Gilded Age Politics APUSH
Well-Defined Voting Blocs Democrats Republicans • White Southerners • Catholics • Recent immigrants • Urban working poor • Most farmers • Northern whites • African Americans • Northern Protestants • Old WASPs • Most of the middle class
Presidency as a Symbolic Office • Party bosses ruled • Presidents should avoid offending any factions within their own party • The President just doled out federal jobs
Grant Administration 1868-1876
In the presidential election of 1868, Ulysses S. Grant • transformed his personal popularity into a large majority in the popular vote • owed his victory to the votes of former slaves • gained his victory by winning the votes of the majority of whites • demonstrated his political skill • All of these
New York’s notoriously corrupt Boss Tweed was finally jailed under the pressure of New York Times exposes and the cartoons of Thomas Nast federal income tax evasion charges the RICO racketeering act new York City’s ethics laws testimony by Tweed’s partners in crime
The Credit Mobilier scandal involved public utility company bribes Bureau of Indian Affairs payoffs railroad construction kickbacks evasion of excise taxes on distilled liquor manipulating the Wall Street stock market
During the Gilded Age, the Democrats and the Republicans had few significant policy differences agreed on currency policy but not the tariff disagreed primarily over the power of the federal government held similar views on all economic issues except for civil-service reform were divided over silver vs. gold currency
During the Gilded Age, the lifeblood of both the Democratic and Republican parties was the Grand Army of the Republic the Roman Catholic Church ideological commitment big-city political machines political patronage
Hayes Administration 1876-1880
The Political Crisis of 1877 “Corrupt Bargain” Part II?
Rutherford B. Hayes • Ended Reconstruction • Use of Federal troops to put down RR strike • Civil Service Reform • Southern Democrats appointed to cabinet
Garfield Administration 1880-1881
James Garfield • Laissez Faire • Star Route Scandal • Spoils System
1881: Garfield Assassinated! Charles Guiteau: I am a Stalwart, and Arthur is President now!
Chester Arthur • Chinese Exclusion Act • Pendleton Act
Pendleton Act (1883) • Civil Service Act • The “Magna Carta” of civil service reform • 1883 – 14,000 out of 117,000 federal government jobs became civil service exam positions • 1900 – 100,000 out of 200,000 civil service federal government jobs
Republican “Mugwumps” • Reformers who wouldn’t re-nominate Arthur • Reform to them – create a disinterested, impartial government run by an educated elite like themselves • Social Darwinists • Laissez faire government to them: • Favoritism and the spoils system seen as government intervention in society • Their target was political corruption, not social or economic reform!
The Mugwumps Men may come and men may go, but the work of reform shall go on forever.
The Compromise of 1877 resulted in a renewal of the Republican commitment to protect black civil rights in the South the withdrawal of federal troops and abandonment of black rights in the South The election of a Democrat to the presidency Republican support for an inflationary sliver-money policy a plan to build the first transcontinental railroad
Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated while in office; the second was Rutherford Hayes William McKinley Chester Arthur Benjamin Harrison James Garfield
The Pendleton Act required people applying for many federal government jobs to take a competitive examination present a written recommendation from a congressman or senator agree to make financial contributions to their political party submit a resume listing their experience and providing references have a college degree
With the passage of the Pendleton Act, prohibiting political contributions from many federal workers, politicians increasingly sought money from new immigrants contractors doing business with the federal government factory workers and farmers foreign contributors big corporations
Cleveland Administration 1884-1888
1884 Presidential Election Grover Cleveland (D) James Blaine (R)
A Dirty Campaign Ma, Ma…where’s my pa? He’s going to the White House, ha…ha…ha…!
Little Lost Mugwump Blaine in 1884
Cleveland’s First Term • The “Veto Governor” from New York • First Democrat elected since 1856 • A public office is a public trust! • His laissez-faire presidency: • Opposed bills to assist the poor as well as the rich • Vetoed over 200 special pension bills for Civil War veterans!
The Tariff Issue • After the Civil War, Congress raised tariffs to protect new United States industries • Big business wanted to continue this; consumers did not • 1885 – tariffs earned the US $100 million in surplus • President Cleveland’s views on tariffs??? • Tariffs became a major issue in the 1888 presidential election
Harrison Administration 1888-1892
1888 Presidential Election Grover Cleveland (D) Benjamin Harrison (R)
Benjamin Harrison • Billion Dollar Budget • McKinley’s Tariff • Pursued Annexation of Hawaii
Cleveland Administration (again) 1892-1896
1892 Presidential Election Cleveland (again) Harrison