The civil War was followed by massive industrialization centered
rail roads, canals and steamships. Massive wealth was
Farm mechanism lowered the cost of food and this coupled
with science made
for a somewhat more prosperous middle class., Many children, Indians,
immigrants and women
Great Chicago Fire
of 1871 was a poor start and the
Equine Flu Epidemic which demobilized or killed
nearly every horse in America
were highlights of the misery felt by many Americans.
Period ended with extreme labor unrest.
Civil War paper currency speculation
had the banking system on shaky ground. A 1868-1873 RR boom financed by
credit and fostered by US government land grants
and RR subsidies
would eventually overheat the economy.
A European financial crisis spread to US
causing the 1873 failure of the Jay
Cooke banking house which was over extended because of
Pacific Railway financing excesses.
Think the 2007
The panic that followed was caused by a low money supply caused by the
Coinage Act of 1873 which lowered the money supply. . Workers blamed
cheap foreign labor. It was called the
Long Depression until
he 1930's when the Great Depression caused more hardship. It would not
be the last time immigrants would be blamed for
low worker wages.
The resulting stagflation – the combination of high unemployment and high
inflation caused a 1879
return of the United States to the
gold standard. See
Payment Resumption Act.
William Jennings Bryan
would soon begin to work for easy money but even his 1896
Cross of Gold
speech did not work. Eventually the Great Depression of 1929-39 would
change attitudes toward government helping those suffering and modern
politics would begin.
Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 added merit to the
government hiring process.
the replacement of the
in the federal hiring equation.
Exclusion Act of 1882 lasted until 1942. The
Scott Act of 1888 expanded the restrictions on Chinese immigration.
Think Current Muslim Immigration Issues.
Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 began an attempt to
regulate business trusts and decrease their use of monopoly power.
Effectiveness was limited by the U.S. Supreme Court
Tariff of 1890 set a record for high rates.
Profits increased as did
the price of consumers goods.
Think Trump's Tariff War
3. Presidential Politics
War Ends, Northeast Takes Control,
The Gilded Age is Built on the Backs of the
Poor, Especially Women, Immigrants, and Blacks
Eras Part 1
What Caused the New Era
The 1850s saw the collapse of the Whig party mainly because death
depleted its leadership and a major intra-party split over slavery
due to the
Compromise of 1850 resulting in the
Kansas-Nebraska Act. Whigs were soon replaced by the Democratic
Party's as primary opposition by the new
Republican Party which had rose to prominence in 1860 with the
Abraham Lincoln. Newly enfranchised African Americans (Freedmen)
entered the Republican party. The Republican coalition also
consisted of businessmen, shop
owners, skilled craftsmen, clerks and professionals who were
attracted to the party's modernization policies. Southerner
joined the Democratic Party which was a coalition of conservative
Bourbon Democrats, traditional Democrats in the North (many of
Copperheads, and Catholic immigrants among others. The North and therefore the Republicans won the war.
Long-term Major Political
Election of 1864 was looked bad for Abe but a turn in the war
and the support of the troops resulted in an win over
George B. McClellan. Popular vote was 55% to 45%.
VP and a Southerner
a southerner, replaced Lincoln and the new president favored quick
restoration of the
seceded states getting back into Union. His plans did not
provide protection for
former slaves. He came into conflict with the
Republican-dominated Congress culminating in
his impeachment by the House of Representatives.
Election, of 1868 was the first election in which
African Americans could vote in every Northern or
Reconstructed state in accordance with the
First Reconstruction Act. Grant won the office. Every state
Florida used a popular vote to determine Electoral College
members. The constitution had given states the right to determined
Enforcement Acts of 1870-71 failed to protect blacks from
Ku Klux Klan
and Indians from Western expansion.
Coinage Act of 1873 decreased the money supply and exacerbated
of 1873. Workers feared
cheap foreign labor. It was called the
Long Depression, until the 1930's when the Great Depression
caused much more hardship.
Election of 1876 was one of the most contentious
presidential elections in American history. There is no question that
Samuel J. Tilden of New York outpolled Ohio's
Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote but, 20 electoral
college votes were contested in four state. In the case of
Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina, each party reported
its candidate had won the state. In Oregon one elector
was declared illegal (as an "elected or appointed official")
and replaced. An informal deal was struck to resolve the
dispute as the
Compromise of 1877 awarded all 20 electoral votes to
Republican Hayes in return for their agreement to end ten years of
Reconstruction with the withdrawal of federal troops from
Reconstruction ended as he returned South to home-rule.
Specie Resumption Act of 1875, a hard money policy,
unsupported inflationary Greenbacks from circulation.
Allison Act of1878, unsuccessfully vetoed by Hayes, increase
Presidential election of 1880 was 7,000 votes close but
electoral college vote was 214 to 155. Garfield became the
only man ever to be elected to the Presidency directly from the
House of Representatives and was for a short period a sitting
Representative, Senator-elect, and President-elect.
Senatorial courtesy in executive appointments,
which began with Washington,
was ignored. This added to
|He had no Vice-President while
Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 added merit and
in the hiring equation.
Exclusion Act lasted until 1942.
Election of 1884 was about personal character as some letters showing
that Republican Blaine had sold his Congressional influence in
Congress to various businesses. One such letter ended with the
phrase "burn this letter." Democrat Cleveland admitted that he had formed an "illicit connection"
with the mother creating a child had with his
vetoed Republican Congress attempt to use pension
benefits as patronage.
His tight money policy failed so he postponement a
resolution which annoyed
those who felt more money was a cure for low agriculture income and
the current recession.
Failure to reduce protective tariffs in spite of a government
surplus to help industry.
Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 to control monopoly
pricing was limited by a Supreme Court
ruling of it applying onto to finished goods.
Scott Act continued restrictions on Chinese immigration.
Election of 1888 saw Cleveland win the popular vote as Republicans,
who heavily favored
protective tariffs, turned out protectionist voters in the
important industrial Northern states. Harrisons campaigned
in favor of the spoils system.
Tariff of 1890 set rates to their highest rate to date.
Sherman Silver Purchase Act increased the money supply.
Election of 1892 Cleveland wanted to lower McKinley's high
tariffs (the Republicans were pro-business
protectionist) to lower the price of consumer goods. He opposed
the Republican sponsored
1890 voting rights proposal designed to help predominately
republican southern blacks vote.
Wilson–Gorman Tariff of 1894 lowered rates slightly & created a
2% income tax.
It was overturned by the Supreme Court.
It was an interesting response to financial
Panic of 1893
and resulting severe depression.
Reluctantly agreed to a
J.P. Morgan backed $60,000,000 bailout of the Gold Standard.
Election of 1896
went Republican as voters blamed
Democrats for the
Panic of 1893. Moralistic
rhetoric and Cross of Gold crusading
for easy money by W.
led conservatives well but has a fluctuating
began with a dubious
USS Maine attack as U.S. business and
political leaders wanted an empire.
Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
Dingley Tariff Act promoted
industry, high prices while a
protected savers causing hard
economic times. Political
controversy over the money supply in
relation to growth and inflation