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Gilded Age Politics C . 1876—1900. Gilded Age Politics. The Gilded Age by Mark Twain and Charles Warner (1873) Political equilibrium Civil service reform, currency, and the tariff. Gilded Age Politics. Strict Constructionists Commander in Chief Enforcer of laws passed by Congress

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gilded age politics
Gilded Age Politics
  • The Gilded Age by Mark Twain and Charles Warner (1873)
  • Political equilibrium
  • Civil service reform, currency, and the tariff
gilded age politics1
Gilded Age Politics
  • Strict Constructionists
  • Commander in Chief
  • Enforcer of laws passed by Congress
  • Head of political party
gilded age politics2
Gilded Age Politics
  • High Voter Participation— Why?
  • (1) People believed that the issues were important
  • (2) People believed that their votes counted
  • (3) Politics = Entertainment
gilded age politics3
Gilded Age Politics
  • Involved electorate, but what determined how it voted?
  • Republicans: Protestants of English and German descent, Southern Blacks, and Union Civil War Veterans. Ohio River Valley, the West, and New England
gilded age politics4
Gilded Age Politics
  • Democrats: Southern Whites, Roman Catholics, Jewish people, immigrants under the influence of party bosses.
  • Campaigns—Republicans:
  • The Bloody Shirt
  • Veterans’ Pensions
gilded age politics5
Gilded Age Politics
  • Nativism
  • Campaigns—Democrats:
  • Republicans will take your booze away
  • Played to Race in the South
  • Maintained that Republicans were corrupt
gilded age politics6
Gilded Age Politics
  • Why the push for Civil Service Reform?
  • President Ulysses S. Grant (R) (1822-1885) (1869-1877)
gilded age politics7
Gilded Age Politics
  • Patronage
  • Roscoe Conkling—
  • Stalwart
  • James Blaine—
  • Half-Breed
gilded age politics8
Gilded Age Politics

President Rutherford B. Hayes (R) (1822-1893) (1877-1881)

gilded age politics9
Gilded Age Politics

President James A. Garfield (R) (1831-1881) (1881)

gilded age politics10
Gilded Age Politics

A disgruntled patronage seeker, Charles J. Guiteau (1840?-1882), assassinated Garfield

gilded age politics11
Gilded Age Politics

President Chester A. Arthur (R) (1830-1886) (1881-1885)

gilded age politics12
Gilded Age Politics
  • Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883) “Merit-based system”
  • Put approximately 14% of Federal Jobs under classified services; jobs were obtained through competitive examinations.
gilded age politics13
Gilded Age Politics
  • The Tariff
  • By 1888, over 4,000 items imported into the US had duties of roughly 45%.
  • Protectionism
  • Created tensions between industry and agriculture
gilded age politics14
Gilded Age Politics
  • Arthur appointed a special Tariff Commission (1882)
  • Recommended lowering the tariff 20-25%
  • “Riders”
  • Mongrel Tariff (1883)
gilded age politics15
Gilded Age Politics
  • The Underwood Tariff (1913)
  • Income Taxes (XVI Amendment 1913)
  • Currency
  • debtors vs. creditors

Legal Tender—US can require creditors to accept paper money as payment for debt. The

  • Fed printed $450,000,000


gilded age politics16
Gilded Age Politics
  • Hepburn v. Griswold (1870)
  • Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873)
  • Specie Resumption Act (1874)

Coinage Act (1873)

  • Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890)—required Federal Government to buy 4.5 million ounces of silver each month with Federal Bank Notes
the agrarian revolt
The Agrarian Revolt
  • (1) High railroad rates in farming regions
  • (2) Overcharged and ripped off by middlemen
  • (3) Hurt by high tariff
  • (4) Victimized by eastern bankers
  • (5) Not enough money
the agrarian revolt1
The Agrarian Revolt
  • The Grange
  • The Farmers’ Alliance
  • Cooperatives
  • Crop Sub-Treasuries
  • The Populists
the agrarian revolt2
The Agrarian Revolt

Mary E. Lease (1850-1933)

the agrarian revolt3
The Agrarian Revolt
  • Populist Platform endorsed at the Party Convention, Omaha, Nebraska 4 July 1892:
  • (1) Crop sub-treasury
  • (2) Free and unlimited coinage of silver at 16 to 1
  • (3) Graduated income tax
the agrarian revolt4
The Agrarian Revolt
  • (4) Nationalization of railroads, telegraphs, and telephones
  • (5) Eight-hour workday
  • (6) Immigration restrictions
  • (7) Initiative, Referendum, and Recall
the agrarian revolt5
The Agrarian Revolt
  • (8) Australian Ballot
  • (9) Direct election of United States Senators
  • (10) At least $50.00 in circulation per capita
the agrarian revolt6
The Agrarian Revolt
  • Presidential Election of 1892
  • James B. Weaver (1833-1912) (P)
  • Carried Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, and Nevada
the agrarian revolt7
The Agrarian Revolt
  • Presidential Election of 1896
  • William Jennings Bryan (D) (1860-1924)
the agrarian revolt8
The Agrarian Revolt

William McKinley (R) (1843-1901) (1897-1901)

the agrarian revolt9
The Agrarian Revolt
  • Exuded Protestant evangelism
  • Republicans would not join the Populist/Democrat fusion
  • Many believed he was communistic or anarchistic; American labor did not join the American farmer
legacies of the 1896 election
Legacies of the 1896 Election
  • A new campaigning style
  • Ascendancy of the industrial over the agricultural
  • Beginning of the end of American mass political participation
  • Decline of Party and the rise of Special Interest Groups
the progressive era
The Progressive Era
  • The desire to use government as an agency of human welfare
  • Antecedents of Progressivism:
  • (1) Movement owed a great deal to Populism
  • (2) Social Critics and Writers—
the progressive era1
The Progressive Era
  • Individuals described by Theodore Rooseveltas the “lunatic fringe of muckrakers”
  • a. Henry Demarest Lloyd used articles to attack monopoly including, “Story of a Great Monopoly” in Atlantic Monthly (1881)
the progressive era2
The Progressive Era

b. Ida M. Tarbell also targeted John D. Rockefeller with her History of the Standard Oil Co.

the progressive era3
The Progressive Era

c. Lincoln Steffens wrote about municipal corruption in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis for McClure’s, Everybody’s, and Cosmopolitan

the progressive era4
The Progressive Era
  • Four features of Progressivism:
  • Democratic
  • Direct primaries
  • Initiative, referendum, and recall
  • Income Taxes (XVI Amendment 1913)
the progressive era5
The Progressive Era
  • Direct election of US Senators (XVII Amendment 1913)
  • Government efficiency
  • City Manager
  • Staunton, Virginia (1908)
  • National Association of City Managers
the progressive era6
The Progressive Era
  • Governor Robert M. “Fighting Bob” La Follette (R) (1855-1925)
  • Legislative Reference Bureau
  • “Wisconsin idea”
the progressive era7
The Progressive Era
  • Regulation
  • Increased tendency to direct some business activities through federal regulations
  • Social Justice
  • Settlement House movement
the progressive era8
The Progressive Era

Jane Addams (1860-1935)

the progressive era9
The Progressive Era

Ellen G. Starr (1860-1940)

the progressive era10
The Progressive Era

Hull House Chicago, Illinois (1889)

the progressive era11
The Progressive Era
  • The National Child Labor Committee (1904)
  • By 1914, 35 state legislatures had passed laws prohibiting children under age fourteen from working
the progressive era12
The Progressive Era
  • Florence Kelly (1859-1932)
  • National Consumers’ League
  • Sociologist Louis D. Brandeis
the progressive era13
The Progressive Era

Liquor Prohibition—”manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors . . . prohibited.” (XVIII Amendment 1919)

the progressive era14
The Progressive Era
  • Presidential Election of 1900
  • William Jennings Bryan (D) (1860-1924)
the progressive era15
The Progressive Era

Leon F. Czolgosz (1873-1901) assassinated William McKinley (1901)



James B. Parker

the progressive era16
The Progressive Era

President Theodore Roosevelt (R) (1858-1919) (1901-1909)

the progressive era17
The Progressive Era
  • Roosevelt wished to avoid socialism and a return to laissez faire
  • Used the “carrot and the stick” approach
  • Anthracite Coal Strike (May-October 1902)
the progressive era18
The Progressive Era
  • John Mitchell (1870-1913)
  • United Mine Workers’ Union
the progressive era19
The Progressive Era
  • 20% wage increase
  • Eight-hour workday
  • Union recognition
the progressive era20
The Progressive Era
  • George F. Baer (1842-1914) led the mine operators
the progressive era21
The Progressive Era

General John Schofield (1831-1906)

the progressive era22
The Progressive Era
  • Binding arbitration
  • Everybody got something:
  • 10% pay increase
  • Nine-hour workday
  • Operators not required to recognize the United Mine Workers’ Union
the progressive era23
The Progressive Era
  • Roosevelt the “Trust Buster”
  • Northern Securities Company
the progressive era24
The Progressive Era

US Attorney General Philander C. Knox (1853-1921)

the progressive era25
The Progressive Era
  • Northern Securities Company v. United States (1904)
  • US Supreme Court ruled that the NSC was an “unreasonable restraint of trade” and ordered it dissolved
the progressive era26
The Progressive Era

Bureau of Corporations within the newly created Department of Commerce and Labor (1903) to collect statistics and investigate the activities of corporations.

the progressive era27
The Progressive Era
  • Presidential Election of 1904
  • Alton B. Parker (D) (1852-1926)
the progressive era28
The Progressive Era

President Roosevelt speaking in Hannibal, Missouri

the progressive era29
The Progressive Era

Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906)


LTC Roosevelt and the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment (Rough Riders), San Juan Hill, Cuba 1898

the progressive era30
The Progressive Era

In the Spanish-American War (1898), 5,462 Americans died, but only 379 in combat

the progressive era31
The Progressive Era
  • Meat Inspection Act (1906)
  • Pure Food and Drug Act (1906)
the progressive era32
The Progressive Era

In 1905, by the authority of the Forest Reserve Act (1891), TR placed 172 million acres under Federal protection

Hepburn Railroad Regulation Act (1906)

As Roosevelt’s Administration progressed, he favored:

Income tax

Inheritance tax

Greater regulation of Business

Industrial Safety Regulations

the progressive era33
The Progressive Era
  • Presidential Election of 1908
  • William Jennings Bryan (D) (1860-1924)
the progressive era34
The Progressive Era

William Howard Taft (R) (1857-1930) (1909-1913)

the progressive era35
The Progressive Era

Taft never wished to run for president, but he could not say “NO” to Teddy Roosevelt

Major Archibald Butt, Aid to TR and Taft

the progressive era36
The Progressive Era

Roosevelt assumed that Taft would continue his activist progressive policies, but he was badly disappointed

the progressive era37
The Progressive Era
  • Presidential Election of 1912
  • Theodore Roosevelt formed the Progressive or “Bull Moose” Party
the progressive era38
The Progressive Era

Woodrow Wilson (D) (1856-1924) (1913-1921)