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GILDED AGE POLITICS PowerPoint Presentation
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GILDED AGE POLITICS

GILDED AGE POLITICS

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GILDED AGE POLITICS

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  1. GILDED AGE POLITICS EUGENIA LANGAN MATER ACADEMY CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL HIALEAH GARDENS, FLORIDA WITH THANKS TO SUSAN POJER AND TONY MILLER

  2. ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: TODAY: WHAT FACTORS (CHANGES AND CONTINUITIES) SHAPED GUILDED AGE POLITICS? WHAT FACTORS GAVE RISE TO THE POPULIST PARTY AND WHAT WAS ITS EFFECT? BROAD: HOW DID THE U.S. BECOME A SUPERPOWER? WHEN AND HOW DO POPULIST MOVEMENTS ARISE AND HOW HAVE THEY SHAPED U.S. POLITICS?

  3. THE GILDED AGE – 1869 - 1900 "What is the chief end of man?--to get rich. In what way?--dishonestly if we can; honestly if we must." -- Mark Twain-1871 "Gilded - covered in a thin layer of gold. Often hiding something unattractive underneath." THE GILDED AGE IS A TIME OF EXTREME WEALTH – AND EXTREME POVERTY

  4. REAL GDP AND GDP PER CAPITA SOARED – PERIOD OF GREATEST GROWTH IN U.S. HISTORY BUT THE TOP 1/8 WEALTHIEST HELD 7/8 OF TOTAL NATION WEALTH – HUGE RICH-POOR GAP (LIKE TODAY!)

  5. A DIFFERENT MEASURE: % 0F NATIONAL WEALTH HELD BY TOP 1% WEALTHIEST INDIVIDUALS: NOTE THE TREND SINCE MID-1970s (EFFECT OF BUSH TAX CUTS AND RECESSION/BAILOUTS – TODAY TOP 10% HOLD 75%, TOP 1% HOLD 40.4%)

  6. GILDED AGE "BILLIONAIRES" TO KNOW: J. PIERPONT MORGAN: BANKING JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, STANDARD OIL ANDREW CARNEGIE, CARNEGIE STEEL

  7. 1876 – 1892: "THE POLITICS OF EQUILIBRIUM"

  8. REALLY A TWO-PARTY STALEMATE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS DEPENDED LARGELY ON SWING STATES, ESPECIALLY NY, NJ, CONN. & IND. (SWUNG BASED ON DEMOGRAPHICS AND FRAUD) NEITHER PARTY TOTALLY CONTROLLED CONGRESS

  9. GILDED AGE PRESIDENTS • Ulysses S. Grant (R): Two terms • Rutherford Hayes (R): One term • James A. Garfield (R): Five months (Assassinated) • Chester A. Arthur (R): One term • Grover Cleveland (D): One term (then) • Benjamin Harrison (R): One term • Grover Cleveland (D): One MORE Term "The less a man knows the bigger the noise he makes and the higher the salary he commands." MARK TWAIN, FROM A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT

  10. VOTER TURNOUT HIGH DURING GILDED AGE (NOTE THAT IT DECLINES – A TREND THAT WILL CONTINUE IN THE 20TH CENTURY). BUT IT WAS A TIME OF INTENSE PARTY LOYALTY (USUALLY) WHY? WELL-DEFINED CLASS AND INTEREST BLOCS

  11. Well-Defined Voting Blocs – TINDERBOX BUT POLITICAL BALANCE KEPT THE LID ON UNTIL LATE '80s DemocraticBloc RepublicanBloc Northern whites(pro-business) African Americans Northern Protestants Old WASPs (supportfor anti-immigrant laws) Most of the BOURGEIOSIE White soutHErners(preservation ofwhite supremacy) Catholics Recent immigrants(esp. Jews) LABOR Most farmers

  12. SOME OF THE BLOCS – CONFLICTS KEPT MOSTLY IN CHECK BY POLTICAL “EQUILIBRIUM” UNTIL PANIC OF 1893

  13. THE USUAL PROBLEM: CYCLE OF DEBT  DESIRE FOR FREE SILVER OR GREENBACKS • MADE WORSE BECAUSE # OF FARM TRIPLED 1860 – 1900 & FARM MACHINERY INCREASED FARM PRODUCTION  OVERPRODUCTION OF FARM PRODUCTS  • SINKING PRICES  CYCLE OF DEBT WORSE, FORECLOSURES, INCREASED DESIRE FOR FREE SILVER • BY 1888, ¼ OF ALL FARMS WERE TENANT FARMS (MORE DEBT!) • FARMERS

  14. GRANGER MOVEMENT, 1867 – FARMERS BEGIN TO ORGANIZE • OLIVER KELLEY, FOUNDER, PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY (AKA THE GRANGE) • GRANGE ORGANIZED FARM CO-OPERATIVES (COLLECTIVE BUYING AND SELLING) • MOSTLY FOUGHT RAILROADS  GRANGER LAWS IN MIDWEST (INVALIDATED IN WABASH CASE, BUT  INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT, 1877)

  15. FARM ALLIANCES, BEGINNING 1877 – SEEDS OF POPULISM • STARTED IN SOUTH (SOUTHERN ALLIANCE), SPREAD THROUGHOUT MIDWEST (NORTHERN ALLIANCE). THERE WAS ALSO A COLORED FARMER'S ALLIANCE. • MORE POLITICAL THAN GRANGE • ALLIED WITH LABOR • RADICAL – DECRIED "CAPITALISTS," THREATENED BOYCOTTS • CONTROLLED 8 STATE LEGISLATURES AND HAD 47 REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS IN 1890S

  16. “NEW IMMIGRANTS” FROM EUROPE THE U.S. ENCOURAGED MASSIVE IMMIGRATION IN THE GILDED AGE – NEEDED FACTORY WORKER AND FARMERS TO SETTLE THE WEST

  17. "NEW IMMIGRANTS" FROM EASTERN EUROPE (BOHEMIA, POLAND, SLAVS, LITHUANIA, ETC) AND SOUTHERN EUROPE (ITALIANS, GREEKS) FOR 1ST TIME – LOTS OF JEWS FROM EASTERN EUROPE

  18. LABOR UNIONS • RAILROAD CRAFT UNIONS MID 19TH C. • GENERAL UNIONS/ UNION FEDERATIONS: • KNIGHTS OF LABOR, 1869 (TERENCE POWDERLY) – ADVOCATED HARMONY AMONG EMPLOYERS, WORKERS, WOMEN, ETC. MAIN ISSUE = 8-HOUR DAY. LATER = ELEMENT OF POPULIST PARTY • AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR, 1881 (SAMUEL GOMPERS) – CRAFT UNIONS (THOUGH GOMPERS FAVORED INDUSTRIAL UNIONS) • AMERICAN RAILWAY UNION, 1886 (EUGENE V. DEBS) • -- SOCIALIST

  19. TERENCE POWDERLY AND SAMUEL GOMPERS

  20. FEDERAL/ STATE POLICY TOWARD UNIONS: ILLEGAL CONSPIRACIES • 1876: STRIKE AGAINST BALTIMORE & OHIO R.R. OVER WAGE CUTS  • STARTED IN BALTIMORE, STRIKE AND RIOTING SPREAD TO BALTIMORE, PITTSBURG, ST. LOUIS, CHICAGO – MIGHT HAVE GONE NATIONAL • BUT HAYES SENT FEDERAL TROOPS TO BALTIMORE AND MARTINSBURG, W. VA. AS STRIKEBREAKERS • SET A PATTERN!

  21. HARPER’S ILLUSTRATION OF CONFRONTATION BETWEEN FEDERAL TROOPS AND STRIKERS IN BALTIMORE STRIKE BLAMED ON GERMAN AND BOHEMIAN IMMIGRANTS AND COMMUNISTS

  22. BUT MOSTLY Very Laissez-Faire Federal GovERNMENT – from 1870 TO 1890 government did little domestically • in Part due to political paralysis • in part due to social darwinism • main federal duties: • post office • military (indian WARS) • FOREIGN AFFAIRS (NOT MUCH GOING ON!) • COLLECT TARIFFS AND DUTIES • ADMINISTER CIVIL WAR VETS/ WIDOW/ ORPHAN PENSIONS • PROVIDE PATRONAGE JOBS!

  23. The Presidency as a Symbolic Office • PARTY BOSSES (LIKE CONKLING) • Ruled national party • with assistance and subject to • Local machine bosses (tammany • Hall, etc.) • presidents could not afford • To offend party leaders ($$$) • presidents just doled out federal jobs • (mostly sinecures) • Federal civilian workers Senator Roscoe Conkling

  24. 1880 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION • MAIN ISSUE WITHIN REPUBLICAN PARTY = CIVIL SERVICE REFORM: • STALWARTS (NO REFORM) V. HALF-BREEDS (MODERATE REFORM) – CONKLING V. JAMES G. BLAINE OF MAINE "THE PLUMED KNIGHT" OR "THE CONTINENTAL LIAR FROM MAINE" • NEAR DEADLOCK – AND NEITHER COULD WIN • BLAINE: RUMORS OF R.R. BRIBES • CONKLING: TOO NOTORIOUSLY CORRUPT

  25. THE COMPROMISE REPUBLICAN TICKET JAMES A. GARFIELD, CHESTER A. ARTHUR, LESSER HALF-BREED LESSER STALWART AND COLLECTOR AT N.Y CUSTOMS HOUSE (JACKSON, GRANT, HAYES SCANDALS)

  26. DEMOCRATIC NOMINEES: WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK AND WILLIAM ENGLISH HANCOCK WAS CAREER ARMY OFFICER AND UNION CIVIL WAR GENERAL, NICKNAMED "SUPERB HANCOCK" FOR HIS STRATEGIC SKILLS NONETHELESS, REPUBLICANS WAVED THE BLOODY SHIRT

  27. "THE DEMOCRATIC TROJAN HORSE: FOREWARNED, FOREARMED. THE DEFENDERS OF THE CITY WILL NOT BE MISLED BY A 'SUPERB' FIGUREHEAD." HARPER'S LED THE MEDIA CRY AGAINST "SPOILS SYSTEM" AND MACHINE POLITICS -- SCOTT TOED THE HARPER'S LINE SO IT DIDN'T ATTACK HIM – JUST THE COMPANY HE KEPT

  28. 1880 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CONGRESS REMAINED CLOSE TO 50/50

  29. 1881 – GARFIELD ASSASSINATED AT UNION STATION BY CHARLES GUITEAU (FIRST "LONE NUT" ASSASSIN) FLUNKED OUT OF U. MICH; JOINED ONEIDA COMMUNITY WHICH NICKNAMED HIM "CHARLES GITOUT". THOUGHT GARFIELD OWED HIM AMBASSADORSHIP "I AM A STALWART, AND ARTHUR IS PRESIDENT NOW!"

  30. CHESTER A. ARTHUR – FOX IN THE HENHOUSE? BUT HE SUPPORTED THE PENDLETON ACT (HAD TO) – ASSASSINATION OF GARFIELD  PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR CIVIL SERVICE REFORM

  31. PENDLETON CIVIL SERVICE REFORM ACT ("PENDLETON ACT) -1883 • CIVIL SERVICE JOBS TO BE AWARDED BASED ON MERIT (NOT PATRONAGE) • MERIT DETERMINED BY CIVIL SERVICE EXAMS • CREATED U.S. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION • WEAKNESS: FEWER THAN 10% OF FEDERAL JOBS WERE CIVIL SERVICE – MOST POLITICAL APPOINTEES • DIDN'T SATISFY REFORMERS IN REPUBLICAN PARTY  CHET OUT AFTER ONE TERM (NOT NOMINATED!)

  32. BUT OVER TIME, DUE TO PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR REFORM AND CHANGING POLITICS, MORE AND MORE FEDERAL JOBS WERE CLASSIFIED AS CIVIL SERVICE: 1883: 14,000 OUT OF 117,000 GOV'T JOBS 1900: 100,000 OUT OF 200,000 GOV'T JOBS OF COURSE PENDLETON ACT DID NOTHING ABOUT LOCAL MACHINE POLITICS, LIKE TAMMANY HALL!

  33. TAMMANY HALL DOMINATED NEW YORK CITY AND OFTEN STATE POLITICS UNTIL 1934 MUGWUMPS, INCLUDING TEDDY ROOSEVELT, FOUGHT AGAINST IT. HARPERS ALWAYS DID TOO.

  34. 1884 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION Grover Cleveland James G. Blaine(DEMOCRAT) (REPUBLICAN) FORMER MAYOR OF BUFFALO AND GOVERNOR OF N.Y.

  35. A DIRTY CAMPAIGN (AGAIN) CLEVELAND MIGHT HAVE HAD AN ILLEGITIMATE CHILD (HE WASN'T SURE – NO-ONE KNEW WHO THE FATHER WAS!] "MA, MA, WHERE'S MY PA? GONE TO THE WHITE HOUSE, HA, HA, HA!

  36. CARTOON DEPICTING BLAINE AS THE "TATOOED MAN" – MARKED BY ALL RUMORED SCANDALS. WHO'S THAT IN THE CENTER OF THE AUDIENCE? THEODORE ROOSEVELT, N.Y. LEGISLATURE -- MUGWUMP

  37. MUGWUMPS • "MEN MAY COME AND MEN MAY GO, BUT THE WORK OF REFORM GOES ON FOREVER" • CLASSICAL LIBERALS (NOT LIKE TODAY'S "LIBERALS"): • SOCIAL DARWINIST (ANCESTORS OF PROGRESSIVES) • LAISSEZ-FAIRE • SAW POLITICAL CORRUPTION, PATRONAGE AS GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION, INTERFERENCE WITH "SURVIVAL OF FITTEST" (MERIT)

  38. "RUM, ROMANISM, AND REBELLION" • DR. SAMUEL BURCHARD, LED DELEGATION OF MINISTERS TO BLAINE IN NY, MADE THAT COMMENT REFERRING TO DEMOCRATS • BLAINE SLOW TO REPUDIATE  RUMORS OF ANTI-CATHOLICISM • BLAINE’S CATHOLIC PROBLEM: PROPOSAL OF BLAINE AMENDMENT BANNING STATE AID TO RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS (MOST STATES INCLUDING FLORIDA ADOPTED IT) WAS PERCEIVED AS ANTI-CATHOLIC • IRONIC – BLAINE’S MOTHER CATHOLIC & SISTER A NUN

  39. STILL, ONLY A NARROW VICTORY FOR CLEVELAND – MORE EVIDENCE OF PARTY LOYALTY

  40. GROVER CLEVELAND: "A PUBLIC OFFICE IS A PUBLIC TRUST" • SAME PRINCIPLES AS MUGWUMPS – REFORM AND LAISSEZ-FAIRE • OPPOSED FREE SILVER • OPPOSED TARIFF • OPPOSED GOVERNMENT HELPING BUSINESS OR POOR (VETOED OVER 200 PRIVATE ACTS OF CONGRESS GRANTING CIVIL WAR VET PENSIONS) SO HE WAS UNPOPULAR WITH TAMMANY, SILVERITES, PROTECTIONISTS, VETS

  41. ELECTION OF 1888 GROVER CLEVELAND (D) BENJAMIN HARRISON (R) INDIANA (GRANDSON OF WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON)

  42. MAIN ISSUE IN 1888: TARIFFS, AGAIN! • HIGH TARIFFS SINCE CIVIL WAR YIELDED U.S. $100 MILLION SURPLUS BY 1885 • INDUSTRY SUPPORTED CONTINUED HIGH TARIFF • CONSUMERS WANTED REDUCTION (HIGHER PRICES) • MUGWUMPS OPPOSED TARIFFS (LAISSEZ-FAIRE, SOCIAL DARWINISM • NO DIRTY CAMPAIGNING IN 1888!

  43. GROVER CLEVELAND ON THE TARIFF: “When we consider that the theory of our institutions guarantees to every citizen the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his industry and enterprise... it is plain that the exaction of more [TAXES] than [THE u.S. NEEDS] is indefensible extortion and a culpable betrayal of American fairness and justice." SOUND FAMILIAR? TODAY IT’S THE REPUBLICAN PARTY LINE! “FILING OFF THE ROUGH EDGES” : IN FACT TARIFF OF 1888 DIDN’T PASS

  44. ELECTION OF 1888 CLEVELAND WON THE POPULAR VOTE BUT LOST THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTE. REPUBLICAN MAJORITIES IN BOTH HOUSES (BUT NOT 2/3 OF SENATE)

  45. HARRISON WON NEW YORK AND INDIANA DUE TO ELECTION FRAUD AND VOTER COERCION “‘COMING OUT’ FOR HARRISON: PROTECTED MONOPOLIES -- ‘CHECK IN YOUR VOTES THERE, AND DON’T FORGET YOU’RE WORKING FOR ____ KANE.”

  46. BILLION-DOLLAR CONGRESS (51ST ): REPUBLICAN CONGRESS UNDER HARRISON SPENT LAVISHLY (PENSIONS, YELLOWSTONE, FUNDING "LAND GRANT" COLLEGES IN SOUTH, ETC.)

  47. OTHER ACTS OF BILLION-DOLLAR CONGRESS: • SHERMAN ANTITRUST ACT, 1890. FIRST FEDERAL LAW AIMED AT PROHIBITING MONOPOLIES: • “Section 1: Every contract, combination in the form of TRUST or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. • Section 2: Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony.” • WHAT GROUPS WAS THE SHERMAN ACT ENFORCED AGAINST IN GILDED ERA? • LABOR UNIONS

  48. MC KINLEY TARIFF, 1890. RAISED TARIFF (AVERAGE 48.4 – BUT NOT ON IMPORTS FROM COUNTRIES THAT DID NOT IMPOSE TARIFFS ON U.S. EXPORTS -- EARLY FREE-TRADE AGREEMENT) • SHERMAN SILVER PURCHASE ACT, SAME DAY IN 1890 AS MC KINLEY TARIFF (TO GET FARMERS AND WESTERN SILVER INTERESTS TO SUPPORT TARIFF) • BACKGROUND – COINAGE ACT OF 1873 (“CRIME OF 1873”) = GOLD STANDARD • BLAND-ALLISON ACT, 1878, REQUIRED U.S. TREASURY TO BUY $2 – 4 MILLION OF SILVER MONTHLY, ISSUE SILVER DOLLARS (16:1 GOLD/ SILVER RATIO)

  49. SHERMAN SILVER PURCHASE ACT REQUIRED U.S. TREASURY TO BUY ADDITIONAL 4.5 MILLION OZ. OF SILVER BOULLION PER MONTH • ALSO REQUIRED TREASURY TO FUND SILVER PURCHASES BY ISSUING BONDS REDEEMABLE IN EITHER GOLD OR SILVER  • DEPLETION OF TREASURY GOLD STOCKS (BECAUSE MOST INVESTORS REDEEMED BONDS FOR GOLD) ANOTHER ARGUMENT FOR GOLDBUGS!

  50. PEOPLE'S PARTY (POPULIST PARTY) ESTABLISHED 1891 • GREW OUT OF 1899 MERGER OF NORTHERN, SOUTHERN AND COLORED FARMER ALLIANCES, AND THEIR ALLIANCE WITH POWDERLY AND THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR • STARTED IN SOUTH, TRIGGERED BY FALLING COTTON PRICES • SPREAD TO MIDWEST, DUE TO FALLING WHEAT PRICES (> 66% SINCE 1867)