Gilded age politics


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Gilded age politics

  1. 1. POLITICS IN THE GILDED AGE"The golden gleam of the gilded surface hides thecheapness of the metal underneath.“ Mark Twain
  2. 2. Popularity in 1880 Rank Male name Female name 1 John Mary 2 William Anna 3 James Emma 4 Charles Elizabeth Popular 5 6 George Frank Minnie Margaret Names 7 8 Joseph Thomas Ida Alice 1880 9 10 Henry Robert Bertha Sarah 11 Edward Annie 12 Harry Clara 13 Walter Ella 14 Arthur Florence 15 Fred Cora 16 Albert Martha 17 Samuel Laura 18 David Nellie 19 Louis Grace
  3. 3. Grant – Great General, Poor President Lots of Corruption Is he involved? Or too inept to notice? Re-elected in 1872 Decides not to seek 3rd term in 1876
  4. 4. Grant – Corruption Crédit Mobilier– Pacific Railroad hires itself to build railroad, bribes lawmakers. - V.P. is involved Whiskey Ring - steals excise taxes – Grant’s secretary Bribes to Sec of War from suppliers to Indian Reservations
  5. 5.  As cities grew in the late 19th century, so did political machines Political machines controlled the activities of a political party in a city Ward bosses, precinct captains, and the city boss worked to ensure their candidate was elected
  6. 6. ROLE OF THE POLITICAL BOSS The “Boss” (typically the mayor) controlled jobs, business licenses, and influenced the courts Precinct captains and ward bosses were often 1st or 2nd generation immigrants so they helped immigrants with naturalization, jobs, and housing in exchange for votes Boss Tweed ran NYC
  7. 7. MUNICIPAL GRAFT AND SCANDAL  Political machines used fake names and voted multiple times to ensure victory  “Vote early and often”  Graft (bribes) common among political bosses  Construction contracts often resulted in “kick- backs”  Police forces were hired by the boss prevented close scrutiny
  8. 8. THE TWEED RING SCANDAL Boss Tweed, (William M. Tweed) - head of Tammany Hall, NYC’s powerful Democratic political machines Between 1869-1871, led the Tweed Ring, defrauding the city Indicted on 120 counts of fraud and extortion Sentenced to 12 years in jail – released after one, arrested again, and escaped to Spain
  9. 9. CIVIL SERVICE REPLACES PATRONAGE  Some politicians pushed for reform in the hiring system  The system had been based on Patronage; giving jobs and favors to those who helped a candidate get elected  Reformers pushed for an adoption of a merit system of hiring the most qualified for jobs  The Pendleton Civil Service Applicants for federal jobs are Act of 1883 authorized arequired to take a Civil Service Exam bipartisan commission to make appointments for federal jobs based on performance
  10. 10.  What symbols do you see? What do they mean? What is the message about Boss Tweed?
  11. 11. The “Brains” that achieved the Tammany Victory at the Rochester Democratic Convention
  12. 12.
  13. 13. “What are youlaughing at? To the victor belong the spoils.”
  14. 14.  Nast’s most famous cartoon  1862  Drew upon his German heritage
  15. 15. Election of 1876 Hayes (R) v. Tilden (D) Tilden win popular vote, one vote shy of electoral college victory, but Four states (20 votes) in doubt Compromise of 1877, Hayes wins, if he ends reconstruction
  16. 16. SEGREGATION & DISCRIMINATION  After Reconstruction, Southern States adopted system of legal discrimination
  17. 17. VOTING RESTRICTIONS  Poll Tax  Literacy Tests – link  Grandfather Clause
  18. 18. JIM CROW LAWS  named after an old minstrel song  separate public and private facilities
  19. 19. PLESSY v. FERGUSON  Plessy arrested for sitting in whites- only train car  Supreme Court ruled segregation was legal and did not violate the 14th Amendment  “Separate, But Equal”
  20. 20. DISCRIMINATION IN THE NORTH Many blacks migrated to the North in hopes of better jobs & equality Still faced discrimination: low paying jobs and segregated neighborhoods
  21. 21. Chinese ExclusionAct 1882 – Immigration from China is ended
  22. 22. The “Forgettable Presidents” 1876-96 Hayes Garfield Arthur Cleveland Harrison Cleveland McKinley
  23. 23. Voter Turnout 2008 - 56%
  24. 24. Democratic Republican Bloc Bloc Well-Defined Voting Blocs  White southerners  Northern whites (preservation of (pro-business) white supremacy)  African Americans  Catholics & Jews  Northern  Recent immigrants Protestants  Urban working  Old WASPs (support poor (pro-labor) for anti-immigrant laws)  Most farmers  Most of the middle class
  25. 25. Farmers & the PopulistMovement
  26. 26. Farmers Unite to Address ProblemsLate 1800 Economic Problems Falling prices Mortgaged farms / equipment  buying on credit Increase in bank foreclosures Increase in railroad shipping charges – Long haul v. Short haul
  27. 27. Effects of Retiring the Greenbacks Farmers borrowed – Greenbacks not worth as much Greenbacks retired - $ left in circulation worth more Farmers had to pay back loans w/ crop prices down  less profit Farmers wanted more $ (silver) in circulation – to cause inflation (good for borrowers)
  28. 28. Gold Bugs SilveritesWho they were Bankers and Farmers and laborers businessmen What they Gold standard Bimetallism wanted Less $ in circulation More $ in circulation Why Loans would be repaid Products would be with stable $ sold at a higher $ Effects Deflation Inflation -Prices fall -Prices rise -value of $ increases -value of $ decreases Fewer people have $ -more people have $
  29. 29. The Grange (The Patrons of Husbandry) 1867 Social outlet for farmers Educational forum Fight Railroads (high pricing / legislation) Established coops (cooperatives)
  30. 30. Farmers Alliance Education of farmers (business & agriculture) Southern Alliance – white farmers Colored Farmers’ National Alliance – black farmers
  31. 31. Populism People’s Party (1892)  Populist Party Convention oIncrease in $ supply  increasing prices oGraduated income tax oFederal loan program oPopular vote of U.S. Senators oTerm limits – President / Vice President oSecret Ballot o8 hour work day oRestrictions on immigration oAppealed to Farmers and Laborers
  32. 32. Panic of 1893Causes Farm debt Railroads  decreasing markets  railroad bankruptcy Decrease in government supply of gold from buying silverEffects People panicked  stock market prices drop Price of silver falls  silver mines close Increase  national bankruptcy  less investment Decrease consumer spending, wages, prices
  33. 33. Election of 1896Republicans Democrats / Populists Industrial East  South + West Gold Standard  Bimetalism - “Silverites” “Gold Bugs”  William Jennings Bryan William McKinley  Effects Effects Inflation Deflation Decrease in $ Increase value of $ Increase in prices Decrease of prices More people have $ Fewer people have $
  34. 34. Cross 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.”
  35. 35. Election of 1896Election Results McKinley wins Industrial Midwest feared inflation  McKinley
  36. 36. Effects of Populism “Little guy” can organize and be effective in elections Begins reform movement that will move into 20th Century