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					The Gilded Age 1

       HUSH Unit 7
               THE GILDED AGE
   The Period between 1877–1900 is known as
    “The Gilded Age”
       Gilded means covered in a thin layer of gold
       Term first used by American writer Mark Twain
   During the Gilded Age, America‘s big businesses
   Beneath this layer of prosperity were the
    problems of poverty, discrimination and
   During the late 1800s, big business attempted to
    dominated American economics and politics
     Laissez-Faire economics

     Spoils system/patronage-based politics
                The Way We Were in The Gilded Age: 1877-1901

                Who We Were                           How We Lived

                        1880   1890   1900                      1880    1890    1900

Population (millions)   50.2   63.0    76.0    Gallon of milk   $0.16   $0.17   $0.30

Pop. per sq. mile       16.9   21.2   25.6     Loaf of bread    $0.02   $0.02   $0.03

                        71.8   64.9
Percent rural            %      %
                                      60.4%      New auto       N/A     N/A     $500

                        28.2   35.1
Percent urban            %      %
                                      39.6%    Gallon of gas    N/A     N/A     $0.05

                        94.4   87.1                             $4,50   $5,80   $4,00
Percent native born      %      %
                                      84.4%     New house
                                                                  0       0       0

Percent immigrant       5.6%
                                      15.6%   Average income    $480    $660    $637
    Business of Politics
   Laissez-faire Policies                 Spoils System/Patronage
       “Hands Off”                            Elected officials appointed
       Without government regulations          friends and supporters to gov’t
        – government has limited role in        jobs
        the economy
                                               Gov’t jobs loaded with
       Strongest businesses will succeed       unqualified, dishonest
        and bring wealth to the entire
        nation                                  employees
       Big businesses favored tariffs,        Ensured loyal supporters while
        land-grants, subsidies                  running for office
       Payoffs from big businesses
Opposing Political Parties
Republicans                      Democrats
Republicans appealed to Bankers, Democrats appealed to “less
                                    privileged” of society
   Industrialists and Farmers
                                 (Immigrants, laborers, southern
  Tight money supply backed by     planters, western farmers)
   Gold (Gold Standard)            Increased money supply
  High tariffs                     backed by silver
  Pensions for US Soldiers        Lower tariffs
  Government aid to Railroads  Higher farm prices
  Strict limits on immigration    Less government aid to big
  Enforcement of Blue Laws
                                   Fewer blue laws
Election of 1880
        **President Hayes did not run for
   Republicans could not decide on a
   Finally picked James Garfield on 36th
       Garfield (Republicans) v Hanock (Democrats)
   James Garfield was winner
   As the last of the log cabin Presidents,
    Garfield attacked political corruption and won
    back for the Presidency a measure of prestige it
    had lost during the Reconstruction period.
   He also made reform a top priority
    The Death of a President
   As Garfield continued to press
    reforms, a disgruntled civil servant,
    Charles Guiteau shot him while he
    attended a conference in NY
   Mortally wounded, Garfield lay in the
    White House for weeks while doctors
    poked and prodded his wound.
     No gloves or antiseptic used!
     Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of
       the telephone, tried unsuccessfully to
       find the bullet with an induction-
       balance electrical device which he
       had designed.
   He died from an infection and internal      “Arthur is President now”
    hemorrhage caused not by the bullet
    but the infection caused by the
    doctor’s probes
    Pendleton Civil Service Act 1883
   Attempted to end spoils system/patronage
     Created Civil Service Commission

     Classified government jobs

     Tested applicants

     Could not be required to give campaign funds

     Could not be fired for political reasons
Election of 1884
   Grover Cleveland v James Blaine
     President Arthur was not re-nominated

       by Republicans
   Republican Candidate – James Blaine
     Still crooked

   Democrat - Grover Cleveland (baby
   The Mugwumps (means important chief)
    were independents who supported
     believed Blaine too corrupt

     Supported gov’t regulation of Railroads

     Helped elect the Democrat
Election of 1888
   Election of 1888
     Cleveland vs. Benjamin
     Harrison won because of
      business support of tariffs
     Passed Sherman Anti-Trust
      Act 1890
     Financial actions led to panic
      in 1893
Election of 1892
   Election of 1892
   Cleveland’s Second Term
       Becomes only president to win a
        non-consecutive 2nd term
   Panic of 1893 –
   Coxey’s Army
   Became unpopular –
    unemployment, repealed
    Sherman Silver Purchase Act,
    sent Federal troops to stop
    Pullman Strike
Election of 1896
   Election of 1896
      William McKinley elected
   Supported urban workers and
    the middle class
   Helped heal depression by
    lowering tariff and strengthening
    the Gold Standard
   Assassinated
Regulating Railroads-Trying to Bust the Trust
   Railroad owners- Extremely powerful!!!
     Charged more for short distance than long

     Kept rates a secret charging different rates to different people for same
           These practices kept farmers and businesses from predicting shipping costs
   Munn v. Illinois –Supreme Ct. case
      Allowed states to regulate grain elevators
     Also allowed the regulation of railroads by states (temporarily)

   Wabash Supreme Court Case
     Overturned Munn v. Illinois – Federal Gov’t is only one that can regulate
       trade, not states
   Interstate Commerce Act 1887
     Regulated Railroads – rates be set, no special rates for powerful customers,
       set up 1st regulatory board (Interstate Commerce Commission)
     Failed because the ICC had to take them to court (won 1/16 cases)
    Reforming the Spoils System:                The Presidents
   Rutherford B. Hayes                          Chester Arthur
       Refused to use patronage                   Arthur was a part of spoils
       Began to reform the Civil Service           system in NY
       Angered his own party                            He became a very popular
       He helped strengthen the gov’t, but               president
        weakened the Republican Party                Felt he had to sign the
   James A. Garfield                                 Pendleton Civil Service Act
       Vice-President Chester Arthur                 1883 due to the assassination
       Garfield Assassinated by disappointed         of Garfield
        office seeker
       Assassination caused public to want
        end of Spoils System
•During the late 1800s and early 1900s, immigrants from
around the world came to the United States in search of a
better life.                             Northern and Central
                                          Europe 56%
                                          Southern and Eastern
                                          Europe 32%
                                          The Americas 9%

                                          Asia 2 %

                                          Oceania .2%

                                          Africa .1%

                   Immigration to the United States
                   by Region, 1871–1920
The Immigrant Experience
   Most immigrants still came from Europe
   Crossed the Atlantic Ocean and arrived in New
    York- The Golden Door
       1-3 weeks on a ship
       Most traveled in steerage
           Crowded lower berths
           Think Leo in Titanic!
       Almost 70% arrived through New York
       Most settled with others of same ethnicity
           Neighborhoods of ethnic groups developed in Boston, New
            York, Philadelphia…
    The Immigrant Experience
   Path of acceptance was more difficult for
     Most arrived in San Francisco

     The Golden Gate

   After the gold rush, Chinese immigrants
    worked as agricultural laborers, on railroad
    construction crews throughout the West, and
    in low-paying industrial jobs.
     Chinese Exclusion Act 1882

        This Act virtually ended Chinese
          immigration for nearly a century
     Asian Segregation of Asian children in
       schools in 1906
         Japanese complained of mistreatment
         “The Gentlemen’s Agreement” was passed in
          1907 ending segregation
   The Chinese
   Harper’s Weekly
                       REACTIONS TO

   Nativists              Movement/
                       Purity Crusaders

   Try to restrict                            Try to help immigrants
immigration, believe    Try to ban alcohol,   improve their lives by
 government should
support native-born
                       drugs, gambling, and     offering education,
  Americans over           prostitution       child care, and health
    immigrants                                          care
• The arrival of
  millions of new
  residents brought
  progress, poverty,
  and political
  changes to
  American cities.

                       State Street, Chicago, 1905
From Farms to Cities
   Women were
    needed less
   New Machines
    replaced laborers
   1880-1910
    population on
    farms fell from 72
    to 54 percent
   African Americans
    migrated north

                         New York by George Bellows
How Cities Grew
   Suburbs – residential
       People that could afford it
        moved out and took horse
        drawn carriages in
   Motorized Transportation
       Subways, trolley cars, elevated
        trains (El), automobile
   Growing Upward
       Skyscrapers
       Chicago’s Home Insurance
        Company building was the first
        10 story building
    Urban Living Conditions
   Tenements
       Speculators built tenements and packed
        many people in them
       Created slums
   Slum Conditions
       Poverty, overcrowding, neglect, fire
   Ghettos
       Slums where one ethnic or racial group
       Restrictive covenants – don’t let certain
        people buy land
   Jacob Riis
       worked to improve the lives of the urban poor
       NY passed first laws to improve tenements
        b/c of Riis
    Ideas for Reform
   The desire to improve conditions in American cities led to the
    formation of new reform groups
   Charity Organization Movement
     Making charity scientific (like welfare system)

     Kept details of who received help so that they knew who was
       worthy of help or not
     Many expected immigrant to adopt American middle class
       standards of living
   The Social Gospel movement
     Applied religious principles of charity and justice for the poor

     Supported labor reforms and improved living conditions

   Settlement Movement (Jane Addams/Ellen Gates Starr)
     Created “settlement houses” to offer social services and to help
       the poor
Great Chicago Fire 1871

   18,000 building
    burned, 250
    dead, 100,000
    damage was
    $200 Million
       ($2 Billion
The “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow” Theory
       Popular song lyric
       Late one night, when we
        were all in bed,
        Mrs. O'Leary lit a lantern
        in the shed.
        Her cow kicked it over,
        Then winked her eye
        and said,
        "There'll be a hot time in
        the old town tonight!"
The Results of City Growth
Rise of Political Bosses
 Political Machine
       Unofficial city organization designed to keep a particular
        party in power
       Usually headed by a powerful “boss”
       “Boss” would handpick candidates for local office in
        return for economic favors
       Supported by immigrants and poor people
       Graft – using one’s job to gain profits

   William “Boss” Tweed
       Controlled Tammany Hall in New York
       Ran New York’s Democratic Party
A Political Machine
                                 Run by
                              "boss“ who
                                   has                   Machines
       Political               influence                  hand out
      machines                  with city                    jobs,
       work to                  officials                contracts,
      control city                                       and favors
        politics                                            to city

                  maintain                  Residents
                 power over                   vote for
                     city                   candidates
                 government                 supported
                      s                         by
Thomas Nast
How One Man Brought Down a
      Political Regime
Thomas Nast
   Nast was a
    cartoonist who
    among other
    things “invented”
    Santa Clause in the
    cartoon from the
Nast’s baseball
the “Nation’s
Pastime” was
Nast is also
for creating
the political
party symbols
we still use
   Stranger things
    have happened.
    Hold on, and you
    may walk over the
    sluggish animal up
    there yet-
       Thomas Nast
Addressing the
commentaries on
and Hate Groups
 President Johnson
   Kicking out the
Freedman’s Bureau
Letter” to
The Immigration Issue
Addressing the
creation of
The Influence of Catholics
Breaking the Tammany Hall Political
                     “Stop them damned
                      pictures. I don't care so
                      much what the papers
                      say about me. My
                      constituents can't read.
                      But, damn it, they can
                      see pictures!”
                         - William "Boss" Tweed
                          responding to Thomas
                          Nast's Harper's Weekly
Uncle Sam
Mad at Nast
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