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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 Parties, Patronage and Public Interest

  2. Why was party identity so strong in the Gilded Age? • Republicans & Democrats not far apart on many issues, but.. • Regional loyalty • South staunchly Democrat (anti-Republican) • Ethnicity/Religion • Democrats appeal to immigrants and Catholics

  3. Presidential Politics • Republicans dominate presidency in post-Civil War period • “Compromise of 1877” • Rutherford B. Hayes (R) awarded presidency • Reconstruction ends

  4. How did the Republican Party evolve during the Gilded Age? • “Stalwarts” • Favored machine patronage • “Half Breeds” • Favored some reform (but not really)

  5. How did the Republican Party evolve during the Gilded Age? • James Garfield assassinated 1881 • Paul Guiteau, disgruntled office seeker • Civil service reform (Pendleton Act)

  6. Election of 1884 • “Mugwumps” • Republicans who voted Democrat because they were fed up with patronage • Grover Cleveland (D) reform NY Governor becomes President • Tarriff issue • Lost to Benjamin Harrison 1888

  7. Emerging Reform • Interstate Commerce Act (1888) • Federal oversight of railroad industry • Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) • Outlawed “combinations” in restraint of trade • In first decade targeted labor unions

  8. Election of 1892 • McKinley Tariff (1890) • Increased import duties to highest levels • Angers farmers and consumers • People’s Party runs national campaign • Cleveland defeats Harrison • Only president to serve two non-consecutive terms