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Chapter 7: Issues of the Gilded Age (1877-1900)

Chapter 7: Issues of the Gilded Age (1877-1900). Section 1: Segregation and Social Tension. Post Civil War the government was passing laws that increased the rights of freed slaves. During the Gilded Age, however, most began to have their rights narrowed. I. African Americans Lose Freedoms.

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Chapter 7: Issues of the Gilded Age (1877-1900)

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  1. Chapter 7: Issues of the Gilded Age(1877-1900)

  2. Section 1: Segregation and Social Tension • Post Civil War the government was passing laws that increased the rights of freed slaves. • During the Gilded Age, however, most began to have their rights narrowed.

  3. I. African Americans Lose Freedoms • After Federal troops were recalled from the south..southerners went right on back to treating AA the way they had in the past. • Jim Crow Laws – Laws that kept blacks and whites separated.

  4. A. States’ Governments Limit Voting Rights 1. 15th Amendment – Prohibits states from denying someone the right to vote based on race. 2. States got around it by using; • Poll tax – You had to be able to pay the poll tax to vote b.Literacy test – Had to be able to read and right to vote. However, this also eliminated some white voters, so southern states created the • grandfather clause – If your grandfather was an eligible voter prior to 1866, you did not have to pay poll tax or take literacy test. Only white men over 21 were legal voters in 1866. • as a result the # of registered black voters in the south decreased dramatically.

  5. B. New Laws Force Segregation • Jim Crow Laws became a way of life in the South. • widespread segregation had become the reality of life in America. • blacks were restricted on where they could live, work, & send their kids to school. • Plessy Vs Ferguson – Supreme Court case where the Supreme Court ruled that Separate, but Equal was legal. a. Separate facilities were rarely equal.

  6. II. African Americans Oppose Injustices • African Americans always refused to accept their status as 2nd class citizens in America. • They established their own society in order to work towards their goals of equality in America.

  7. A. Booker T. Washington Urges Economic Advancement • prominent African American leader who thought Africans should pick themselves up by their own bootstraps to overturn Jim Crow laws. • build up their own economic resources and establish reputations as hardworking and honest Americans…would get them respect once whites saw them as trustworthy citizens. • President of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. An all black school.

  8. Booker T Washington Video (1:31) • Click Here!!!

  9. B. W.E.B. DuBois Attacks Washington’s Ideas • PhD from Harvard Univ. • Critical of Washingtons willingness to be accommodating to southern white. • believed that political action was the only way to gain the respect of whites. • Did not feel that the right to vote was a privilege that blacks had to earn…that is was a right of citizenship.

  10. Ida Wells Crusades Against Lynching • African –American woman who fought against segregation in the south. • Worked as a school teacher and then as a newspaper reporter. • Was run out of Memphis after writing a series of articles attacking the practice of lynching in the south. • She basically threatened white residents of Memphis by stating that if whites were not careful, that blacks may just turn the tables on them.

  11. III. Chinese Immigrants Face Discrimination A. Jim Crow of the West • mobs of whites attacked Chinese workers accusing them of taking “white jobs”. • Chinese Exclusion Act banned Chinese immigration into the U.S. • Laws told Chinese citizens were they could live and send their kids to school. • Many Chinese had to turn to U.S. courts in order to protect their rights.

  12. IV. Mexican Americans Struggle with the West • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo – Guaranteed the rights of land ownership by Mexicans who chose to stay in Texas after the war. • 4/5 of all Mexican landowners had their land taken away from them in New Mexico.

  13. A. Abuses and Discrimination Undermine Rights • When their was a conflict between Mexican-Americans and White Americans over ownership of the land…the Mexican-American had to PROVE he owned it…if he could not..then the white American got it.. • A prominent group of whites in New Mexico got the Federal government to give them control of large tracts of land that many Mexicans had lived and worked on for years. • Mexican-Americans had no real representation of their interests in Congress.

  14. B. Mexican Americans Fight Back • Los Gorras Blancas – Mexican- American group who targeted large ranch owners property as a way of protecting the rights of the poor members of society. • had a newspaper to air their concerns to the population • were supported by the Knights of Labor

  15. V. Women Make Gains & Suffer Setbacks A. Fighting for a Constitutional Amendment • Women fought to end slavery then felt slighted when 14th and 15th Amendments did not include equal rights for women. • Susan B Anthony – Fought in the temperance movement then began to focus on equal rights for women.

  16. Elizabeth Cady Stanton – Helped form the National Women’s Suffrage Association – A women’s organization that fought to gain women the right to vote. • suffrage – The right to vote. • Anthony was arrested while attempting to illegally vote as a sign of defiance to laws that banned women from voting. • At the time of SBA’s death..only 4 states allowed women to vote in state/local elections. (Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Idaho)

  17. Breaking Down Other Barriers • 1900 – 1/3 of all college students were women. • Francis Willard – Women’s Christian Temperence Union (WCTU). Fought to ban alcohol. • worked to reform health care, education, and ban child labor.

  18. Section 2: Political and Economic Challenges • Balance of Power Creates Stalemate • Party loyalty was divided – No majority gained by either party in Congress. • Neither party held power for more than 2 yrs. • Made is tough to pass laws by Congress

  19. Presidents of this era, were very weak when compared to Lincoln. • Rutherford B Hayes won by backdoor deal • Ben Harrison lost popular vote, but won electoral vote. • Chester Arthur became President after Garfield was assassinated… then failed to win his parties nomination in a re-election campaign. • Grover Cleveland was only really notable leader…was known for his integrity “A Democrat thief is no better than a Republican thief”

  20. Grover Cleveland 4. Grover Cleveland was only really notable leader…was known for his integrity “A Democrat thief is no better than a Republican thief” • was known as a reformer who worked to clean up the corruption within D.C.

  21. II. Corruption Plagues National Politics • Many high level government officials were known to accept bribes.

  22. A. Political Cartoonists Raise the Alarm • “The Bosses of the Senate” – Joseph Keppler

  23. 2. Thomas Nast – Went after corrupt political boss the famous William Macy Tweed (Boss Tweed) a. Boss Tweed was arrested in Spain after a Spanish police officer recognized him from Nasts’ cartoons.

  24. B. The Spoils System Dominates the Government • 1. Spoils System – Awarded government jobs to people who were loyal to the political party that was elected. a. local, state, and federal level b. allowed for many unqualified people to be given very important jobs “It’s not what you…it’s who you know” • President was often not involved in the campaign process as it was thought to be beneath him. Therefore rewarding those who had worked so hard for your election became common practice

  25. C. Civil Service Reform Promotes Honest Government • Civil Service System – System that includes state and federal jobs aimed at hiring the most qualified people for government jobs. • focused on what you knew, rather than who you knew. • Many Presidents wanted reform to the spoils system, but could not gain any support for it from their party. • Political Parties fought any attempts to get rid of the spoils system…and often back candidates based on their ability to be controlled…ex: Chester Arthur

  26. 5. Pendleton Civil Service Act – (1883) Established a Civil Service Commission which wrote a civil service exam. • Anyone who wanted a government job now had to take this exam and have their scores compared to others interested in the job. b. ones political connections did not get you a job.

  27. III. Economic Issues Challenge the Nation • Tariffs – Taxes on imported goods • Gold standard – The government uses gold as the basis of the nations currency

  28. A. Americans Debate the Tariff Issue • New tariffs served 2 main purposes…income for government & protection of U.S. industry. • A hotly debated topic among politicians going all the way back to the founding of our nation. • In the Gilded Age… a. Republicans = high tariffs would allow industries to grow and create new jobs in manufacturing. b. Democrats – higher tariffs raise the cost of consumer goods and makes it more difficult to sell goods overseas.

  29. B. Conflicts Develop over Monetary Policy 1. During the Civil War the government produced paper money called Greenbacks..they got rid of it after the war when it was thought to have contributed to inflation. 2. Coin Act – (1873) Allowed the U.S. government to make both gold and silver coins. 3. Many people in the U.S. wanted to see the U.S. go to silver coins and hoped to cash in on them. Most who supported silver coinage probably did so because they had access to silver…same for people who supported gold coinage.

  30. Section 3: Farmers and Populism • Populism was born out of the nightmare that was once the “American Dream” for Americas farmers.

  31. I. Farmers Face Many Problems • Farmers faced all sorts of large obstacles to success that were not expected. • Low prices, high costs, mounting debts

  32. A. Falling Prices and Rising Debt • 1870-1895 – prices plummeted • by the 1890’s it was costing farmers more to sell their corn than they earned by selling it. • cost of business continued to climb – new machinery, cost of seed & livestock • many farmers went into debt that they were not going to be able to pay back. • most lost their farms and became tenant farmers.

  33. B. Big Business Practices Also Hurt • farmers blamed banks for foreclosing, and RR for unfair prices. • farmers across the U.S. felt as if the nation had turned it’s back on them • In the past there were plenty of elected leaders in D.C. from agriculture background. At this time…that was not the case. More focus on industry that concerns on American farms.

  34. II. Farmers Organize and Seek Change • Grange – Organization of farmers whose goals were to educate farmers on new technology, and calling for new legislation that protected farmers from unfair business practices.

  35. A. The Grange Tries Several Strategies • Several states passed laws in 1870’s restricting maximum $ for railroad fees and grain storage. These became known as “Grange Laws”. • Many companies fought the laws all the to the Supreme Court where they were upheld. • It was the Grange that pressured the federal government to create the Interstate Commerce Commission.

  36. B. Farmers’ Alliance Lead the Protest • As the Grange faded, other farmers rights groups emerged. • formed cooperatives to sell their products in larger quantities • created “postal banks” to provide low interest loans to farmers • boycotted companies who “cheated” farmers

  37. III. The Populist Party Demands Reform • Populist Party – Also called the Peoples Party. Was created to elect politicians that held the same concerns as farmers.

  38. A. Populists State Their Goals • called for the coinage of silver to combat low prices. • To combat high costs, they wanted government ownership of RR. • They aspired to elect a Populist Party member as President of the U.S. and did in fact nominate a candidate. • Wanted to convince urban workers that they were fighting the same people and should work together.

  39. B. Populists Achieve Some Success • Populist Presidential candidate, James Weaver, got 1 million votes. • 3 Governors, 5 Senators, & 10 Congressmen were elected in 1894. • United many whites and blacks..and there was real alarm at this…so much that Democrats urged voters that a Populist victory would lead to “Negro Supremacy”

  40. IV. Economic Crisis and Populism’s Decline • The Populists had begun to have real successes at the polls in back to back Presidential Elections and many thought they were close to being able to back a winner. • When William Jennings Bryan was nominated by the Dems as their Presidential candidate…the Populists had a decision to make.

  41. A. Bryan and the Election of 1896 • William Jennings Bryan held very similar beliefs as most Populists. • He wanted to fight for the common people including farmers. • The Populists had to decide to support a different candidate now and hope to win a Presidential race in another time…or support Bryan…who held many of their own beliefs. • They chose to support Bryan in hopes of tapping in to his popularity. • He lost back to back elections Vs William McKinley and with him...the Populist Party faded from popularity.

  42. V. Populism’s Legacy • Reforms that remained in vogue included; graduated income tax, RR regulation, more flexible monetary system. • Third Party candidates now had an example of third party candidate success.

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