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Chapter 23 Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age 18691896 Cover Slide Copyright Houghton Mifflin Company All rights reserved Adapted from Ms Susan M Pojer Horace Greeley HS Chappaqua NY ID: 598619 Download Presentation


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The American PageantChapter 23Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age, 1869-1896

Cover Slide

Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Adapted from: Ms

. Susan M.


Horace Greeley HS Chappaqua, NYSlide2



The 1868 Republican TicketSlide4

The 1868 Democratic TicketSlide5

Waving the Bloody Shirt!Slide6

Waving the Bloody Shirt!Republicans nominated Civil War General Ulysses S. Grantgreat soldierhad no political experience

Democrats? could only denounce military Reconstruction

couldn’t agree on anything els e= were disorganized.Slide7

Waving the Bloody Shirt!The Republicans got Grant elected (barely) by “waving the bloody shirt” =reliving his war victories

used his popularity to elect himpopular vote was only slightly ahead of rival Horatio Seymour.

Seymour = Democratic candidatedidn’t accept a redemption-of-greenbacks-for-maximum-value

platform, and thus doomed his party.Since election = close Republicans could not take future victories for granted.Slide8

1868 Presidential ElectionSlide9

President Ulysses S. GrantSlide10

The Era of Good StealingsDespite the Civil War, the population grewPartially

due to immigrationpolitics became very corrupt

Railroad promoters cheated gullible customers.Too many judges and legislators put their power up for hire.Slide11

The Era of Good StealingsJim Fisk and Jay Gouldnotorious millionairesIn 1869, they concocted a plot to corner the gold marketPlan

would only work if the treasury stopped selling goldthey worked on President Grant directly and through his brother-in-law

plan failed when the treasury sold gold.Slide12

The Era of Good StealingsTweed Ring (AKA, “Tammany Hall) of NYCHeaded by “Boss” TweedUsed

bribery, graft, and fake

elections to cheat the city of as much as $200 millioncaught when The New York Times secured evidence of his misdeedsdied in jail.Slide13

The Tweed Ring

in NYC

William Marcy Tweed

(notorious head of Tammany Hall’s

political machine)


Thomas Nast

 crusading cartoonist/reporter]Slide14

Who Stole the People’s Money?Slide15

A Carnival of CorruptionGrantfailed to see corruption going onmany of his friends wanted offices

his cabinet was totally corruptSlide16

Credit Mobilierrailroad construction company that paiditself huge sums of money for small railroad construction

Tarred Grant

NY newspaper reported it2 members of Congress were formally censured company had given some of its stock to the congressmen

Vice President was shown to have accepted 20 shares of stockSlide17

Whiskey Ring1875- public learned that the Whiskey Ring had robbed the Treasury of millions group of officials were importing whiskey & using their offices to avoid paying the taxes on it, cheating the treasury out of millions of dollars.

when Grant’s own private

secretary was shown to be one of the criminals, Grant retracted his earlier statement of “Let no guilty man escape.”

1876, Secretary of War William Belknap was shown to have pocketed some $24,000 by selling junk to IndiansSlide18

And They Say He Wants a Third TermSlide19

The Election of 1872

Rumors of corruption

during Grant’s first

term discredit Republicans.

Horace Greeley runs

as a Democrat/Liberal

Republican candidate.

Greeley attacked as a

fool and a crank.

Greeley died on

November 29, 1872!Slide20

1872 Presidential ElectionSlide21

Popular Vote for President: 1872Slide22

Causes:Unrestrained speculation on the railroads Too easy creditStarted when…failure of the NY banking firm Jay Cooke & Company, which was headed by the rich Jay Cooke, a

financier of the Civil War.

The Panic of 1873Slide23

 Depression, Deflation, & InflationGreenbacks that had been issued in the Civil War were being recalledbut now, during the panic

“cheap-money” supporters wanted greenbacks to be printed en

mass again, to create inflation. supporters of “hard-money” (actual gold and silver) persuaded Grant to veto a bill that would print more paper


Resumption Act of 1875 government would withdraw greenbacks & maKe all further redemption of paper money in

gold at face value, starting in 1879.Debtors now cried that silver was under-valued (another call for inflation), Grant refused to coin more silver dollars, which (stopped in 1873)

new silver discoveries in the later 1870s shot the price of silver way down. Grant’s name remained fused to sound money, though not sound government.

 Depression, Deflation, & InflationSlide25

 Depression, Deflation, & Inflationgreenbacks regain their valuefew greenback holders exchange their more convenient bills for gold when Redemption Day came in 18791878, the Bland-Allison Act instructed the Treasury to buy and

coin between $2 million and $4 million worth of silver bullion each

month. The minimum was actually coined and its effect was minimal on creating “cheap money.”Slide26

 Depression, Deflation, & InflationRepublican hard-money policy, led to the election of a Democratic House of Representatives in 1874Spawned the Greenback Labor Party in 1878primarily composed of prairie farmers who went into debt during the Panic of 1873fought for increased monetary circulation through issuance of paper currency and bimetallism (using both gold and silver as legal tender)supported inflationary

sought benefits for labor such as shorter working hours and a national labor bureau. wanted the government to print more greenbacks.Slide27



Definition: Gilded Age“The Gilded Age,”term coined by Mark Twaintimes looked good, yet if one scratched a bit below the surface, there were problems. corruption.Slide29


of ReconstructionSlide30

Northern Support Wanes


” & corruption.

Panic of 1873 [6-year


Concern over westward

expansion and Indian wars.

Key monetary issues:

should the government

retire $432m worth of

“greenbacks” issued during the Civil War.

should war bonds be paid back in specie or

greenbacks. Slide31

1876 Presidential TicketsSlide32

“Regional Balance?”Slide33

1876 Presidential ElectionSlide34

The Political Crisis of 1877

“Corrupt Bargain”

Part II?Slide35

Hayes PrevailsSlide36

Alas, the Woes of Childhood…

Sammy Tilden

—Boo-Hoo! Ruthy Hayes’s got my Presidency, and he won’t give it to me!Slide37

A Political Crisis: The “Compromise” of 1877Slide38

The "Politics of


1. A Two-Party StalemateSlide40

2. Intense Voter Loyalty

to the

Two Major

Political PartiesSlide41

3. Well-Defined Voting Blocs





White southerners

(preservation of

white supremacy)


Recent immigrants

(esp. Jews)

Urban working

poor (pro-labor)

Most farmers

Northern whites


African Americans



Old WASPs (support

for anti-immigrant


Most of the middle


4. Very 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.


 administer the annual

Civil War veterans’ pension.Slide43

5. The Presidency as a Symbolic Office

Party bosses ruled.Presidents should

avoid offending anyfactions within their

own party.The President just

doled out federal jobs.


 53,000 people worked for the federal govt.

1890  166,000 “ “ “ “ “ “Slide44

The Birth of Jim Crow in the Post-Reconstruction SouthReconstruction ended …military returned northwardwhites asserted their power.Literacy requirements for voting began, voter

registration laws emergedpoll taxes begantargeted

at black voters.Slide45

Most blacks became sharecroppers providing nothing but laborOr tenant farmers if they could provide their own toolsPlessy v. Ferguson:

1896, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of that “separate but equal” facilities were

constitutional“Jim Crow” segregation was legalized.

The Birth of Jim Crow in the Post-Reconstruction SouthSlide46

Class Conflicts & Ethnic ClashesRailroad Strike:Background:1877, the presidents of the nation’s 4 largestrailroads decided to cut wages by 10%. Workers

struck back, stopping workPresident Hayes sent troops to stop this,

violence eruptedmore than 100 people died in the several weeks of chaos.Slide47

Class Conflicts & Ethnic ClashesFailure of the railroad strike?showed weakness of the labormovementNote: this was partly caused by friction between races, especially between the Irish and the Chinese.

In San Francisco, Irish-born Denis Kearney incited his followers to terrorize the ChineseSlide48

Anti-Chinese sentiment:1879-Congress passed a bill severely restricting the influx of Chinese immigrants (most of whom were males who had come to California to work on the railroadsHayes vetoed the bill Said that it violated an existing treaty with ChinaAfter

Hayes left office, the Chinese Exclusion Act, passed in 1882, was

passed, barring any Chinese from entering the United States—the first law limiting immigration.

Class Conflicts & Ethnic ClashesSlide49

James A. Garfield1880 : Republicans nominated James A. Garfieldfrom Ohio rose to the rank of major general in the Civil Waras his running mate, a notorious Stalwart (supporter of Roscoe Conkling) was chosen: Chester A. Arthur of New

YorkDemocrats chose Winfield S. Hancock, Civil War general

(appealed to the South) due to his fair treatment of it during Reconstruction & a veteran who had been wounded at Gettysburg, and thus appealed

to veterans.Slide50

1880 Presidential ElectionSlide51

campaign avoided touchy issues Garfield squeaked by in the popular vote (the electoral count was wider: 214 to 155).Garfield was a good person, but he hated to hurt people’s feelings and say “no.”Garfield named James G. Blaine to Secretary of the Statehe made other anti-Stalwart acts, but on September 19,

1881, Garfield died after having been shot in the head by a crazy but disappointed office seeker, Charles J.

Guiteau, who, after being captured, used an early version of the “insanity defense” to avoid conviction (he was hanged anyway).

James A. GarfieldSlide52

Republican infightingStalwartsRepublicans fighting for civil service reform during Garfield's term; they supported Cleveland.Half-breedsFavored tariff reform and social reform, major issues from the Democratic and Republican parties. They did not seem to be dedicated members of either partySlide53

1881: Garfield Assassinated!

Charles Guiteau:

I Am a Stalwart, and Arthur is President now!Slide54

Chester ArthurChester Arthur surprised many Gave cold shoulder to Stalwarts (his chief supporters)called for reform Republican party slowly embraces reformSlide55

Pendleton Act (1883)

Civil Service Act.

The “Magna Carta” of civil service reform.

1883  14,000 out of

117,000 federal became civil

service exam positions.

1900  100,000 out of

200,000 civil service

federal govt. jobs.Slide56

Republican “Mugwumps”

Reformers who wouldn’t re-nominateChester A. Arthur.

Reform to them  create a disinterested, impartial govt. run by an educated elite like themselves.

Social Darwinists.

Laissez faire government to them:

Favoritism & the spoils system seen as

govt. intervention in society.

Their target was political corruption,

not social or economic reform!Slide57


Men may come and men may go, but the work of reform shall go on forever.

Will support

Cleveland in the

1884 election.Slide58

1884 Presidential Election

Grover Cleveland James Blaine


(DEM) (REP)Slide59

A Dirty Campaign

Ma, Ma…where’s my pa?

He’s going to the White House, ha… ha… ha…!Slide60

Little Lost Mugwump

Blaine in 1884Slide61

Rum, Romanism & Rebellion!

Led a delegation of ministers to Blaine in

NYC.Reference to the

Democratic Party.Blaine was slow to

repudiate the remark.

Narrow victory for

Cleveland [he wins NY

by only 1149 votes!].

Dr. Samuel BurchardSlide62

1884 Presidential ElectionSlide63

Cleveland’s First Term

The “Veto Governor” from New York.

First Democratic elected since 1856.A public office is a public trust!

His laissez-faire presidency:

Opposed bills to assist the poor aswell as the rich.

Vetoed over 200 special pension bills

for Civil War veterans!Slide64

The Tariff Issue

After the Civil War, Congress raisedtariffs to protect new US industries.

Big business wanted to continue this;consumers did not.

1885  tariffs earned the US $100 mil.

in surplus!


Cleveland’s view on tariffs



really interested in the subject at

first, but

as he researched it, he became inclined towards lowering the

tariff, so in late 1887, Cleveland openly tossed the appeal for lower

tariffs into the lap of Congress.Slide65

The Billion Dollar CongressSpeaker of the House, Thomas B. Reed= tremendous debater & very critical man.To solve the problem of reaching a quorum (having enough voters to vote) in Congress, Reed counted the

Democrats who were present yet didn’t answer to the roll call, and after three days of such chaos, he finally prevailed, openingthe 51st, or “Billion Dollar” Congress—one

that legislated many expensive projects.Slide66

Filing the Rough Edges

Tariff of 1888Slide67

1888 Presidential Election

Grover Cleveland Benjamin Harrison




Disposing the SurplusSlide69

Populism:An Agrarian


Price Indexes for Consumer & Farm Products: 1865-1913Slide71

Founder of the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry (1867)Slide72

The Grange MovementFirst organized in the 1870s in the Midwest, the south, and Texas.

Set up cooperative associations.

Social and educational components.

Succeeded in lobbying for

“Granger Laws


Rapidly declined by the late 1870s


Begun in the late 1880s (Texas first  the

Southern Alliance; then in the Midwest

 the

Northern Alliance).

Built upon the ashes of the Grange.

More political and less social than the Grange.

Ran candidates for office.

Controlled 8 state legislatures & had 47

representatives in Congress during the 1890s.

The Farmers AlliancesSlide74

Platform of LunacySlide75

James B. Weaver, Presidential Candidate&James G. Field, VP

Founded by James B. Weaver

and Tom Watson.

Omaha, NE Convention in July, 1892.

Got almost 1 million popular


Several Congressional seats


The Populist (Peoples’) PartySlide76

Omaha Platform of 1892Politically:Direct election of US SenatorsEnacting state laws by voters themselvesEconomically:Unlimited coinage of silver increase money supply

Graduated income taxGovt. ownership of RRs, telephone & telegraph companies.Loans and federal warehouses for farmers to enable them to stabilize prices for their crops8 hour day for industrial workersSlide77

Govt.-Owned CompaniesSlide78

1892 ElectionSlide79


of 1893Slide80

Causes of the 1893 PanicBegun 10 days after Cleveland took office.

Several major corps. went bankrupt.

Over 16,000 businesses disappeared.

Triggered a stock market crash.

Over-extended investments.

Bank failures followed causing a contraction of credit [nearly 500 banks closed].

By 1895, unemployment reached 3 million.

Americans cried out for relief, but the Govt. continued its laissez faire policies!!Slide81

Here Lies ProsperitySlide82

When the banker says he's broke And the merchant’s up in smoke,

They forget that it's the farmer

who feeds them all.

It would put them to the test

If the farmer took a rest;

Then they'd know that it's the farmer

feeds them all.

Written by a Farmer at the End of the 19cSlide83

Jacob Coxey & his “Army of

the Commonweal of Christ.”March on Washington

 “hayseed socialists!”Wanted gov’t to relieve unemployment

Coxey’s Army, 1894Slide84

Populist vote increased by 40% in the bi-election year, 1894.Democratic party losses in the West were catastrophic!But, Republicans won control of the House.

Result of Election Returns




Gold / Silver Bug Campaign PinsSlide87

The “Great Commoner”

William Jennings Bryan


Revivalist style of oratory.

Prairie avenger,

mountain lion,

Bryan, Bryan, Bryan,


Gigantic troubadour,

speaking like a siege


Smashing Plymouth Rock

with his boulders

from the West.

William Jennings BryanSlide89


“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!Slide90

18,000 miles of campaign “whistle stops.”

Bryan: The Farmers Friend

(The Mint Ratio)Slide91

Platform  tariff reductions; income tax; stricter

control of the trusts (esp. RRs); free silver.

Democratic Party Taken Over by the Agrarian LeftSlide92

Mark Hanna: The “Front-Porch” CampaignSlide93

William McKinley (1843-1901)Slide95

Mark Hanna to Candidate McKinleySlide96

“A Giant Straddle”: Suggestion for a McKinley Political PosterSlide97

Joshua A. Levering: Prohibition PartySlide98

Into Which Box Will the Voter

of ’96 Place His Ballot? Slide99

1896 Election ResultsSlide100

Why Did Bryan Lose?His focus on silver undermined efforts to build bridges to urban voters.He did not form alliances with other groups.

McKinley’s campaign was well-organized and highly funded.Slide101

Gold Triumphs Over Silver

1900 

Gold Standard Actconfirmed the nation’s

commitment to the gold standard.A victory for the forces of


The Wizard of Oz

by L. Frank BaumSlide103

Populism: A political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against the privileged elite. Slide104

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written as an allegory to the situation that was happening in the Midwest. Every main character can be traced to either a particular person or group of people. Even the word “Oz” is used to represent the measurement of gold. Slide105

Dorothy:Represents everyman. She is an innocent Midwest girl who is able to see what is really going on in Oz.Slide106

Munchkins:Represent the common people, controlled by the Wicked Witch of the East (who represented the Eastern Industrialists and Bankers.Slide107

Scarecrow:Represents the wise but naïve western farmer, taken advantage of by the industrialists and bankers. Slide108

Tinman:Represents the dehumanized industrial worker. He is turned into a machine back the industrialists because of his hard work ethic and not having another craft to succeed in. He eventually becomes unable to love.Slide109

Cowardly Lion:Represents William Jennings Bryan, having a loud roar but was unable to back it up (bite). Slide110

Wicked Witch of the West:Represents the Western industrial influence and is ultimately destroyed by water (representing pure nature, a removal of machines).Slide111

"Your Silver Shoes will carry you over the desert.....If you had known their power you could have gone back to your Aunt Em the very first day you came to this country." Glinda explains, "All you have to do is knock the heels together three times and command the shoes to carry you wherever you wish to go." (p.257). Slide112

"The Silver Shoes had fallen off in her flight through the air, and were lost forever in the desert" (p.259).The drive for the gold standard to be replaced with silver was lost when Bryan lost the election and the Populist party lost its motivation or drive.Slide113

Although the silver had been lost, the important message is a return to the Midwest farmer/family. It is where true happiness remains. Back in Oz, the Scarecrow now runs the Emerald City, the Tinman rules in the west, and the Lion rules over smaller animals in the forest. Power has been returned to the people.Slide114

1964: Henry Littlefield’s “Thesis”?Slide115

Map 18.4 The Heyday of Western Populism, 1892 (p. 537)This map shows the percentage of the popular vote won by James B. Waver, the People’s Party candidate in the presidential election of 1892. Except in California and Montana, the Populists won broad support across the West and genuinely threatened the established parties in that region.Slide116

Why Did Populism Decline?The economy experienced rapid change.

The era of small producers and farmers was fading away.

Race divided the Populist Party, especially in the South.The Populists were not able to breakexisting party loyalties.

Most of their agenda was co-opted bythe Democratic Party.Slide117

Map 18.5 The Elections of 1892 & 1896 (p. 540)In the 1890’s the age of political stalemate came to an end. Compare the 1892 map with the 1888 map an note especially Cleveland’s breakthrough in the normally Republican states of the upper Midwest. In 1896 the pendulum swung n the opposite direction, with McKinley’s consolidation of Republican control over the Northeast and Midwest far overbalancing the Democratic advances in the thinly populated western states. The 1896 election marked the beginning of forty years of Republican dominance in national politics.

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