Gilded age corruption By: Britni Anne Wickham, Cody Ryan Winget, Aaron Joshua Edward Sorensen, Baylee Marie Midgley
IN the beginning… • Gilded- it looks good on the top, but in reality its tainted. Having pleasing or showy appearance that conceals something of little worth.
Great railroad strike • They were cutting wages and poor conditions and strikes led to near insurrections. Eventually the strike was broken leaving 1 hundred dead. • 1.75 a day for break men working 12 hour shifts. Working under dangerous conditions: death, injuries, loss of hands feet fingers, and crushing of men between cars. • Soon the strikes escalated. Troops would shoot workers, train collisions, tore up tracks, and locomotives on fire. • A train with two locomotives carrying a double length of cars, to which railroaders had objected because it required fewer workers, and made the work more dangerous. • Working people learned that they were not united or powerful enough to defeat the combination of private capital and government power..
Immigration from Europe • 9 million immigrants had come to America between 1840 and 1880. Large business often supported the newcomers and even promoted immigration with adds. Others were not so happy, immigration. Many American born workers saw new immigrants as competition. • Some Americans feared that immigration brought the worst of other countries to America. • For the first time the US produces more steal than Great Britain. Americas Status as an industrial power is secured.
The Panic • The Panic of 1893 triggers a deep economic depression., affecting agricultural areas. Populist party expand their strength. • Creating the political machine.
Political Machine • They control the activities of the political party. Also offered services to voters and businesses in exchange for political and financial support • They gained local government in Baltimore, NY, and san Francisco. • Based on local precinct workers and captains who tried to gain voters support on a city block, or who reported to a ward boss. • Precinct captains, ward bosses, and the city boss worked together to elect their candidate, and guarantee the success of a machine. • Even though the boss wasn’t elected as mayor he still controlled municipal jobs, businesses, licenses, influenced the courts and other municipal agencies. • Captains were first/second generation immigrants. • Helped give them naturalization.
To much power? • Many political bosses fell victim to corruption as their influence grew. When loyal voter was not enough to carry an election. Some political machine turned to fraud. • By using fake names part faithful's cast many votes as were needed to win. • When their candidates were into office, they would take advantage of numerous opportunities for graft. The illegal use of political influence for personal gain. They then would ask the workers to bill the city for more than the actual cost of materials and labor. The workers than “kicked back” a portion of the earnings to the machine (illegal payments). The machine granted favors in return for cash. Accepting bribes, to allow illegal activities and gambling to flourish.
The 16thAmendment • They establish a federal income tax. When republican congressman saw the end was turning into a winning touchdown he was horrified. Many other congressman liked the Amendment. The most damaging aspect of the 16th amendment was the fact that it vitiated the unalienable rights provided in this fourth amendment. There were many things wrong with this approach. Worst of all, it puts the government tax collectors in the gorilla role and intimidates citizens who are unlucky enough to be audited with the feeling that they are “victims” of an unfair system.
Towards the end • The federal reserve was established bringing central banking back to the US. • The 18th amendment was establishes prohibition, another progressive victory. • After a suffragist campaign of decades, the 19th amendment grants women the right to vote. • A steep crash in the stock market precipitates the Great Depression.
Key points • •Rapid economic growth generated vast wealth during the Gilded Age. • •New products and technologies improved middle-class quality of life. • •Industrial workers and farmers did not share in the new prosperity, working long hours in dangerous conditions for low pay. • •Gilded Age politicians were largely corrupt and ineffective. • •Most Americans during the Gilded Age wanted political and social reforms, but they disagreed strongly on what kind of reform.