POLITICS%20IN%20THE%20GILDED%20AGE - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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the government that governs best governs
least??Status Quo Politics in the Gilded Age
  • Five Presidents between 1877-1893
  • Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) - Republican
  • James Garfield (1881) Republican -assassinated
  • Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885) -Republican
  • Grover Cleveland (1885-1889) -Democrat
  • Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) -Republican
  • Government lacked direction an agenda
  • Division in politics took place within the
    parties not between them
  • Leadership of the country essentially lied in the
    hands of Congress
  • This Congressional Government was not prepared
    to run a country
  • Ship without a captain syndrome

Origins of the Populist Movement
The Crisis in American PoliticsThe Birth of the
Populist Movement
  • Economics of the late 1880s 1890s
  • Farm foreclosures
  • Railroad bankruptcies
  • Stock market drop
  • Unemployment up
  • Farmers suffering in profits
  • Country and Government seemed to be looking out
    for the big business
  • Government lacked direction an agenda
  • Division in politics took place within the
    parties not between them
  • Leadership of the country essentially lied in the
    hands of Congress
  • This Congressional Government was not prepared
    to run a country
  • Ship without a captain syndrome
  • Farmers needed organization representation

Populist Ideology
  • There are but two sides, on the one side are the
    allied hosts of monopolies, the money power,
    great trusts, and railroad corporationsOn the
    other are the farmers laborers, merchants, and
    all the people who produce wealth Between these
    two there is no middle ground.
  • the irrepressible conflict between capital
  • We believe that the power of government - in
    other words, of the people should be expanded
    as rapidly and as far as the good sense of an
    intelligent people and the teachings of
    experience shall justify, to the end that
    oppression, injustice and poverty should
    eventually cease in the land
  • Overall Impact Able to unite some of the
    division in the labor
  • movement

What were some of the major problems
facing farmers during the Gilded Age ??
The Silver Issue
  • Crime of 73 ? demonetization ofsilver (govt.
    stopped coining silver).
  • Bland-Allison Act (1878) ? limitedsilver coinage
    to 2-4 mil. per mo.(based on the 161 ratio of
    silver togold).
  • Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890)
  • The US Treasury must purchase4.5 mil. oz. of
    silver a month.
  • Govt. deposited most silver in theUS Treasury
    rather than circulation.

Roots of the Populist
  • Originally Farmers needed to organize for a
    variety of reasons
  • a) isolationism b) provide economic services
  • The Grange Movement Farmers Alliances
  • Farmers Alliance of the Northwest
  • National Farmers Alliance
  • Alliances were designed to
  • Unite farmers who had common problems
  • Remind farmers they are in this together
  • Stand against the abuses of the big business (RR)
    the corruption of the wealth and power
  • Eventually grew stronger and more impatient.
  • Peoples (Populist) Party ran a presidential
    candidate in 1892 and carried 4 states
  • The agrarian protest challenged the traditional 2
    party system

Populism An Agrarian Revolt
Giftfor theGrangers The FarmerPays for All!
Price Indexes for Consumer Farm Products
Founder of the National Grange of the Patrons of
Husbandry (1867)
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
  • In 1889 both the Northern andSouthern
    Alliancesmerged into onethe Farmers Alliance.

The Populist (Peoples) Party
  • Founded by James B. Weaverand Tom Watson.
  • Omaha, NE Convention in July,1892.
  • Got almost 1 million popularvotes.
  • Several Congressional seatswon.

James B. Weaver, Presidential Candidate James
G. Field, VP
The Populist Platform in 1892Omaha, Nebraska
  • We demand a national currency that is safe,
    sound, and flexible issued by the general
  • Proposals
  • A graduated income tax- more you make the more
    you pay
  • More money in circulation that the money should
    be kept more in the hands of the people.
  • That the needs of the many outweigh the needs
    of the few
  • Free unlimited coinage of silver at a ratio of
    16 to 1 bimetallism

Omaha Platform of 1892
  1. System of sub-treasuries.
  2. Abolition of the National Bank.
  3. Direct election of Senators.
  4. Govt. ownership of RRs, telephone telegraph
  5. Government-operated postal savings banks.
  6. Restriction of undesirable immigration.
  7. 8-hour work day for government employees.
  8. Abolition of the Pinkerton detective agency.
  9. Australian secret ballot.
  10. Re-monitization of silver.
  11. A single term for President Vice President.

1892 Election
  • OF
  • 1892

The Panic of 1893
Bi-Metallism Issue
Money PoliticsBrief History
  • US had traditionally always used a bimetal
  • Pre-Civil War nations money supply came from
    free-wheeling state banks.
  • Result was value of money issued was unstable
    amount in circulation/supply demand
  • 1863 US Banking Act ends this and attempts to
    create more economic stability by only producing
    and accepting money that was backed by the US
  • Meanwhile Civil War breaks out, Lincoln issues
    and pays with greenbacks federal money backed
    by nothing more than good faith
  • 1875 this ends and the amount of currency in
    circulation is limited in the amount of specie
    (gold and silver) to back it
  • 1873 Silver supply tightened and thus it became
    more valuable as a metal than as money and so
    silver was dropped as specie.

Causes of the 1893 Panic
  • Begun 10 days after Cleveland took office.
  • Several major corps. went bankrupt.
  • Over 16,000 businesses disappeared.
  • Triggered a stock market crash.
  • Over-extended investments.
  • Bank failures followed causing a contractionof
    credit nearly 500 banks closed.
  • By 1895, unemployment reached 3 million.
  • Americans cried out for relief, but the
    Govt.continued its laissez faire policies!!

Here Lies Prosperity
The Silver Issue
  • Result is deflation a reduction in available
    money and credit.
  • A) Prices fall
  • B) value of money increases
  • C) less money in circulation
  • However, westward expansion and mining brought a
    flood of silver and thus the price of silver fell
    hard and fast.
  • Soon Silverites wanted 161 ratio (cheap money)
    to put more money in circulation. (refer back to
    Populist quotes)
  • Country now becomes divided on the monetary issue
    of specie.

Pick a Side
  • bankers and businessmen
  • Supported tight money -gold only standard thus
    less in circulation
  • ----------------------------------------
  • Effects deflation
  • a) falling prices
  • b) value of money increases
  • c) fewer people have money
  • Farmers and laborers
  • Supported cheap money bimetallism more
    money in circulation
  • -----------------------------------------
  • Effects Inflation
  • a) prices rise
  • b) value of money decreases
  • c) more people have more money

Result of 1894 Mid-term Elections
  • Populist voteincreased by40 in the
    bi-election year,1894.
  • Democratic party losses in the West
  • But, Republicanswon control of the House.

The 1896 Election
Gold / Silver Bug Campaign Pins
BryantsCross of Gold Speech
You shall not press down upon the brow of labor
this crown of thorns you shall not crucify
mankind upon a cross of gold!
Bryan The Farmers Friend(The Mint Ratio)
18,000 miles of campaign whistle stops.
A Giant Straddle Suggestion for a McKinley
Political Poster
Election of 1896
  • William Jennings Bryan (D)
  • supported bimetallism
  • Was supported by Populism
  • Delivered cross of gold speech
  • Rep. called him radical, revolutionary, and
  • William McKinley (R)
  • Gold bug
  • Front-porch campaign Mark Hanna
  • Called upon big business and raised a lot of
  • Won election, but the door was open for reform
    and eventual Progressivism

1896 Election Results
Why Did Bryan Loose?
  • His focus on silver underminedefforts to build
    bridges to urbanvoters.
  • He did not form alliances withother groups.
  • McKinleys campaign was well-organized and
    highly funded.

Gold Triumphs Over Silver
  • 1900 ? GoldStandard Act
  • confirmed thenations commitment tothe gold
  • A victory for the forces ofconservatism.
  • Republican Party becomes the party of prosperity.

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Populism and The Wizard of Oz
Background Information
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was not intended to be
    an innocent fairy tale. Author, Frank Baum, a
    reform-minded Democrat who supported William
    Jennings Bryan's pro-silver candidacy, wrote the
    book as a parable of the Populists, an allegory
    of their failed efforts to reform the nation in
    1896. However, Frank Baum never allowed the
    consistency of the allegory to take precedence
    over the theme of youthful entertainment.

Parable of the Populists?
  • Uncle Henry Auntie Em?
  • Dorothy ? ?
  • Wicked Witch of theEast ? ?
  • Tin Woodsman ? ?
  • Scarecrow ? ?
  • Cowardly Lion ? ?
  • Yellow Brick Road ? ?
  • Silver Slippers ? ?
  • Emerald City ? ?
  • The Wizard ? ?
  • Munchkins ? ?
  • Wicked Witch of the West ? ?
  • Flying Monkeys ? ?

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • Uncle Henry Auntie Em
  • Lonely independent Homesteaders
  • Hard working, little reward, everything is grey

  • Farmer discontent and Populist politics were
  • concentrated in Kansas
  • Suffering from a droughtmany farmers
  • going through hard times
  • Farmers wanted the free coinage of silver to
  • help them out of debt

  • Common people
  • From a Kansas farm
  • Does not see the power of slippers
  • at first
  • Dorothy wants out Somewhere Over the Rainbow

  • Silver is measured in ounces
  • Bright and colorful
  • Oz ounce

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • The Wicked Witch of the East represented eastern
    industrialists and bankers who controlled the
    people (the Munchkins).

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • Munchkins- Factory slaves to the big business-
    remember the Wicked Witch of the East had cast a
    spell on them making the Munchkins her subjects.

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • The Scarecrow represented the wise but naive
    western farmer.
  • Wants a brain from the wizard - represents the
    image of simple minded folks, but as the story
    goes on we realize the scarecrow always had a
    brain to think
  • and decide things for himself

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • The Tin Woodman represented the dehumanized
    industrial worker.
  • Wants a heart lost it when the factories took
    away their independence and love or their

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • The Cowardly Lion was William Jennings Bryan,
    Populist presidential candidate in 1896.

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • The Wizard represents William McKinley who tried
    to be all things to everyone, but turned out to
    be a fake.

President William McKinley
Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • The Yellow Brick Road, with all its dangers,
    represented the gold standard.

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • The Wicked Witch of The West represents the
    railroads and the control they had over the
    populist supporters.

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • Dorothy's silver slippers (Judy Garland's were
    ruby red, but Baum originally made them silver)
    represented the Populists' solution to the
    nation's economic woes ("the free and unlimited
    coinage of silver")

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • Emerald City represents Washington DC, where
    leaders reside and people look for significant
    change in their life.

Populism The Wizard of Oz
  • Flying Monkeys Plains Indians

Significance of thePopulist Movement
  • McKinleys win victory of urban/eastern
    interests over agrarian concerns.
  • The Democrats embraced the populist vote in the
  • Republicans would dominate politics for the next
    30 years.
  • The reform spirit of the Populists would be
    embraced by the more urban, middle-class
    Progressives in the early 20th century.
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