Early Reforms in the Gilded Age / Politics & Reform
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  • 1. Early Reforms in the Gilded Age Angie Ng and Rachel Miller
  • 2. Gilded Age (1870-1900)
    • Mark Twain and Charles Warner’s novel “The Gilded Age”(1873)
    • Novel talked about American politics and society.
    • Gilded = something covered with gold on the outside but made of cheaper metal on the inside
    • Gilded Age= Beneath benefits of Industrialization and Urbanization (increased life expectancy) was poverty, corruption, crime, and great disparities in wealth between the rich and poor.
  • 3. Individualism
    • Idea that no matter how humble a person’s origins, they could rise in society (based on talent and commitment) Horatio Alger wrote over 100 “rags to riches” novels that inspired Americans to believe that success was not impossible
  • 4. Social Darwinism
    • Herbert Spencer proposed idea.
    • Inspired by Charles Darwin who believed that life evolved over the years through natural selection.
    • Believed that human society evolved and improved over the years because only the fittest survived.
    • catchphrase was “Survival of the fittest”
  • 5. Social Darwinism
    • Reinforced idea of individualism
    • Supported the idea of laissez-faire
    • William Graham Sumner (political scientist) = if govt interfere with business, competition would not root out those that couldn’t adapt.
    • John D .Rockefeller supported SD a lot (industrial giant of oil)
  • 6. Opposition to SD
    • Some people believed in Bible’s account of Creation
    • Henry Ward of Plymouth Church accepted Spencer’s ideas of SD
    • Andrew Carnegie combine SD with Gospel of Wealth.
    • Believed rich should engage in philanthropy –donate fortunes to help the poor and further social progress
  • 7. Realism
    • Movement in art and literature that portrayed people realistically instead of idealizing them like in romanticism
    • Mark Twain “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” view of pre-Civil War era
  • 8. Popular Culture/Entertainment
    • Industrialization improved standard of living for people, had more leisure time
    • Saloons, playing or watching basketball, baseball, football because job less strenuous physically.
    • Ragtime music (African American)
    • Vaudeville=animal acts, dancers, acrobats
  • 9. Criticism
    • Henry George “Progress and Poverty” raised questions about great gap between rich/poor.
    • Lester Frank “Dynamic Sociology” = Reform Darwinism. People survive because of ability to cooperate, therefore govt should be involved (poverty, education, economy)
    • Edward Bellamy “Looking Backward” want socialism
    • Naturalism=style of writing that criticized indust. Society.
  • 10. Helping the Urban Poor
    • Social Gospel Movement (1870-1920)
    • Improve city conditions based on biblical ideas (day care, helping the poor)
    • Washington Gladden (minister from Columbus,Ohio) try apply “Christian Law” to social problems.
    • Coal strike (1884) Gladden= right and necessity of labor organizations”
    • Billy Sunday =protect trad. society denounce alcohol, women’s rights, labor unions
  • 11. Helping the Urban Poor
    • Christian Mission aka Salvation Army(1878)
    • Dwight L. Moody. President of Chicago YMCA, Bible studies, prayers, wanted to redeem souls and reform character of people. reject SD and SG
  • 12. Public Education
    • Idust. and urbanization=need more educated workers.
    • 1870= 6,500,000 children in school,
    • 1900= 17,300,000
    • At schools knowledge about American culture (Americanization). Helped immigrants assimilate but immigrants might forget own cultural traditions
  • 13. Settlement Houses
    • middle–class residents in poor neighborhoods lived with and helped poor residents (mostly immigrants)
    • Hot lunches, English lessons, medical care
    • Jane Addams’ Hull House in Chicago
  • 14. Education
    • Morrill Land Grand Act: federal land given to state for purpose of making agricultural and mechanical colleges.
    • Private colleges gave women edu.
    • Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee Institute in Alabama (1881) because Africans did not have equal edu opportunities
  • 15. Education
    • Public libraries made edu. available but like schools hard for rural people to have access
    • Andrew Carnegie donated millions to construct libraries
    • LAST SLIDE!!! Whoot Whoot!!
  • 16. Homework
    • Read the Profiles in History section on Page 269 and explain which man ( Booker T. Washington or George Washington Carver) made a bigger impact in society.
    • Minimum 3 sentences.
  • 17. Politics and Reform Rachel Miller & Angie Ng
  • 18. Spoils System (Patronage)
    • Gov. jobs were given to supporters of the winning party
    • Americans thought it corrupted the gov. & stopped lawmakers from addressing nation’s issues
    • Repub. Pres. Hayes fights patronage
      • Appoints “Halfbreeds” to replace “Stalwarts”
          • Halfbreeds = Republican reformers
          • Stalwarts = local bosses of republican political machines
    • Despite arguments, Republicans nominate James A. Garfield (Halfbreed) for president & Chester A. Arthur (Stalwart) for vice-president.
  • 19. Assassination of Pres. J.A.G.
    • Killed by Charles Guiteau, a Stalwart
      • Believed that w/ Garfield dead, he would unite the Republican Party
    • Congress responds with Pendleton Act
      • Civil service system where candidates are appointed based on examinations
      • 14,000 jobs (1/10 of total) resulted
      • Started to end the spoils system.
  • 20. Political Deadlock
    • Republican advantages
      • New England, Midwest, big businesses
      • Senate
    • Democrat advantages
      • South w/ large Catholic & immigration populations
      • House of Reps
    • Twice during 1877-1896, a candidate lost popular vote, but won election b/c still received all electoral votes in states
    • Republicans & Democrats can’t agree on issues= can’t pass laws that helped economy
  • 21. Election of 1884
    • (Dem) NY Gov. Grover Cleveland vs. (Rep) James G. Blaine, former House of Reps. Speaker
      • Blaine = Credit Mobilizer Scandal
      • Cleveland = Bachelor, but fathered a child 10 yrs. earlier
    • Because Cleveland admitted the rumor was true, he earned RESPECT.
    • Blaine lost several votes due to:
      • “ Muguwumps” that liked Cleveland’s honesty
      • Not defending the Irish Catholics
      • The Prohibition Party Candidate promised to ban alcohol sales
  • 22. Commerce, Trusts, and Tariffs
    • Greater industrialization + growth labor movement = strikes + worried Americans
    • Standard Oil negotiates rebates (partial refund) and lower rates b/c of volume of goods they shipped
    • Gov. believed they shouldn’t meddle with the problem
    • Public pressure= Interstate Commerce Act
    • 1 st federal law designed regulate interstate commerce
    • House of reps (democrats) want pass more tariffs but Senate (republicans) reject proposal
  • 23. Republicans Regain Power
    • Election of 1888: Cleveland vs. Benjamin Harrison(repub)
    • Harrison lost popular vote but got electoral votes
      • Republican control + both houses Congress + White House
    • McKinley Tariff passed (covered fed. Revenue & transformed nation’s budget supplies into budget deficit)
  • 24. Unrest in Rural America
    • Farmers produced more crops, but prices lowered
    • High tariffs increased cost of manufactured goods that farmers needed
      • Farmers struggle to sell crops overseas
      • Had no hope in both parties to help
    • Embrace populism: increasing farmers’ political power
  • 25. Currency
    • To help Union War, US Treasury issued millions of dollars in greenbacks (can’t exchange for gold and silver)
    • More currency + no rise in goods for sale= inflation
    • Post-civil war currency: greenbacks, gold, silver, national bank notes
      • Fed. Gov. stopped printing greenbacks to pay off bonds
      • 1885: stopped making silver coins
    • Deflation: increase in value and decrease of prices
      • Farmers didn’t like this
  • 26. Patron of Husbanding (Grange)
    • 1 st national farm organization
    • Formed b/c farers wanted greenbacks back
    • Created cooperatives (marketing organization for their crops)
    • Western States pass “Granger Laws”
      • Railroads fight this by cutting their service
      • Wabash vs. Illinois (1886): Supreme Court says that states can’t regulate commerce that crosses state lines
  • 27. Farmer’s Alliance
    • Replaces Grange
    • Believes they can est. large cooperatives (exchanges), force farm prices up, make loans to farmers @ low interest rates
    • Succeeded at first, then failed b/c wholesalers, manufacturers, railroads discriminated against them
      • Also failed b/c they’re still too small!
  • 28. Populism
    • 1890: Power struggle within the Farmer’s Alliance b/c problems still not fixed
    • Leaders in western states wanted new party for political reforms
    • Kansas Alliance creates People’s Party (Populists)
      • Endorsed democratic candidates that support their demands
      • Candidates to Congress or state legislatures
  • 29. Ocala Demands
    • 1890: Farmer’s Alliance met in Ocala, Florida
      • Wanted free coinage of silver, end to protective tariffs, national banks, tighter regulation of railroads, direct election of senators by votes.
      • Sherman’s Silver Purchase Act of 1890
        • Led by Senator John Sherman
        • Made to stop farmers from voting for Populists
        • Allowed exchange of gold for silver
        • US Treasury purchases 4.5 mil oz. of silver per month
          • Didn’t help farmers, but it reduced deflation slightly
  • 30. A Populist for President?!
    • July 1892: James B. Weaver nominated
      • Omaha Platform
        • return unl. coinage of silver, make graduated income tax (tax higher earnings heavily)
        • Workdays = 8 hrs.
        • Restrict immigration
        • Strikebreaking is wrong
    • Competition: Grover Cleveland (he’s back, folks!) + Repub. Benjamin Harrison
      • Grover Cleveland won … again.
  • 31. Panic of 1893
    • March: Philadelphia & Reading Railroads declared bankruptcy b/c they expanded too fast and couldn’t repay loans
    • Stock market on Wall Street crashed
    • 1894: economy in depression; 18% workforce unemployed
    • US Treasury in trouble
      • American & European investors cashed their US gov bonds for gold – which left gov gold reserves extremely low
        • June 1893: Grover Cleveland repeals Sherman Silver Purchase Act
          • Led to split of Democratic Party into “goldbugs” and “silverites”
  • 32. Election of 1896:
    • Populist’s strategy: endorse silver so pro-silver democrats would vote for them
      • FAILED b/c democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan
        • Populists give in and vote for Bryan
        • Bryan is super hyper-active, traveling thousands of miles, making 600 speeches in 14 weeks
        • Candidate William McKinley did a “Front-Porch Campaign”
          • Literally. The man talked to people at his home in Canton, Ohio.
          • (psst wasn’t as effective)
  • 33. McKinley’s Success Factors
    • Cleveland had bad rep for depression and losing silver
      • McKinley promised to provide “full dinner pail”
      • Esp imp for famers
    • Americans believed unl silver coinage would ruin country
    • He had a rep for moderation on labor issues and tolerated different ethnic groups
      • Urban workers and immigrants ♥ McKinley
    • While in office, the depression ended
      • Gold found in Canada (1896), Alaska (1898), South Africa
      • 1900: US adopted gold-based currency
  • 34. The Rise of Segregation
    • Resistance and Repression
      • African Americans want jobs in Southern towns & homesteads
      • 1879: former slave, Benjamin “Pap” Singleton (70 yrs. Old) organized migration of thousands of African Americans from rural south to Kansas
        • Known as “Exodusts”
      • 1886: Colored Farmers National Alliance
        • 1891: hoped poor blacks + whites team up to challenge Democratic Party’s power in South
  • 35. Disfranchising African Americans
    • Democrats want to win back poor whites by using racism
    • 1890: Mississippi required all citizens to…
      • pay poll tax of $2 to vote (which African American’s can’t afford)
      • Literacy test (had to read/understand constitution)
      • Pass the grandfather clause
  • 36. Legalizing Segregation
    • Civil Rights Act of 1875 prohibits forcing people out of public places b/c of race & discriminates when choosing jurors
    • 1883: Supreme Court overturns this
      • Hotels, theaters, and railroads free to practice segregation
      • Ex: Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896)
      • Separate but equal
  • 37. Lynching
    • 1890-1899: mob violence increased (187 lynchings occurred w/o proper court proceedings EVERY year)
      • 80% of lynching happened in the South; 70% of the victims were African Americans
  • 38. African Americans Respond
    • Ida B. Wells
      • Thought that greed & racism contributed to lynching
      • Congress rejected anti-lynching bill
      • Lynching decreased in 1900s b/c of her & others’ contribution
    • Booker T. Washington
      • 1895: Atlanta Compromise
        • Speech that said to postpone fighting for civil rights; focus more on preparing themselves educationally and vocationally for equality
  • 39. African Americans Respond
    • W.E.B. Du Bois
      • Leader of new generation of African American activists born after Civil War
      • Challenged Atlanta Compromise
        • White southerners still took civil rights away from African Americans
        • “ Color discrimination is barbarianism”
        • Could regain lost ground & get equality by demanding the right to vote
  • 40. H O M E W O R K :
    • Do you agree with the Atlanta Compromise? Why or why not? Write at least 3 sentences.