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The Gilded Age

The Gilded Age






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    The Gilded Age The Gilded Age Presentation Transcript

    • The Gilded Age (1870-1900)
    • The Gilded Age (1870 to 1900)  What is the “Gilded Age”?  Era of rapid economic and political growth  Most famous for the creation of a modern industrial economy.  Created a national transportation and communication network  The corporation became the dominant form of business organization  A managerial revolution transformed business operations
    • The Gilded Age (1870 to 1900) What is the Gilded Age?  The Second Industrial Revolution  Businessmen created industrial towns and cities in the Northeast with new factories  Hired an ethnically diverse industrial working class, many of them new immigrants from Europe.  Super-rich industrialists and financiers were attacked as "robber barons" by critics, who believed they cheated to get their money and lorded it over the common people.  Growth of the labor union movement
    • The Gilded Age (1870 to 1900) What is the Gilded Age?  Gilded Age politics, called the Third Party System, featured very close contests between the Republicans and Democrats, and, occasionally, third parties.  Nearly all the eligible men were political partisans and voter turnout often exceeded 90% in some states.
    • The Gilded Age (1870 to 1900) What is the Gilded Age?  Period of opulent, upper class wealth and public endowments  Wealthy philanthropists used private money to endow thousands of colleges, hospitals, museums, academies, schools, opera houses, public libraries, symphony orchestras, and charities.
    • The Gilded Age (1870 to 1900) What is the Gilded Age?  The end of the Gilded Age coincided with the Panic of 1893, a deep depression.  The depression lasted until 1897 and marked a major political realignment in the election of 1896.  After that came the Progressive Era.
    • Two Different Worlds The wealthy lived extravagant lifestyles and considered themselves elitists. The common people resented their snobbish attitudes and wealth. There was a caste system in the U.S.  1861 => 3 millionaires  1900 => 3,800 millionaires  By 1900, 90% of wealth was controlled by 10% of population.
    • Political Machines• Organized group that controls a city’s political party• Give services to voters, businesses for political, financial support• After Civil War, machines gain control of major cities• Machine organization: precinct captains, ward bosses, city boss
    • Political Machines The Role of the Political Boss  May serve as mayor, where he:  controls city jobs, business licenses  influences courts, municipal agencies  arranges building projects, and community services  Bosses paid by businesses, get voters’ loyalty, extend influence William Boss Tweed
    • Political Machines Immigrants and the Machine  Many captains, bosses 1st or 2nd generation Americans  Machines help immigrants with naturalization, jobs, housing Election Fraud and Graft  Machines use electoral fraud to win elections  Graft—illegal use of political influence for personal gain William Boss Tweed  Machines take kickbacks, bribes to allow legal, illegal activities
    • William Boss Tweed Corrupt political leader put New York City in debt Political boss 1851 elected to city council 1852 served in Congress Kept Democratic Party in power in NYC called Tammany Hall Formed the Tweed Ring Bought votes, encouraged corruption, controlled NYC politics
    • William Boss Tweed Received large fees for interests (kickbacks*) from the Erie Railroad  *Kickbacks = Return of a portion of the money received in a sale or contract often illegal and corrupt in return for special favors. Tweed Ring milked the city with false leases, padded bills, false vouchers, unnecessary repairs and over- priced goods
    • William Boss Tweed  Exposed for his corruption by cartoonist and editor, Thomas Nast  Tweed Ring fell and 1873 Tweed convicted of embezzlement  Later Tweed was arrested on a civil charge and jailed in NYC, later died there
    • President Grant’s Scandals “Credit Mobilier”  Phony construction company owned by stockholders of Union Pacific Railroad.  Hired Credit Mobilier to build the transcontinental railroad  Charged the U.S. government nearly twice the actual cost of the project.  Bribed Congress to stop the investigation.  Largest scandal in U.S. history, and led to greater public awareness of government corruption.
    • President Grant’s Scandals Whiskey Ring A group of President Grant’s officials imported whiskey  Used their offices to avoid paying taxes  Cheated US treasury of millions.
    • President Grant’s Scandals Salary Grab  Congress gave itself a raise, $5,000 to $7,500 annually.  Congressmen received a retroactive check for $5,000, plus their raise……  Became a political issue….Later repealed.
    • President Garfield’s Election
    • 1880 Presidential Election: Democrats
    • ELECTION OF 1880James A. Garfield wins the election with a baremargin of the popular vote.
    • The “Spoils System” Under the Spoils System (patronage), candidates for political office would offer potential jobs in exchange for votes. gave supporters access to money and political favors. During the Gilded Age, the Republicans and Democrats had roughly the same number of supporters. To keep party members loyal, candidates rewarded supporters and tried to avoid controversial issues.
    • The “Spoils System” The Republicans The Democrats Appealed to the  Attracted the less industrialists, bankers, privileged groups. and eastern farmers.  such as northern urban They favored the gold immigrants, laborers, standard (sound money) southern planters, and and high tariffs western farmers. Blue laws, regulations  Supported soft money that prohibited certain and silver coinage. activities people considered immoral.
    • President Garfield’s Assassination Assassinated by an upset Spoilsman. Led to VP Chester Arthur becoming president Supported a change to the corrupt spoils system. Signed into the law the Pendleton Act, also called the Civil Service Act. Required candidates applying for government positions to a test to determine their qualifications.
    • GARFIELD’S ASSASSINATIONCharles Guiteau: “I am a Stalwart, and Arthur is President now!”
    • The “Spoils System” President James A. Garfield President Rutherford Hays 1880 election, Republicans were  Elected in 1877 split into 3 factions. Stalwarts defended the spoils  Reformed the civil service, system—Senator Roscoe Conkling appointing qualified political independents instead of Half-Breeds reform but still giving positions to supporters. supported it– Senator James Blaine Independents opposed the spoils  No Congressional support or system. from the Republican Party. Garfield wanted reforms. His  Hayes did not seek a second running-mate was Chester Arthur, a term. Stalwart. July 2, 1881 Garfield was assassinated by a Stalwart who wanted Arthur as president.
    • The Pendleton Act (1883) a.k.a. “Civil Service Act”  The “Magna Carta” of civil service reform.  1883: 14,000 out of 117,000 federal govt. jobs became civil service exam positions.  1900: 100,000 out of 200,000 civil service federal govt. jobs.
    • After the assassination, President Arthur was able to getArthur Reforms the Civil Servicecongressional support for the Pendleton Civil Service Act. whichcreated a commission of classified government jobs
    • President McKinley’s Assassination William McKinley Theodore Roosevelt President McKinley had just been re-elected in 1900 and beginning his 2nd term when he was assassinated in 1901. VP Roosevelt became President.
    • 1876 * Election Tilden did not receive enough electoral votes. Special Commission gives votes to Hayes. Hayes wins the *Disputed electionElectoral votes Democrats refuse to recognize 164 Hayes as President369 total electoral votes, need 185 to win.
    • A Corrupt Bargain The election of 1876 and the Compromise of 1877 are referred to as the Corrupt Bargain. The Democrats and Republicans work out a deal to recognize Hayes as President Rutherford B. Hayes In return, President Hayes must end Reconstruction and pull the Union troops out of the South. Once this happens, there is no protection for the Freedmen and the South will regain their states and go back to the way it was. Samuel Tilden
    • Laissez-Faire Economics An economic belief supported by the U.S. that opposes the government regulating business.  Inthe late 1800’s businesses operated without much government regulation. This is known as laissez-faire economics.  Laissez-faire means ‘allow to be’ in French or the government stays out of you business.  Laissez faire supports our economic system of capitalism
    • Laissez Faire Federal Govt. From 1870-1900 Govt. did very little domestically. Main duties:  Deliver the mail.  Maintain a national military.  Collect taxes & tariffs.  Conduct a foreign policy.  Exception administer the annual Civil War veterans’ pension.
    • Capitalism Economic system characterized by private property ownership  Individuals and companies compete for their own economic gain (Profit)  Capitalists determine the prices of goods and services.  Production and distribution are privately or corporately owned.  Reinvestment of profits  Supports laissez faire
    • Socialism Economic system based on cooperation rather than competition  Believes in government ownership of business and capital  Government controls production and distribution of goods.  Opposite of laissez faire and capitalism