He was the leader of New York's Tammany Hall and the most notorious of all late nineteenth-century corrupt politicians. He controlled thousands of patronage jobs and millions of dollars in contracts and government benefits. He could and did steer city contracts to those who paid the biggest bribes or kickbacks or did the biggest favors for his Tammany political machine. He was lampooned by cartoonist Thomas Nast, and eventually jailed.
This was the popular name for the Democratic Party political machine that dominated much of New York City's political life until 1933. Under the leadership of corrupt political manipulators like "Boss" Tweed and Richard Croker, it evolved into a powerful political machine after 1860 and used patronage and bribes to control the city administration for decades.
He was the most important political cartoonist in 19th-century America, known for exposing government corruption. His legacy lives on—it was he who made the donkey and the elephant the symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties and who created the roly-poly image of Santa Claus, modeled on himself. His greatest triumph occurred in 1869, when he launched a campaign to expose the corruption of the Tweed Ring, which under the leadership of Tammany Hall boss William Marcy Tweed had robbed New York City of $100 million.
Led by New York Senator Roscoe Conkling, this anti-reform faction of the Republican party believed in the blatant pursuit of the spoils of office. They were pitted against the "Half-Breeds" (moderates) for control of the Republican Party. The only real issue between this group and Half-Breeds was patronage. Chester A. Arthur, sympathetic to the cause, was the vice president for Half-Breed James A. Garfield. He became president after Garfield was assassinated by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881.
This a political faction of the United States Republican Party that existed in the late 19th century. These moderates were opponents of the Stalwarts, the other main faction of the Republican Party. The main issue that separated them from the Stalwarts was political patronage. The Stalwarts were in favor of political machines and spoils system-style patronage, while the this group, led by Maine senator James G. Blaine, were in favor of civil service reform and a merit system.
This 1883 act brought civil service reform to federal employment, thus limiting the spoils system. It classified many government jobs and required competitive examinations for these positions. It also outlawed forcing political contributions from appointed officials.
In the 1884 presidential election, this group of eastern Republicans, disgusted with corruption in the party, campaigned for the Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland. They switched parties because they rejected the financial corruption associated with Republican candidate James G. Blaine. In a close election, they supposedly made the difference in New York state and swung the election to Cleveland.
As it spread throughout the South in the 1880s, this movement stressed cooperation among farmers. Their marketing cooperatives usually failed, pushing many farmers to become economic and social radicals. The movement enjoyed some electoral success in 1890 and helped organize the Populist party.
The rise of this political party was the culmination of two decades of agrarian distress among farmers of the South and West. This party advocated policies to relieve the hardships of farmers, including especially the unlimited coinage of silver to increase the money supply. In 1896, they struck an unofficial truce with the Democratic Party in support of William Jennings Bryan for president. Although the political movement lost momentum after the electoral loss in 1896, many ideas survived and were enacted into law over the span of the next 20 years. The graduated income tax, the direct election of senators, the secret ballot, and government subsidies to farmers all had origins with this party.
A major political issue during the late 19th century, this was a movement in support of the unlimited coinage of silver by the U.S. government to inflate the money supply. Opponents insisted on strict adherence to the more conservative gold stanard. The issue came to a head in the election of 1896 when Populists and Democrats united behind William Jennings Bryan who proclaimed to all opponents,"You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!" Although this issue helped Bryan garner over 6 million votes, he lost the election to William McKinley.
This term was given to supporters of Jacob Coxey. Coxey vividly dramatized the plight of the unemployed in the United States by leading a march on Washington to demand relief during the depression of the mid-1890s. His march may well have contributed to the groundswell of support for the Populist Party that enabled it to elect six senators and seven congressmen in 1894.
William Jennings Bryan
He was the voice of the Democratic Party at the turn of the 20th century and a leading advocate of free silver and as a loyal spokesman for the Midwest and West. Nominated by Democrats and Populists in 1896, he campaigned energetically, staging one of the first national traveling campaigns, before losing to his Republican opponent, William McKinley. A fundamentalist crusader, he took a militant position against the theory of evolution. In the summer of 1925, he appeared as prosecutor in the famous Scopes trial and won his case against the teaching of evolution in schools. He died in his sleep on July 26, 1925, a few days after the trial ended.
This wealthy businessman and political leader was a master political organizer and financier who introduced modern campaign techniques to the American political system. With the help of his financial backing and organizational management skills, William McKinley was elected governor of Ohio in 1891 and reelected in 1893. He then supported McKinley for president in 1896. As chairman of the Republican National Committee, he managed McKinley's "front porch" campaign and raised several million dollars that helped to ensure McKinley's election over Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan.
Front Porch Campaign
In 1896, William McKinley conducted this low-key campaign wherein he never left his Canton, Ohio home. Large crowds of spectators were brought to his home to meet the candidate. This campaign contrasted sharply with McKinley'sopposing candidate, William Jennings Bryan, who gave over 600 speeches and traveled many miles all over the United States to campaign. McKinley outdid this by spending about twice as much money. McKinley won this election.
He was elected president in 1896. His first priorities in office were to defend the gold standard and secure the passage of a new high protective tariff, but he is more remembered as the president when the United States became a world power at the turn of the 20th century. During his administration, the country defeated Spain in the Spanish-American War, annexed the Hawaiian Islands, and acquired other overseas colonial possessions. He won reelection in 1900, but was assassinated by anarchist Leon Czolgosz in 1901.