Gilded age politics
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Gilded Age Politics. 1870 - 1900. A Two Party Stalemate. Few economic differences between Democrats and Republicans. Well-Defined Voting Blocs. Democrats. Republicans. Northern Protestants Anti-Immigration Nativists Middle-Class. White Southerners Catholics Recent Immigrants Urban

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Gilded Age Politics

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Gilded Age Politics

1870 - 1900


A Two Party Stalemate


Few economic differences between Democrats and Republicans


Well-Defined Voting Blocs

Democrats

Republicans

Northern

Protestants

Anti-Immigration

Nativists

Middle-Class

  • White Southerners

  • Catholics

  • Recent Immigrants

  • Urban

  • Pro-Labor

  • Farmers


This caused high voter turnout and partisan voting!


Laissez-faire Federal Government 1870 - 1900

  • Accomplished little domestically

  • Main duties of the Federal Government

    • Delivered Mail

    • Maintained Military

    • Collected Taxes and Tariffs

    • Conducted Foreign Policy

    • Administered Civil War Veteran’s Pension


Issues

  • Monetary Policy

  • Regulation of Big Business

  • Tariff Policy

  • Railroad Regulations

  • Labor Regulations

  • Women’s Suffrage

  • Farm Problems

  • Civil Service Reform

  • American Imperialism


Presidency as Symbolic Office

  • Party bosses ruled!

  • President

    • should avoid offending factions within their own party.

    • Doled out federal jobs.

“The President should merely obey and enforce the law.”

–Senator John Sherman of Ohio


How was it that leaders who failed to address the ‘real issues’ of the day presided over the most highly organized and politically active electorate in American history?


No chief executive between Lincoln and T. Roosevelt could be described as a strong president!


1865- 53,000 people worked for the federal government1890 – 166,000 people worked for the federal government


1876 Election- one of the most disputed and controversial elections in US History


Hayes Prevails


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


Rutherford B. Hayes (R)1877 - 1881

  • “Compromise of 1877” -end of Reconstruction

  • “Party of Morality”

  • Limited Vision of Government’s Role

  • Great RR Strike of 1877

  • 1878 --> Bland-Allison Act


Lemonade Lucy


Split within the Republican Party

Stalwarts

Half-Breeds

Sen. James Blaine (Maine)

Support for Civil Service Reform

  • Sen. Roscoe Conkling (New York)

  • Wanted Grant for 3rd Term

  • Favored Machine Politics/ Spoils System


James A. Garfield (R) 1881

  • compromise candidate

  • assassinated


Chester A. Arthur (R) 1881 - 1884

  • 1882 --> Tariff Commission

  • 1883 --> Pendleton Act (Civil Reform)


Grover Cleveland (D)1885 - 1888

  • “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa? Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha!”

  • laissez-faire Democrat

  • attacked tariffs

  • 1886 --> Haymarket Riot

  • 1887 --> Interstate Commerce Act

MUGWUMPS


Election of 1888

  • Tariffs major issue of election


Benjamin Harrison (R)1889 - 1892

  • 1889 --> Farmers Alliance

  • curbs on big business (1890):

    • 1. Sherman Anti-Trust Act

    • 2. McKinley Tariff Act

    • 3. Sherman Silver Purchase Act

  • 1892 --> Homestead Strike

TARIFFS


Billion Dollar Congress


Grover Cleveland (D)1893 - 1896

  • Panic of 1893

    • [BIG depression!]

  • 1894 --> Pullman Strike

  • 1894 --> Wilson-Gorman Tariff

  • 1895 --> E. C. Knight Co. v. US

POPULISM


William McKinley (R)1887 - 1901

BIMETTALISM

  • 1898 --> Spanish-American War

  • 1899 --> Gold Standard Act

  • 1899 --> Open Door Policy

  • 1900 --> Boxer Rebellion in China

  • 1901 --> assassinated


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