Greed, Graft & Corruption of Politics in the Gilded Age U.S. History II Ms. White
Bellwork:• Have you ever done a favor for someone or given a person a gift with the expectation of getting something in return for it?• Do you think that this practice is common among politicians today? Explain why or why not?
Chapter 15 Section 3
Learning Objectives:• Understand the role of political machines and bosses.• Understand how some politicians’ greed and fraud cost the taxpayers millions of dollars.• Understand the measures taken by president Hayes, Garfield, and Arthur to reform the spoils system.• Understand the positions taken by presidents Cleveland, Harrison, and McKinley on the tariff issue.
Gilded Age Political Machines• What does gilded mean?• To cover something with a thin layer of gold leaf or a substance that looks like gold.
Why is this time period in AmericanPolitics referred to as the Gilded Age? APPEARANCE REALITY VS.THE “SHINY” EXTERIOR THE ROTTEN CORE
The “Gilded Age”?There are many young men in American society, though well- educated, who let themselves drift, hoping to find the GOLDEN road to fortune. In a society of princes and paupers, everybody was hoping to get rich quick. —Twain & Warner 1873
What Factors Paved the Way for the Gilded Age?IMMIGRATION – Mass movement ofa group of people from one place toanother.INDUSTRIALIZATION –Concentration of machines and laborto produce consumer goods andservices.URBANIZATION – Growth of citiesand concentration of population (# ofpeople) in cities.
So What?--Immigrants pour into cities (urban areas).--Cities are ridden with problems due to overcrowding, crime,sanitation, etc.--Workers endure long hours, low pay, & dangerous conditions.--Factory Owners and Political Parties look for ways to exercisepower and influence over the “new arrivals.”--Political Machines dominate local politics in cities and competefor votes and power and influence.IMMIGRATION +INDUSTRIALIZATION+ URBANIZATIONPOLITICAL MACHINES
POLITICAL MACHINEAn organized group that controlled the activities of a political partyin a city.Political Machines Controlled: access to municipal (government) jobs Examples: police, firefighters, teachers, post office, town employees, etc. access to permits and licenses Examples: building permits for construction projects and liquor licenses court systems (judges) and other city organizations
Organization of the Political Machine City Boss Ward Boss Captains Workers
The Role of the Political “Boss” -In charge of a city’s political machine. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy178zHz Video clip From Boardwalk Empire on Atlantic City’s political machine controlled by Nucky Thompson in the 1920’s.“LEGITIMATE” GANGSTERS?
How a Political Boss stays in PowerBesides being involved in corrupt scandals, some politicalbosses held power by:Funding urban betterment projects.Ex. Building roads, parks, police forceHelping small businesses. Ex. Loans, building permitsAssisting immigrants with the naturalization process.
Political machines and bosses woulduse many underhanded methods to keep power: Voter fraud-Missing ballots, Fake voter names, Dead folks voting, Bribery-use of illegal payments or “kickbacks” from activities. Police Force- Control over city crime and police forces.
Graft• The illegal use of political influence for personal gain.• Example: By helping a person find work on a construction project for the city a political boss could ask the worker to bill the city for more than Create your own example of the actual cost. The graft. worker then kickbacks a portion of the earning to Read the DiMasi found guilty the political machine. on 7 out of 9 counts in kickback scheme article & answer the questions.
“Boss” Tweed and Tammany HallHead of Tammany Hall New YorkCity’s the Democratic PoliticalMachine.1869-1871 led the Tweed RingDefrauds NYC of $10 million inCounty Courthouse scheme.Thomas Nast a political cartoonisthelped arouse public outrageagainst Tammany Hall.Tweed ring was broken in 1871,and Boss Tweed was convicted offraud. He escaped to Spain;captured and imprisoned, but waslater captured when officialsidentified him from a Nast cartoon.
Tammany Hall Graft• In 1871, the New York Times ran a series of news stories exposing massive corruption by members of Tammany Hall, the Democratic political machine in New York City run by William “Boss” Tweed.• The Times obtained evidence that the Tweed Ring stole the publics money in the form of inflated payments to government contractors.• Example: Tweed ran a scheme to defraud taxpayers out of $10 million by charging the city $13 million to build a new courthouse when it only cost $3 million to build
Tammany Ring• Who Stole the People’s Money? – Do Tell (NY TIMES) ‘T Was Him
William “Boss” Tweed• Boss Tweed offered the owner of theTimes $5 million not to publish the material and Nast $500,000 to cease his cartoon attacks.• Tweed said, I don’t care so much what the papers write about me-my constituents can’t read; but… they can see pictures!” Both offers were refused.Tweed was imprisoned, but later escaped, only to later be identified in Spain by someone who recognized him from Nast’s caricatured version.
Political Cartoons• Political Cartoons- representative or symbolic drawings that make a satirical, witty, or humorous point to influence government action and public opinion. Thomas Nast - a political cartoonist who helped arouse public outrage against Boss Tweed and helped bring about his demise.
Elements of Political Cartoons• Use of exaggerated features and or physical characteristics.• Caricature exaggerates or distorts a person’s prominent features to allow the viewer to identify a him or her quickly.• Use of symbols or other recognizable icons to visually represent abstract ideas.• Use of satire, wit, irony, sarcasm, humor and ridicule to attack the vices and follies of humankind.• Presence of an opinion or message by the author.
Exaggeration• What is exaggerated in the cartoon?• What purpose does the exaggeration serve?
Symbols• What symbol is used in this cartoon?• Can you think of any other symbols you have seen pictured in cartoons?
Satire, Wit, Humor, Irony, & Sarcasm• Does the cartoon use humor to make its point? If so, how?• Is it sarcastic?• Ironic?• Ridiculing?
Author’s Opinion or Message • What do you think the author’s message is? • How do they feel about the topic? Caption: The Ballot In Counting There is Strength “That’s What’s The Matter”Boss Tweed, “As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?”
The Tammany Tiger Loose-What Are You Going to Do about it?
Thomas Nast Political Cartoon• What is the setting of the cartoon?• The female is Columbia a poetic name for the united States. What is happening to Columbia in this cartoon?• What does the tiger represent?• Who is watching from the stands on the left?• What is the significance of the town piece of paper under the tigers paw that reads, “LAW”?• Who is the tigers next victim?• What effect do you think the cartoonists, wanted his cartoon to have on his readers?
Who is the man in thecartoon?What is the man wearing?What is happening toeverything around him?What do you think themessage is that thecartoonist is trying toconvey?Who created the cartoon? What are you laughing at? To the victor belongs the spoils.”
Create Your Own Political Cartoon• Create a political cartoon that reflects the urban political scene during the Gilded Age. Suggested Ideas• How a political machine uses graft.• How political bosses provided services to immigrants in exchange for their votes.• How political machines affect taxpayers.
Political Cartoon Rubric• Visual Appearance/Neatness• Incorporation of Gilded Age Themes (political corruption, graft, patronage, bribery, fraud, etc.)• Efficient Use of Class Time/On task/Overall Effort
Group Work• Arrange yourselves into groups of three.• Teacher will distribute a Gilded Age political cartoon and cartoon analysis worksheet.• Spend approximately 5 minutes analyzing the cartoon individually and complete the cartoon analysis worksheet.• As a group share your findings and discuss the elements of the political cartoon and how it ties in with Gilded Age politics.• Share your political cartoon analysis with the class.
Calls for “Change”: Political ReformPATRONAGE – Giving jobs in government to political supporters(Not based on “merit”).Reform in CIVIL SERVICE – Government jobs; should no longerbe “handed out” to people who supported a candidate or politicalparty.
Rutherford B. HayesRepublican elected in 1876No support from Congress to make“reforms.”Named independents to his cabinet &to set up a commission to investigatenation’s customhouses, which werebig centers of patronage.Angers the Stalwarts-Republicanswho don’t want civil service reform.Does NOT decide to run for re-election.
The Garfield / Arthur Ticket: A “Compromise”?• 1880: Republican party nominates James Garfield, an independent reformer.• Chester Arthur, connected to the Stalwarts was nominated for VP candidate.• Garfield gives reformers most of his patronage jobs.• Garfield was shot and killed in 1881 by a disgruntled Stalwart lawyer.• Arthur takes the role of President; takes on the role of “reformer.”
Arthur and the Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883)• A bipartisan civil service commission to make appointments to federal jobs based on merit.• Gets rid of the Spoils System – Giving government jobs based on “loyalty.”• Establishes the Merit System – Jobs now given based on merit- ability, experience,& qualifications.• Limit on number of family members that could apply for civil service jobs.• Preferential treatment for veteran applications.
Big Business & TariffsWhat is a tariff?Tariff- a tax or fee to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports.How does an increase in tariff (tax) effect the price/cost of goods?Which goods would American consumers buy (American made or the foreign import), Why?
Big Business & Tariffs US businesses hopedHow do high tariffs the government(taxes) on imports would preserve ofprotect American even raise the tariffbusinesses? (a tax on imported goods) to protect their domesticWhich group in industries fromsociety would foreign competition.supporter lower • Democratstariffs and why? traditionally did NOT support high tariffs.
Grover ClevelandGrover Cleveland (1884): Nominated by the Democratic party• Democratic Party supports lower tariffs• Could not get Congressional support to lower tariffs• Does NOT win re-election.• Who would vote Democratic?
Benjamin Harrison Raises Tariffs• Benjamin Harrison(1888): Nominated by the Republican party Tariffs are• Republican Party supports AWESOME! higher tariffs• He signs the McKinley Tariff Act.• Taxes on foreign manufactured goods to their highest level ever. Who would vote Republican? (which group in society would
Cleveland Makes His Comeback!• Re-elected as president in 1892.• Refuses to lower tariffs since it gives tax money to the Federal Government.• In the end, tariffs remain high.