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Do Now. Do Now: Get ready for 18/19 quiz and get ch 20 Agenda: Quiz Populism. Homework: Read/notes over chapter 20 with note cards (T chart on separate sheet or separate part of notebook  make it a tool to use). National Politics in the Gilded Age, 1865-1900. What is the Gilded Age?

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do now
Do Now

Do Now:

  • Get ready for 18/19 quiz and get ch 20
  • Agenda:
    • Quiz
    • Populism


  • Read/notes over chapter 20 with note cards (T chart on separate sheet or separate part of notebook  make it a tool to use)
national politics in the gilded age 1865 1900

National Politics in the Gilded Age, 1865-1900

  • What is the Gilded Age?
  • Coined by Mark Twain
  • Referred to superficial glitter of the new wealth that was over-displayed
  • Characterized by a period of business activity that expanded and contracted frequently
reconstruction presidents
Reconstruction Presidents
  • Andrew Johnson (D), 1865-1868
    • Impeached in House
    • Democrat loyal to Union
    • Replaced Lincoln when killed
  • Ulysses S. Grant (R), 1868-1876
    • 15thammendment
    • “Bloody shirt”
    • Civil Rights Act of 1875
  • Rutherford B. Hayes…
    • Compromise of 1877
evaluating the republican record
Evaluating the Republican Record


  • universal male suffrage
  • property rights for women
  • debt relief
  • construction of roads, bridges and railroads
  • state-supported schools
  • new tax systems


  • Republican rule seen as corrupt/wasteful (scalawags and carpet baggers)
  • kickbacks and bribes
  • However, it was not just Republicans
boss tweed and tammany hall
Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall
  • William “Boss” Tweed was the boss of the local Democratic party in NYC
  • Masterminded dozens of schemes of political corruption
  • The Tweed ring stole roughly $200 million from New York’s taxpayers
  • The New York Times and the cartoonist Thomas Nast exposed Tweed and brought about his arrest and imprisonment in 1871
grant s administration and corruption
Grant’s Administration and Corruption
  • In 1869 two Wall Street financiers schemed Grant’s brother-in-law in a scheme to corner the gold market
  • Credit Mobilier affair, stock given to Congress members to avoid investigation of profits
  • Whiskey Ring federal revenue agents conspired with the liquor industry to defraud the govt. of millions of dollars
  • Grant never involved but his reputation is tarnished
post reconstruction presidents
Post Reconstruction Presidents
  • Rutherford B. Hayes (R) 1877-1881
    • “Compromise of 1877”
    • End of Reconstruction
    • Great Railroad Strike
  • James A. Garfield (R) 1881
    • Compromise candidate
    • Assassinated
  • Chester A. Arther (R ) 1881-1884
    • Pendleton Act  A law passed in 1883 to eliminate political corruption in the federal government, it outlawed political contributions by appointed officeholders and established the Civil Service Commission to administer competitive examinations for covered government jobs
post reconstruction presidents1
Post Reconstruction Presidents
  • Grover Cleveland (D) 1885-1888
    • Chosen b/c “Mugwumps” back him after James G. Blaine becomes Republican candidate
    • Laissez-faire democrat
    • Attacked tariffs
    • Haymarket Riot
    • Interstate Commerce Act  regulates railroads
  • Benjamin Harrison (R ) 1889-1892
    • Farmer’s Alliance
    • Curbs big business
      • Sherman Anti-trust Act
      • McKinley Tariff Act
      • Sherman Silver Purchase Act
    • Homestead Strike
  • Grover Cleveland (D) 1893-1896
    • Panic of 1893 (big depression)
    • Pullman Strike
  • William McKinley (R) 1897-1901
gilded age government
Gilded Age Government

Key Acts


Period when business activity expanded and contracted frequently

Most imp. source of revenue for fed. govt = customs duties

  • Homestead Act, 1862
  • Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882
  • Dawes Act, 1887
  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act, 1890


  • In and out presidents
  • Politicians ignored problems arising from growth of cities and industries  didn’t assure the welfare of the poor and unemployed
  • Two major political parties avoided taking a stand on controversial issues
  • American agriculture increases in acres under cultivation
  • Black northerners voting Republican (remember the Thomas Nast cartoon)
labor related political events
Labor Related Political Events…
  • The Great Railroad Strike, 1877
    • Provoked by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad’s decision to cut wages for the second time in a year
    • Remembered as the first general strike in American history
    • Paralyzed the nation’s commerce for 45 days
    • Forced governors in ten states to mobilize 60,000 militia to reopen rail traffic
  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act, 1890
    • The act forbade unreasonable combinations or contracts in restraint of trade (anti-combination law!!)
    • Response to use of stockholding trusts to create business monopolies
    • Primary use became to curb labor unions
  • Homestead Strike, 1892
    • Began as dispute b/n Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers and the Carnegie Steel Company
    • The AA refused to accept pay cuts and went on strike in Homestead, PA
    • The strike ultimately culminated in a battle b/n Pinkertons and strikers
  • Pullman Strike, 1894
the people s party
The People’s Party

Causes of Agrarian Discontent

  • Belief that railroads were using discriminatory freight rates to exploit farmers
  • Belief that big business used high tariffs to exploit farmers
  • Belief that a deflationary monetary policy based on gold hurt farmers
  • Belief that corporations charged exorbitant prices for fertilizers and farm machinery

The Populist (Peoples’) Party

  • Founded by James B. Weaverand Tom Watson.
  • Omaha, NE Convention in July,1892.
  • Got almost 1 million popularvotes.
  • Several Congressional seatswon.

James B. Weaver, Presidential Candidate

&James G. Field, VP

the populist or people s party
The Populist or People’s Party
  • The Populist Party attempted to unite discontented farmers
  • It attempted to improve their economic conditions
  • It attempted to support the following:
    • Increasing the money supply with the free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at the legal ratio of 16 to 1
    • Using the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 to regulate railroads and prevent discrimination against small customers
    • Organizing cooperative marketing societies
    • Supporting the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan in the 1896 presidential election
  • What they DO NO do: limit production of crops
reasons the populist party failed
Reasons the Populist Party Failed
  • Western and Southern farmers did not agree on political strategies
  • Racism prevented poor White and Black farmers from working together
  • The dramatic increases in urban population caused by the wave of New Immigration led to higher prices for agricultural products
  • The discovery of gold in the Yukon increased the supply of gold, thus easing the Farmer’s access to credit
  • The Democratic party absorbed many Populist programs
  • William Jennings Bryan lost in the 1896 presidential election to William McKinley and the Republicans.

Causes of the 1893 Panic

  • Begun 10 days after Cleveland took office.
    • Several major corps. went bankrupt.
      • Over 16,000 businesses disappeared.
      • Triggered a stock market crash.
      • Over-extended investments.
    • Bank failures followed causing a contractionof credit [nearly 500 banks closed].
    • By 1895, unemployment reached 3 million.
  • Americans cried out for relief, but the Govt.continued its laissez faire policies!!
election of 1896
Election of 1896
  • William Jennings Bryan’s“Cross o Gold” Speech
    • Advocacy of free and unlimited coinage of silver
  • McKinley wins
    • Bryan loses b/c:
  • His focus on silver underminedefforts to build bridges to urbanvoters.
  • He did not form alliances withother groups.
  • McKinley’s campaign was well-organized and highly funded.
imperialism international darwinism
Imperialism &International Darwinism
  • The industrializing United States sought worldwide markets to purchase their goods, raw materials to manufacture, and far away places where disgruntled people could find adventure.
  • International Darwinism  New Manifest Destiny:
    • America had to be strong religiously, militarily, and politically by acquiring territories overseas.
  • Imperialism was supported by:
    • Missionaries (Christian duty to bring the benefits of their superior civilization to less fortunate peoples of the world)
    • Politicians (wanted new markets and global power)
    • The Navy (new territories could be coaling and power stations, so the new Naval fleet could be a world power) [#3!]
    • The Press (stories about exotic places increased circulation)
general causes of american imperialism
General Causes of American Imperialism
  • The sensational stories published by “Yellow journalism”
  • The New Navy policy promoted by Alfred Thayer Mahan and Theodore Roosevelt
  • The example of European imperialism in Africa
  • The emphasis of Social Darwinism on survival of the fittest
  • Unlike Manifest Destiny, imperialism included the idea of moral improvement by bringing the blessings of civilization to less technologically advanced people

The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1890

  • Captain Alfred Mahan = author
  • He argued that control of the sea was the key to world dominance
  • The book was VERY influential in promoting the growth of U.S. naval power during the late 19th century
the spanish american war
The Spanish American War
the spanish american war1



The Spanish American War


  • Jingoism (intense nationalism)
  • Cuban revolt (Spain sent in an autocratic general to suppress the revolt)
  • Yellow journalism
    • A circulation battle between the newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.
    • Their sensationalist headlines and stories created public support for a war to liberate Cuba from Spanish control
  • De Lôme Letter (the Spanish minister to the United States insulted McKinley)
  • Battleship Maine (U.S. battleship exploded in Havana harbor)
  • McKinley’s Ultimatum (demanded that Spain end atrocities; public pressure  message to Congress: end barbarities; protect Americans)
  • Teller Amendment (Congress declared war; Cuba will control itself)


  • Philippines
    • Navy in Manila Bay
    • With Filipino rebels 3 months
  • Cuba
    • Tropical diseases
    • Volunteer forces destroyed Spanish army
    • Rough Riders (Theodore Roosevelt)
    • Destroyed Spanish fleet
  • Hawaii
    • Annexed (Queen overthrown five years earlier)
the spanish american war2



The Spanish American War


  • Peace Treaty  Cuban Independence
  • Insular [Supreme Court] Cases
    • Constitutional rights were not automatically granted to territorial possessions.
  • Platt Amendment
    • Made Cuba a U.S. protectorate
  • Election of 1900
    • McKinley and Roosevelt won
    • “new territory and prosperity”
  • The U.S. was seen as a first class world power with the Navy.

Territorial Acquisitions

  • Spain relinquished control of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, and the Phillippines to the U.S.
  • By establishing a protectorate over Cuba, the U.S. began implementing imperialist foreign policy

The Debate Over Annexing the Phillipines

  • The Anti-Imperialism League opposed annexation arguing that it violated America’s long-established commitment to the principles of self-determination and anti-colonialism
  • Supporters of annexation argued that America had a moral responsibility to “civilize” the islands. They also pointed out that the Phillippines could become a valuable trading partner.

The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, 1904

Cause: President Theodore Roosevelt worried that the Dominican Republic and other Latin American nations would default on debts owed to European banks. These defaults could then provoke European military intervention.

Action: Roosevelt issued the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine to forestall European intervention


Impact of the Roosevelt Corollary

  • It expanded America’s role in Central America and the Caribbean
  • It claimed America’s right to assume the role of “an international police power.” Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson enforced the Roosevelt Corollary by sending American troops to Cuba, Panama, Nicaragua, the DR, Mexico, and Haiti
  • Theodore Roosevelt explained and justified the Roosevelt Corollary as follows:

“Chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the U.S. to the Monroe Doctrine may force the U.S… to the exercise of an international political power.”

the open door policy
The Open Door Policy
  • As China Qing (Manchu) dynasty weakened, European powers carved out spheres of influence where they exercised political leverage and obtained exclusive commercial privileges.
  • Although he knew he could not force the Europeans to leave China, Secretary of State John Hay was determined to protect American missionaries and commercial interests
  • In 1899, Hay sent the nations with spheres of influence in China a note calling for open access to China for American investment and commercial interests
  • Known as the Open Door, the policy underscored America’s commitment to free trade and opposition to obstacles that thwarted international commerce
  • The nations indirectly accepted the Open Door Policy.
  • After the U.S. helped to crush the Boxer Rebellion (an attack against foreigners) was crushed, nations continued to allow free trade in China and respect Chinese independence.

Spheres of Influence