GILDED AGE
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Gilded age

GILDED AGE

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873)A book by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, which, though fiction, is a critical examination of democratic politics, and corruption in the United States at the time. Twain and Warner depict an American society that, despite its appearance of promise and prosperity, is riddled with corruption and scandal.

  • Politics of the Gilded Age:

  • 1. “Forgettable Presidents” & Laissez- Faire philosophy

  • Corruption & power of govt. at local & state level (Machines)

  • Electoral Stability & Party Loyalty (Few Distinctions in Parties)

  • High Voter Turnout


Politics of the gilded age

Politics of the Gilded Age

I. Politics to 1890 = Growth of Discontent

A. The Grant Administration

  • Election

    “waving the bloody shirt”

    2. The Scandals

    a. Gold Ring (Gould & Fisk)

    b. Credit Mobilier

    c. Whiskey Ring


Politics of the gilded age1

Politics of the Gilded Age

I. Politics to 1890 = Growth of Discontent

B. Boss Tweed

  • Tweed Ring/Tammany Hall


Politics of the gilded age2

Politics of the Gilded Age

I. Politics to 1890 = Growth of Discontent

B. Boss Tweed

  • Tweed Ring/Tammany Hall

    a. Give out jobs & contracts for support & $

    • Stole $200 million from city = submit for work never done

    • Investigated by NY Times & convicted

      C. 1873 Depression 

      “hard-money” vs. “cheap-money”

      Creditors vs. Debitors

      “Greenback Party” & Silver advocates

      “crime of 73”

      Bland-Allison Act (1878)

Can the Law Reach Him? 1872


Politics of the gilded age3

Politics of the Gilded Age

I. Politics to 1890 = Growth of Discontent

C. Immigration & The Chinese


Politics of the gilded age4

Politics of the Gilded Age

I. Politcs to 1890 =“Growth of Discontent”

D. Politics of the 1880s

1. Stalwarts & Half-Breeds

  • Election of 1880 & James Garfield

    Assassination: Charles Guiteau, “I am a Stalwart. Arthur is now President of the United States.”


Politics of the gilded age5

Politics of the Gilded Age

I. Politcs to 1890 =“Growth of Discontent”

D. Politics of the 1880s

3. Chester Arthur

a. Pendleton Act


Politics of the gilded age6

Politics of the Gilded Age

I. Politcs to 1890 =“Growth of Discontent”

D. Politics of the 1880s

4. Election of 1884

a. Dem. = Cleveland


Politics of the gilded age7

Politics of the Gilded Age

I. Politcs to 1890 =“Growth of Discontent”

D. Politics of the 1880s

4. Election of 1884

b. Rep. = Blaine

c. “rum, Romanism, & rebellion”

d. Mugwumps

James G. Blaine, depicted as Little Bo Peep, tries to woo the errant Mugwump reformers back into the Republican fold in 1884.


Politics of the gilded age8

Politics of the Gilded Age

I. Politcs to 1890 =“Growth of Discontent”

D. Politics of the 1880s

  • Cleveland’s First Term

    • Vetoes & Military Pensions

    • Calls for reduction of tariff

    • Reforms & Regulation

      i. Wabash= overturn Granger Laws

      ii. Interstate Commerce Act/ICC

      6. Harrison and the “Billion-Dollar Congress”

    • 1890 McKinley Tariff

    • Increase veteran pensions

    • 1890 Sherman Silver Purchase Act

    • 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act (used more against unions)


Politics of the gilded age9

Politics of the Gilded Age

  • II. Turning Point = 1890s

    • A. Rise of Populists

      • 1. Agrarian Discontent

        • a. The Grangers

          • Oliver Kelley

          • Cooperatives

          • Granger Laws

        • b. Farmer’s Alliance

        • c. People’s Party

          • Coin’s Financial School

  • This poster from 1875 expresses one of the agrarian radicals’ fundamental premises: that all other walks of life were de pendent— or even parasitic—on the indispensable work of farmers. In his famous “Cross of Gold” speech in 1896 (see p. 661), Populist presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan put it this way: “Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.”


Politics of the gilded age10

Politics of the Gilded Age

  • II. Turning Point = 1890s

    • A. Rise of Populists

      • 2. Omaha Platform

        • 1. Increase circulation of $

        • 2. Unlimited coinage of silver

        • 3. Progressive Income Tax

        • 4. Govt. Regulate RR & communications

        • 5. 8 hr. work day

        • 6. Direct Election of Senators

Raise less corn, and more hell


Politics of the gilded age11

Politics of the Gilded Age

  • II. Turning Point = 1890s

    • A. Rise of Populists

      • 3. Election of 1892


Politics of the gilded age12

Politics of the Gilded Age

  • II. Turning Point = 1890s

    • B. Cleveland’s 2nd Term = Depression Politics

      • 1. Panic of 1893

        • a. Failure Reading RR = Failure banks and businesses = stock market plunge

        • b. Ag. Depression

        • c. Silver Purchase Act & Tariff Blamed = there had been a gold drain on Tres.

        • d. Cleveland doesn’t take action

        • e. Consolidation of businesses

      • 3. Coxey’s March

      • 4. Pullman Strike


Politics of the gilded age13

Politics of the Gilded Age

“You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

  • II. Turning Point = 1890s

    • C. Election of 1896

      • 1. Bryan, Populists, and Democrats

“Cross of Gold” Speech


Politics of the gilded age14

Politics of the Gilded Age

  • II. Turning Point = 1890s

    • C. Election of 1896

      • 2. McKinley, Hanna, and Republicans


Politics of the gilded age15

Politics of the Gilded Age

  • II. Turning Point = 1890s

    • C. Election of 1896

      • 3. Campaign


Politics of the gilded age16

Politics of the Gilded Age

  • II. Turning Point = 1890s

    • D. The Significance of Election-1896

      • 1.Populist Demise

      • 2. Urban Dominance

      • 3. Beginning of Modern Politics

    • E. McKinley and Recovery

      • 1. High Tariffs

      • 2. Gold Standard Act of 1900

      • 3. Imperialism


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