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S by immigration, system also corrupted. Government corruption was led by Ulysses S. Grant. As a result of the aftermath of Civil War, America was filled with waste, extravagance, speculation, and graft I) The “Bloody Shirt” Elects Grant (1868) • People believed that a good soldier makes a good politician; Grant was immensely popular even with his weak political background • “Let us have peace” was his answer for Southern Reconstruction, and later his campaign slogan • Democrats denounced military Reconstruction • Wealthy eastern delegates wants federal war bonds to be redeemed in gold • Poorer Midwestern delegates called for the redemption in greenbacks, which became known as the “Ohio Idea” • Agrarian Democrats down the South wants more money in circulation and lower interest rates • The “Bloody Shirt” which people waved during Grant’s campaign revitalized Civil War spirit “granted” the win to Grant against Midwestern delegates’ nominee, former NY governor Horatio Seymour who wanted to gain popularity through repudiating the Ohio Idea • Whites democrats supported Seymour while freed slaves voted for Grant • Too keep control of the South, Republicans needed to keep voting ballots in the hands of the freedmen II) The Era of Good Stealings • Stinky corruption ran all over the country ⇒ “Jubilee Jim” Fisk and Jay Gould worked on Grant directly and his brotherin-law in attempt to control the gold market ⇒ Burly “Boss” Tweed employed bribery, graft, and fraudulent elections into major cities. Protestors found their tax assessments raised. • Both scandals were stopped under the law, with help of the press III) A Carnival of Corruption • President’s cabinet was filled with grafters, they attempted to bribe Grant himself with cigars, wines, and horses • The Credit Mobilier scandal was when Union Pacific Railroad insiders hired a group of construction workers made up of themselves at inflated rates to make money off of the government. They bribed the Vice President and the congressmen according to congressional investigation • When Whiskey Ring robbed the Treasury of millions in excise-tax revenues, President Grant allowed his secretary, who was involved in the scandal, to slip through the jury with his written statement. • Secretary of War William Belknap was forced to resign after pocketing bribes. Grant accepted his resignation “with great regret” IV) The Liberal Republican Revolt of 1872 ©2009 cliftonhonors.com All rights reserved. 1| Page
Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com The Liberal Republicans were formed by reform-minded citizens that wanted change and “Turn the Rascals Out” ⇒ Urged for purification • Nominated Horace Greeley at their Cincinnati nominating convention, he became the Democratic Candidate • Democrats wanted Horace Greeley to win as they admitted and forced to apologize for what they’ve done as traitors, slave shippers, etc. On the other hand, Greeley is trying to gain support across the country from Democrats • Grant won the election again as a Republican • This Revolt urged the Republicans to reform before they could get kicked out of office as they passed the amnesty act which led former Confederate leaders to hold office again ⇒ Removed high Civil War tariffs ⇒ Mild civil-service reform V) Depression, Deflation, and Inflation • The economy crashed in 1873 • African-Americans took the hardest hit ⇒ Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company made unsecure loans ⇒ Black depositors lost their deposits • Bankers wanted deflation • Debtors wanted inflation • “Hard-money” advocates who wanted currency in forms of gold and silver convinced Grant of vetoing a bill to print more paper money • Congress withdrew more greenbacks from the economy after the Resumption Act of 187 • After Congress’s actions, debtors look to have relief on silver instead of gold ⇒ When new silver discoveries were made later in the 1870s silver price went down ⇒ No silver is offered to the federal mints • Eventually debtors demanded a return for greenbacks • Congress began to accumulate gold stocks simultaneously as they drew more greenbacks from the economy, a policy known as “contraction” • The new policy did restore the government’s credit rating, and when the Redemption Day came in 1879, few people wanted to redeem their greenbacks • Politically, the Republicans’ hard-money policy put opposite party members into the Congress ⇒ The newly spawned “Greenback Labor Party” (1878) elected 14 members of Congress ⇒ A Democratic House of Representatives was elected in 1874 VI) Pallid Politics in the Gilded Age • The Gilded Age was nicknamed by Mark Twain for the post-Civil War era •
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Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com The two major political parties had similar views on issues such as the economy and civil-service reform, yet their extremely competitive for national leadership • Most eligible voters voted • The difference was region, and religious values; those would impact their views on the role of government in society and decision making. • Patronage was the lifeblood for both parties; they disbursed jobs in return for some votes • “Stalwarts” were led by Roscoe Conkling, U.S senator from New York, while “Half-Breeds” were led by James G. Blaine from Maine VII)The Hayes-Tilden Standoff, 1876 • Grant, despite his popularity, gets denied of a 3rd term by Congress • Election of 1876 ⇒ Rutherford B. Hayes was the Republican candidate, previously serving as Ohio state governor for three terms ⇒ Samuel J. Tilden was the Democratic candidate, famous for bagging Boss Tweed in New York. Campaigned against Republican corruption and scandals ⇒ As the election turned to a stalemate, both parties sent “visiting statesmen” to the states with the disputed electoral votes. ⇒ Constitution does not specify who would count up these votes, the president of the Senate (a Republican), or the Speaker of the House (a Democrat) VIII)The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction • The Electoral Commission had 8 Republicans and 7 Democrats; and it is obvious who is going to win • The Compromise of 1877 gave Republicans the win, and ended Southern Reconstruction in return ⇒ The Texas and Pacific Railroad’s construction of a southern transcontinental railroad was also part of the compromise, but promises were not kept • When the standoff was ended, the nation had a sign of relief • Freedman suffered once again after the Reconstruction ended ⇒ The Civil Rights Act of 1875 now has no enforcement ⇒ The Civil Rights Cases (1883)declared that the 14th Amendment only prohibited government violations of Civil Rights, not such denial by individuals IX) The Birth of Jim Crow in the Post-Reconstruction South • The South is back as if the Reconstruction never happened • Blacks as well as poor whites were forced into sharecropping and tenant farming. They exchange their harvest to creditors for supplies and food • For generations to come, blacks needed to eke out a living under a condition scarcely better than slavery • Discrimination laws known as the Jim Crow Laws were passed ©2009 cliftonhonors.com All rights reserved. 3| Page •
Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com ⇒ Poll taxes required voters to pay tax; blacks are usually poorer and could not afford the poll tax ⇒ Literacy tests are taken before voting; blacks are usually uneducated ⇒ Segregation laws were declared constitutional in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), where it stated “separate but equal” facilities were constitutional under the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment X) Class Conflicts and Ethnic Clashes • Class conflicts between the workers and authority ⇒ When railroad companies decided to cut workers’ wages by 10% in 1877, workers went on strike • As the strike fails and were put down by federal troops, more immigrants mainly from China and Ireland fulfilled the positions of workers who went on strike ⇒ Caused ethnic clashes ⇒ Congress finally slammed the door on Chinese immigration by passing the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, and it remained effective until 1943 • In U.S v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment guaranteed citizenship to all people born in the U.s, including children of immigrants XI) Garfield and Arthur • For the Election of 1880, Rutherford B. Hayes was kicked from the Republican Party and the Republicans’ candidate was James A. Garfield, from Ohio ⇒ Garfield defeated Democrat candidate and Civil War hero Winfield Scott Hancock ⇒ Chester A. Arthur, Stalwart from New York, was VP • There was a political conflict between the Half-Breeds leader James G. Blaine and his Stalwart nemesis Roscoe Conkling. Blain was the Secretary of State and Conkling was a Senator ⇒ Tragedy struck when Charles J. Guiteau, a Stalwart, and a mentally deranged office seeker, shot President Garfield in the back, and he died after eleven weeks. Charles was found guilty and hanged ⇒ The planned intention was to let Arthur be president so that the Conklingites would get all the good jobs. ⇒ This tragedy shocked politician into internal reform • At first Arthur was underestimated, however he surprised his critics by prosecuting fraud cases and giving his former Stalwart pals the “cold shoulder” • The Pendleton Act of 1883 made campaign contribution from federal employees illegal, eliminating things such as the “corrupt bargain”. It also established Civil Service Commission to make federal jobs more based on competitive exams ⇒ Politicians now turned to big Corporations and manufacturers for graft, and the act divided politics from patronage
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Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com The surprising display of Arthur’s integrity offended the Republicans, and alienated him from the Democrats; He died in 1886 of a cerebral hemorrhage XII)The Blaine-Cleveland Mudslingers of 1884 • James G. Blaine was clearly the choice for the Republican nominee at the Republican convention in Chicago • Election of 1884 ⇒ James G. Blaine vs. Grover Cleveland, former governor of New York ⇒ During the campaigning period, parties taunted each other. Democrats focused on how Blaine was connected to graft while the Republicans criticized on Cleveland’s illegitimate child ⇒ Cleveland won the presidency as he swept the south and won New York, the state with the most electoral votes XIII)“Old Grover” Takes Over • Grover Cleveland in 1885 was the first Democrat to take the oath of presidential office since Buchanan. He proved to be a justified leader when he vetoed a bill to provide seeds for Texas farmers suffering from drought • Cleveland named two former Confederates in his cabinet • The politically powerful Grand Army of the Republic got a hold on a lot of private pension bills through a compliant Congress; later on Grover penned vetoes one by one to Congress XIV)Cleveland Battles for a Lower Tariff • There are two resolutions to the surplus income of Congress mainly from tariffs: either make more useless pension bills or cut the tariff down, and president Cleveland knew what to do • Shocking responses came from different parties when Cleveland tossed an appeal for lower tariff to congress in late 1887. People mostly criticized his directivity of proposing to lower the tariff • The next Election of 1888 was based on tariff; while Cleveland was the Democratic candidate again, the Republicans found the grandson of William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, who was going to win the election XV)The Billion-Dollar Congress • Republicans continued to raise the tariff under a powerful new Republican Speaker of the House Thomas B. Reed • Congressional capital reached over a billion ⇒ Tariffs after the McKinley Tariff Act of 1890 were the highest rate ever during peacetime. The tariff act was sponsored by William McKinley of Ohio • The rising tariffs made farmers vote for the opposition ⇒ In the congressional election of 1890 Democrats dominated the Congress ⇒ 9 members of the Farmer’s Alliance, an agricultural organization by the South and West, were also seated in Congress XVI)The Drumbeat of Discontent • In 1892, the Populists formed from the People’s party ⇒ favored inflation ©2009 cliftonhonors.com All rights reserved. 5| Page •
Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com ⇒ made up of farmers and workers ⇒ Demands: (a) Government ownership of railroads (b) Telegraph and telephone (c) Graduated income tax (d) Direct election of Senators (e) one term limit on presidency (f) IRR (g) Shorter workday (h) Immigration restriction ⇒ Nominated General James B. Weaver for candidate • An epidemic of strikes came in summer 1892 ⇒ At Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead Steel Plant near Pittsburgh, company officials called in armed Pinkerton detectives to crush a union strike ⇒ In the same month, silver miners in Idaho led a strike which was crushed by federal troops. • Although the Populists did gain electoral votes from some Midwestern states, they were far from being a majority • The populists first targeted blacks in the South to gain votes, but eventually they turned racist, which were not as expected ⇒ Populist advocate from Georgia Tom Watson reached out to the black farmers’ community first, but then after a while he supported segregation and turned racist XVII)Cleveland and Depression • Election of 1893 ⇒ With the Republicans discredited and the Populists divided on segregation, Grover Cleveland took the presidency for the Democrats ⇒ Only president to serve two inconsecutive terms • Currently, Cleveland faced a lot of problems including inflation, strikes, and physical sickness ⇒ Repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 in an extra summer Congressional session in 1893 ⇒ The tumor inside Cleveland’s mouth had to be surgically removed; if it fails and Cleveland dies under the surgeon’s knife, the Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson is not going to be a great leader • Cleveland turned to famous banker and head of the Wall Street syndicate J.P. Morgan for financial help. Morgan lent the federal government $65 million in gold and charged 7 million for commission ⇒ The loan temporarily restored the nation’s financial confidence XVIII)Cleveland Breeds a Backlash • Debtors and Silverites condemned Cleveland for “selling out” the government, but Cleveland believes he had done nothing wrong • Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894 ⇒ Gave Cleveland further embarrassment ©2009 cliftonhonors.com All rights reserved. 6| Page
Formatted exclusively for cliftonhonors.com ⇒ Included a 2% tax on incomes over $4,000 ⇒ Groups such as the Populists found proof that the supreme court and the Democrats were working together Tariffs gave Republicans a majority in Congress in the next election in 1894 President from Grant to Cleveland did not leave the White House with a positive remark
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