The modern mother of Presidents

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Presidential Election of 1876:

Republicans nominated Rutherford B. Hayes - 3 time governor of Ohio.

Ohio was “The modern mother of Presidents”

Democrats nominated Samuel J. Tilden - the bachelor governor of New York.

Hayes Electoral Votes 165

Tilden’s Electoral Votes 184 * 185 were needed to win.

Irregular returns 20

19 votes from Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida. 1 vote from Oregon’s 3 votes.

All 3 Southern states submitted 2 sets of returns, One Democratic & One Republican.

The President of the Senate opens the votes…but who should count them?

Electoral Count Act of 1877 - Electoral commission consisting of 15 men.



Senate (Republican Majority) 3 2

House (Democratic Majority) 2 3

Supreme Court _3_ _2_


Outraged Democrats undertook to launch a filibuster

Compromise: Hayes could take office in return for:

  1. Withdrawing the last federal troops from the South.

  2. Support of a bill subsidizing the Texas and Pacific R.R. – Southern

Transcontinental line.

Compromise was reached only 3 days before the new President was sworn in.

Reconstruction was now officially ended!!

Rutherford (“Rutherfraud”) B. Hayes, “Old 8 to 7” “His Fraudulency”

Hayes cleaned out the New York Customs House.

Stronghold of Senator Conklin’s political machine.

The collector of the port was Chester A. Arthur.

The 16 to 1 Issue:

Unlimited coinage of silver to the value-ratio of 16 ounces of silver to 1 of gold.

Gold Standard vs. Bi-Metalicism.

Bland-Allison Act of 1878 – The Treasury would purchase from 2 to 4 million dollars worth of bullion a month and coin it into dollars then worth only $.93.

Hayes and Unrest in California:

Chinese laborers counted 75,000 or 9% of the California population.

  1. - Chinese Exclusion Act - no immigration for 10 years.

  2. Subsequent laws barred the door completely until 1943.

Panama - a French company began to build a canal in 1883.

Went bankrupt in 1889.

Hayes was inflexibly honest - and resisted designing “friends”.

Rutherford B. Hayes - The Man Biography on-line.

The Election of 1880:

The Republicans were split into two factions.

A dark horse candidate - James A. Garfield of Ohio.

Half-Breed faction - Garfield as President.

Stalwart faction - Chester A. Arthur as Vice President.

Democrats nominated General Winfield S. Hancock - A Northern Democrat and Civil War Veteran.

The Democratic platform declared for civil service reform and a “tariff for revenue only.”

Republicans raised a lush campaign fund by assessing officeholders a percentage of their salaries (as job insurance)

And by “frying the fat” out of huge corporations (as tariff insurance).

Garfield won by only 9,464 popular votes but…214 to 155 in the Electoral College.

James A. Garfield - The Man Biography on-line.

  1. - Chester A. Arthur is now President. “His Accidency”

He proved to be an able administrator.

Civil Service Reform:

The Pendleton Act of 1883

  1. It prohibited financial assessments on jobholders.

  2. It established a merit system – that is, appointment to office on the

basis of aptitude rather than “pull”

  1. It set up a Civil Service Commission, which was to administer open

competitive examinations to applicants for posts in the “classified


By 1884 Arthur had classified nearly 14,000 Federal Offices = 10%.

By the middle of the next century about 90% of the Federal Offices were classified.

Naval Reform:

In 1883 Congress appropriated money for four new ships.

By 1898 (Spanish – American War) the Navy ranked 5th among world navies.

Chester A. Arthur - The Man Biography on-line.

The Election of 1884:

Republicans nominated James G. Blaine.

Democrats nominated Grover Cleveland – Governor of New York. “Reform Governor” “Grover the Good”

Cleveland swept the Solid South and squeaked through with 219 to 182 in the Electoral College.

Cleveland resists Pension Pushers:

Cleveland believed that the pension roll should be an honor roll.

Problem: He was a Democrat and a non – veteran.

1862 the Original Pension Law made provision in the event of disability or death.

Arrears of Pensions Act of 1879 - passed under President Hayes.

Cleveland vetoed several hundred individual petitions for money.

Why should not the government hand out money to the veterans?

The Treasury was overflowing with funds!!!

Cleveland was a believer in the hands-off policy of laissez-faire.

“Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.”

Cleveland Battles for a Lower Tariff:

By 1881 the Treasury’s annual income in excess of expenditures had mounted to an embarrassing $145 million.

“Unnecessary taxation is unjust taxation.”

This issue would ultimately cost him the next election.

Election of 1888:

Democrats re-nominated Grover Cleveland.

Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison of Indiana.

The Tariff was the prime issue.

The Republicans insisted that a high tariff was needed to protect American labor, with its high wages, from the competition of “pauper Europe.”

The Republicans raised a war chest of some $3 million by “frying the fat” out of frightened industrialists.

Harrison won by 233 to 168 electoral votes.

Cleveland though had won the popular vote by 100,456 votes.

The first Cleveland administration on the whole was a success for Cleveland – and the Democrats.

Grover Cleveland - The Man Biography on-line.

Election of 1888:

Harrison was a cold man.

He appointed to the Civil Service Commission an energetic New Yorker, Theodore Roosevelt.

Harrison was disposed to deal generously with his old comrades-in-arms.

He appointed as Commissioner of Pensions – James Tanner.

Never again would the Treasury have a surplus.

Pension Act of 1890 – gave pensions to all Civil War veterans who had served for 90 days and who were now unable to do manual labor.

  1. Solved the problem of the Treasury surplus.

  2. Helped to save the protective tariff by making it necessary to continue high custom duties.

  3. It helped to secure Republican votes, for the aging veterans were grateful to the G.O.P. (Grand Old Party) for its handouts.

The Silver Issue:

Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890.

Treasury was to buy a total of 4.5 million ounces monthly.

This would double the minimum amount required by the Bland-Alison Law.

The Tariff:

William McKinley of Ohio sponsored a bill to raise rates to the highest level yet – 48.4%.

This brought new woes to the farmer.

The Election of 1892:

Populists - General James B. Weaver – “mass meeting of maniacs.”

Their platform demanded:

  1. The free and unlimited coinage of silver at a ratio of 16 to 1.

  2. It urged a graduated income tax.

  3. It insisted on government ownership of the telephone, and telegraph, and partially of the railroads.

Republicans renominated Harrison

Democrats nominate ex-President Grover Cleveland.

Cleveland polled 277 to Harrison’s 145 to Weaver’s 22 Electoral Votes.

Benjamin Harrison - The Man Biography on-line.

Grover Cleveland is the only President ever re-elected after a defeat.

Panic of 1893 - lasted for about 4 years.

About 8000 businesses collapsed in 6 months time.

Problem: The Treasury now suffered from a continual draining away of it’s gold.

The gold reserve in the Treasury dropped below $100 million – the safe minimum.

Solution: Repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890.

Cleveland undergoes secret cancer surgery in his mouth.

1894 the gold reserves had sunk to $41 million.

1895 Cleveland turned to J.P. Morgan to lend the government $65 million in gold.

Commission of about $7 million.

Agreed to obtain ½ of the gold abroad.

Election of 1896:

Republicans nominate ex-Congressman William McKinley of Ohio.

McKinley was helped by a fellow Ohioan, Marcus Alonzo Hanna.

“A prime function of government was to aid business” “Trickle Down Theory”

The Republican Platform cleverly straddled the monetary question:

  1. It declared for the gold standard…

  2. But on the international market for a bi-metallic system.

Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska – 36 years old.

“The Boy Orator of the Platte.”

‘You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.’ - Cross of Gold Speech.

The Democratic platform stood for the unlimited coinage of silver at a ratio of 16 to 1.

This meant that the silver in a dollar would be worth about $.50.

The Republicans raised a campaign chest of about $16 million.

The Democrats campaign chest was roughly $1 million - 16 to 1.

“McKinley and the Full Dinner Pail.”

Republican employers threatened employees if they voted Democrat.

McKinley won 271 to 179 in the Electoral College.

Discoveries of new gold deposits in Canada (Klondike), Alaska, South Africa, and Australia eased the pressure.

Stirrings of Imperialism and the New Manifest Destiny:

Yellow Press – Joseph Pulitzer and William R. Hearst

Captain Alfred T. Mahan in 1890 published The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783.

World dominion went to those nations that won and retained control of the seas. Read by Englishmen, Germans, and Japanese.


1820 the first New England missionaries to Hawaii were Dole & Libby.

Queen Liliqokalani – insisted that native Hawaiians should control Hawaii.

The Whites organized a revolt in 1893.

Annexation finally took place in 1898 under President McKinley.

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