Gilded agepolitics

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Gilded agepolitics

  1. 1. Chapter 16Chapter 16 The Gilded Age layer of prosperity that covered the poverty and corruption that existed in society.
  2. 2. Laissez Faire Federal Govt..  From 1870-1900  Govt. did very little domestically.  Main duties of the federal govt.:  Deliver the mail.  Maintain a national military.  Collect taxes & tariffs.  Conduct a foreign policy.
  3. 3. • 1. Black Friday (1869): Speculators cornered the gold market and ruined the economy. 2. New York custom house ring (1872): Three investigations, two congressional and one Treasury, looked into an alleged corruption ring set up at the New York Custom House under two of Grant's appointments, collectors Moses H. Grinnell and Thomas Murphy. 3. Star Route Postal Ring (1872): A corrupt system of postal contractors, clerks, and brokers was set up to obtain lucrative Star Route postal contracts. 4. Salary Grab (1872): Congressmen voted themselves a retroactive $5,000 bonus for previous term served. 4. Sanborn Contract (1874): John Sanborn collected taxes at exorbitant fees and split the profits among associates. 5. Delano Affair (1875): Secretary of Interior, Columbus Delano, allegedly took bribes in order to secure fraudulent land grants. 6. Pratt & Boyd (1875): Attorney General George H. Williams allegedly received a bribe not to prosecute the Pratt & Boyd company. 7. Whiskey Ring (1876): Corrupt government officials and whiskey makers stole millions of dollars in a national tax evasion scam. 8. Trading Post Ring (1876): Secretary of War William Belknap allegedly took extortion money from trading contractor at Fort Sill. 9. Cattelism (1876): Secretary of Navy George Robeson allegedly received bribes from Cattell & Company for lucrative Naval contracts. 10. Safe Burglary Conspiracy (1876): Private Secretary Orville Babcock was indicted over framing a private citizen for uncovering corrupt Washington contractors.
  4. 4. Credit MobilierCredit Mobilier • Phony construction company owned by stockholders of Union Pacific Railroad. • Hired 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. Grant’s Scandal
  5. 5. Whiskey RingWhiskey Ring • A group of President Grant’s officials imported whiskey • Cheated US treasury of millions. • Congress gave itself a raise, $5,000 to $7,500 annually. • Congressmen received a retroactive check for $5,000, plus their raise…… • "Failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent".
  6. 6. Political MachinePolitical Machine • • • • Organized group that controls activities of a political party • Give services to voters, businesses in exchange for political or financial support
  7. 7. Political Boss •May serve as mayor; : • controls city jobs, business licenses • influences courts, • arranges building projects, community services •
  8. 8. •Corrupt political leader •Kept Democratic Party in power in NYC called Tammany Hall Boss William Marcy Tweed
  9. 9. Bosses paid by businesses, get voters’ loyalty, extend influence •Machines help immigrants with naturalization, jobs, housing •Election fraud • Graft—illegal use of political influence for personal gain • Machines take kickbacks (a portion of the earning), and bribes
  10. 10. milked the city with false leases, padded bills, false vouchers, unnecessary repairs and over-priced goods Tweed Ring
  11. 11. Exposed for his corruption by cartoonist and editor, Thomas Nast  Tweed Ring fell and 1873 Tweed convicted of embezzlement 120 counts of fraud and extortion (12 years in jail) Later Tweed was arrested on a civil charge and jailed in NYC, later died there
  12. 12. Patronage • Giving government jobs to people who helped candidate get elected
  13. 13. Reform under Hayes • Tried to outlaw spoils system • Advocated Civil Service Reform (all applicants must take an exam) • Investigated custom houses – Notorious for patronage – Fired top officials
  14. 14. 18801880 Presidential Election:Election: RepublicansRepublicans James Garfield 20th President • Tried to establish peace between two parties • Emphasized Civil Rights • Advocated Civil Service Reform
  15. 15. 1881: Garfield1881: Garfield Assassinated!Assassinated! Charles Guiteau: lawyer who did not get a job in the government killed Garfield
  16. 16. Chester A. Arthur 21Chester A. Arthur 21stst PresidentPresidentPendleton Civil Service Act •Appointments to federal jobs base on merit system- examination
  17. 17. 18841884 Presidential Election:Election:Grover Cleveland 22nd President •First Democratic elected since 1856. •Tried to lower tariff (taxes) but Congress refuse support
  18. 18. A Dirty CampaignA Dirty Campaign Ma, Ma…where’s my pa? He’s going to the White House, ha… ha… ha…!
  19. 19. 18881888 Presidential Election:Election: Benjamin Harrison 23rd President •Raised taxes to the highest (McKinley Tariff)
  20. 20. 18921892 Presidential Election:Election: Grover Cleveland 24th President •The only president who served two non- consecutively
  21. 21. Men may come and men may go, but the work of reform shall go on forever.  Will support Cleveland in the 1884 election.
  22. 22. Changing PublicChanging Public OpinionOpinion Americans wanted the federal govt. to deal with growing soc. & eco. problems & to curb the power of the trusts:  Interstate Commerce Act – 1887  Sherman Antitrust Act – 1890  McKinley Tariff – 1890  Based on the theory that prosperity flowed directly from protectionism.  Increased already high rates another 4%!  Rep. Party suffered big losses in 1890 (even McKinley lost his House seat!).

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