labeled the
    party of Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion

31
Grover Cleveland
  • 1st democratic president since Civil War
  • public office is a public trust

32
President Cleveland
  • Laissez faire ? business happy
  • Expanded the merit system but also appointed
    many democrats to positions
  • Surplus - 145 million/year
  • Issue ? military pensions vetoed special
    pension bills for Civil War vets
  • Fought for lower tariffs
  • Lower prices and end to surplus
  • Compelled return of 80 million acres of public
    land held illegally by lumber and railroad
    companies

33
Election of 1888
  • Democrats ? Cleveland
  • Republicans ? Benjamin Harrison
  • Harrison supported high tariffs and so the
    industrialists supported him
  • Cleveland won popular vote Harrison won the
    electoral vote

34
The First Billion Dollar Congress
  • Harrison did not assert presidential authority
    deferred to party leaders
  • Congress led by Czar Reed (R)
  • Raised tariffs and reduced imports, thus reducing
    federal revenues (McKinley Tariff)
  • Voted pork barrel public expenditures
  • Authorized generous pensions previously vetoed by
    Cleveland
  • Wiped out surplus

35
Theres Trouble Down on the Farm!
  • Harsh conditions drought and harsh winters
    1886-87
  • Railroad abuses
  • Falling agriculture prices
  • Tight money
  • McKinley Tariff
  • Voted for Democrats in 1890
  • Formed Farmers Alliances and the Grange

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38
1892 A year of discontent
  • Homestead Strike
  • Strike against A. Carnegies Homestead steel
    plant
  • 300 armed Pinkertons called in
  • Ten people killed
  • Federal troops called in to break strike
  • Strike at Coeur dAlene silver mine broken by
    state and federal troops

39
Populist (Omaha) Platform
  • Inflation free coinage of silver
  • Graduated income tax
  • Government ownership of the railroads, telegraph,
    and telephone
  • Direct election of U.S. senators
  • One-term limit on the presidency
  • Initiative and referendum
  • 8 hour day
  • Immigration restriction

40
Election of 1892
  • Populists nominated General James B. Weaver
  • 22 electoral votes
  • Cut into republican strength in Midwest
  • Republicans Harrison
  • Democrats Cleveland (winner)

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43
Panic of 1893
  • Economic collapse of the railroads
  • Overbuilding and over-speculation
  • Depletion of gold reserves
  • Government debt veterans benefits and high
    tariff
  • Stock prices dropped

44
Depression 1893-1897
  • 200 railroads failed
  • 20-25 percent unemployment
  • Recent immigrants faced disaster
  • Harsh winters 1893-4
  • Farm prices down 20
  • More people joined the Populist Movement
  • Jacob Coxey went to see the President

45
What about the gold standard?
  • Defended by Cleveland
  • Gold reserve fell below 100 million
  • Repeal of Sherman Silver Purchase Act
  • Gold reserve sank to 40 million
  • Floated 2 Treasury bond issues of over 100
    million
  • Turned to J.P. Morgan for help

46
What did Morgan do?
  • Banker and head of a Wall Street syndicate
  • Agreed to lend govt 65 million in gold
  • Charged 7 million fee
  • Saved the gold standard and restore confidence in
    nations finances

47
Backlash?
  • People resented cooperation with Morgan
  • Resented preservation of gold standard
  • Wilson Gorman Tariff passed
  • Lower but not enough
  • Income tax but declared unconstitutional
  • Coxeys Army ignored
  • Used troops and an injunction against the Pullman
    Strike

48
Congressional Election of 1894
  • Democrats suffered heavy losses
  • Republicans gained control of the House of
    Representatives
  • Populists increased their base
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