2. Between 1860-1912, the Democratic Party began to weaken during this time period because the Civil War had just ended. At the time, Abraham Lincoln was president during the war and was a Republican. The Republican party began to dominate over the Democratic Party because most people in America agreed with Abraham Lincoln's ideology. Also, the only elected Democratic president during this time period was Grover Cleveland while the other five presidents were Republicans.
3. The politics in the Gilded Age sank to such a low because the nation was torn apart. During the time, some parts of the country were still under reconstruction. Also, the spoils system was being used which rewarded people with political office jobs, but were not able to carry out the duties of those laws. For example, Grant was elected president because he was "waving the bloody shirt" during his campaign to show America how he led the Union to with the war. Just because one can lead an army does not mean they can run an entire country.
4. The Compromise of 1877 was a wise adjustment to avoid the renewal of serious sectional conflict. During the time, Rutherford Hayes and Samuel J Tilden had run against each other for the presidency. TIlden had received more popular votes than Hayes, but had not received enough electoral votes, but the Southern Democrats would make Hayes president if he were to end military reconstruction in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. By doing so, Hayes became president. Because of this, sectional tension in the country began to slowly go away. This helped avoid more sectional conflict in the states because if military reconstruction were to remain within those three states, the country would surely remain un-unified.
-The United States is now the third largest Nation in the Western world, ranking behind Russia and France.
The "Bloody Shirt" Elects Grant
General Grant was nominated for president in 1868.
The party's platform still called for Reconstruction in the South. Democrats disagree. "Waving the bloody shirt"
Grant won with 214 electoral votes to 80 for Seymour, but most white voters supported Seymour.
The postwar atmosphere was corrupt.
Financial partners were "Jubilee Jim" Fisk and Jay Gould.
Concocted a plan in 1869 to corner the gold market, which would only work if the Treasury refrained from selling gold.
Burly "Boss" Tweed employed bribery and false elections. Citizens hid in silence.
Grant's cabinet was full of incompetents.
Credit Mobilier Scandal- 1872.
Union Pacific Railroad insiders had formed the Credit Mobilier construction company and hired themselves at inflated prices to build the railroad line, earning as much as 348 percent.
1876- Secretary of War William Belknap resigned after pocketing bribes from suppliers to Indian reservations. Grant accepted his resignation with great regret.
The Liberal Republican Revolt of 1872
Reforminded citizens banded together to form the Liberal Republican party Wanted to end military Reconstruction
Nominated Horace Greeley for the presidency (Democratic support)
Grant was re-nominated as a Republican candidate. Republicans didn't like Greeley, calling him an atheist, communist, and free lover, whereas the Democrats didn't like Grant and called him a drunkard and a swindler.
"Grant us another term"
Electoral vote 286-66 Grant.
The Republican Congress in 1872 passed a general amnesty act, removing political disabilities from all but some 500 hundred former Confederate leaders, reduced high Civil War tariffs.
Depression, Deflation, and Inflation
Economic panic in 1873.
Capitalist expansion. Bankers had given out way too many loans. Black Americans got hit hard.
Resumption Act of 1875- Pledged the government to further withdraw greenback from circulation and redeem all paper currency in gold value beginning in 1879.Congress dropped the coinage of silver in 1873.
Pallid Politics in the Gilded Age
Democrats and Republicans saw very nearly eye to eye on questions like the tariff and civil war reform and both majorities in both parties substantially agreed on the currency debate.
Government should play a role in both regulating both the economic and the moral affairs of society (Puritanism). Republicans had a large base in the Midwest and small towns in the Northeast.
(Lutherans and Roman Catholics) took a less stern view of human weakness. Had a large electoral base in the South and in the northern industrial cities, teeming with immigrants.
The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction
Compromise of 1877 already partially concluded behind closed doors. This brought peace at a price. Violence was avoided by sacrificing black freedmen in the South.
Civil Rights Act of 1875 guaranteed equal accommodations in public places and prohibited racial discrimination in jury selection.
The Birth of Jim Crow in the Post-Reconstruction South
Blacks as well as poor whites were forced into sharecropping and tenant farming. Informal separation of blacks and white turned into systematic state legal codes known as Jim Crow laws.
Enacted literacy tests, voter-registration laws, and poll taxes.
Class Conflicts and Ethnic Clashes
1877- employees' wages were cut by 10%. Racial and ethnic arguments among workers destroyed labor unity, Most were Chinese or Irish. The present Chinese people "coolies" were regarded to as a menace. Chinese exclusion Act of 1882.
Garfield and Arthur
Arthur was energetic, but had political conflict with his secretary of state James G Blaine. Garfield's death sparked a positive outcome by shocking politicians into reforming the spoils system. The Pendleton Act took away politics from patronage.
The Blaine-Cleveland Mudslingers of 1884
Democrats voted for Cleveland. The campaign of 1884 sank to the lowest level in American experience, and the two parties wanted office.
"Old Grover" Takes Over
"Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people".
Cleveland Battles for a Lower Tariff
By 1881, the Treasury was running an annual surplus of 145 million dollars.
Cleveland and Depression
8,000 businesses collapsed. Cleveland had to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890. America was in danger of going off the gold standard.