How well balanced were the two major political parties between the Civil war and the turn of the century- especially from mid 1870s to early 1890s?
The two political parties (Democrat and Republican) were very equally balanced. 16 states were solidly and consistantly Republican and 14 (most in south) were Democrat. There were 5 states (NY and Ohio most important that were usually in doubt. These votes usually decided national election results
What role did politics play for the typical eligible voter of the late 19th cent? How does that compare with importance of politics in life of the present day voter?
In late 19th cent, politics played HUGE role, especially concerning public loyalty. People were enthusiastic and passionate about their politics. Political party was based (not on positions concerning public issue) but on relgion, ethnic differences, etc)
What regional, religious and ethnic factors distinguished the two major parties? Despire basic issue agreement, what cuturally related issues tended to divide the parties?
DEMOCRATIC: White Southerners, Catholic voters, recent immigrants, poorer workers
REPUBLICAN: Black and White Northerners, Protestants, middle class, older generations
Division of the parties: mostly immigration. Republicans tended to support restricting immigration and favored temperance so catholics and immigrants went to the Democrats.
Aside from its providing Civil War pensions and the postal service, how significant was the role of the national government in the late 19th cent?
Government did relatively little. It was responsible for mail delivery, maintaining national military, conducting foreign policy and for collecting tariffs and taxes.
How did the patronage system lead to dominance of national politics by local and state political organizations and factions in the national parties? What was the impact on the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes?
Patronage system lead to dominance of nat. politics by power of party (political?) bosses. (Patronage was working to get someone elected and then getting a job from them)
Hayes' presidency was overshadowed by the battle over patronage in the Republican party between the Stalwarts (Roscoe Conkling) and the Half-Breeds (James G. Blaine)
In what way was President James Garfield a martyr to civil service? How did Chester A. Arthur react?
After being elected, Garfield tried to defy the Stalwarts by showing support for civil service reform. It became an "ugly quarrel" and he was shot by a Stalwart. Chester Arthur (VP) became president, and (to the disappointment of the Stalwarts) kept most of Garfield's workers in office and supported civil service reform (let to 1883: Pendleton Act)
How did the presidential election of 1888 differ from typical fare of that period? What was the key issue, and how did it become so and what was the result?
Benjamin Harrison (former senator of Indiana, Republican) vs. Grover Cleveland (renomination, opposition to Tammany Hall, bosses, etc...Democratic)
TARIFF WAS BIG ISSUE!
Also, Harrison won electoral vote, but Cleveland won popular vote. Harrison=Pres.
What led to passage of Sherman Antitrust Act? Why did it have so little impact?
Passed by congress to prohibit combinations (in companies) and restrained competition (which would interfere with the free market). Congress saw this as a symbolic measure, one that would deflect public criticism (of the gov't) but was not likely to have power. It was not enforced and weakened by the courts.
What caused significant Republican reverses in the 1890 and 1892 elections? What was the result of Cleveland's effort to lower tariffs after his reelection?
Republicans mistake: tariff. McKinley proposed highest protective measure ever proposed to congress: McKinley Tariff.(Basically raised all other tariffs) As a result, Repubs lost representation in the Senate. In the election of 1892, Harrison (repub) supported the protection of the tariff and Cleveland (demo) opposed it. Weaver (people's party) advocated substantial reform. Cleveland won. After he won, used WILSON-GORMAN TARIFF to reduce tariff rates.
How was the demise of the Granger Laws related to passage of the Interstate Commerce Act? Why was the Interstate Commerce Commission so ineffectual?
In the Wabash case, a Granger Law was deemed unconstitutional. It said that the law was attempting to control interstate commerce. NOT ALLOWED! SOOO...Interstate Commerce Act promotted FEDERAL gov't regulation of railroads: said that railroads had to publish rate schedules and file them with gov't. Ineffectual: "haphazardly enforced and narrowly interpreted by courts"
Explain how emphasis of Grange gradually shifted. Why did organization eventually fade in importance?
-First majorfarm organization
-social and self help association
-AS TIME WENT ON, Grange focused less on social benefits and more on economic possibilities.
-began to organize stores, warehouses, elevators, machines for their own use
- Organization eventually faded because of lack of experience and opposition of middlemen, whose business they were challenging by making their own stores and such
What was the vision of the Farmers' Alliance? What role did women play?
-Leading vechicle of agrarian Protest
-deliniated by region (Southern Alliance, Northwestern Alliance)
-concerned with local problems
- Wanted to build a society where economic competition might give way to cooperation
-argued for society that would allow farmers to resist oppressive outside forces
-NOTABLE FOR FEMALE ROLE!
-some served as lecturers (Mary Lease)
-emphasized women related issues (temperance)
How did the Farmers' Alliance transform into the People's Party?
1889: Southern and Northwestern Alliances agreed to merge. Met in Ocala, Florida. OCALA DEMANDS: basically a party platform. In 1890, the party won at least partial control of legislatures in 12 states
What kind of person was attracted to populism? what were its leaders like?
Third party enthusiasm was felt by members of Northwestern Alliance! (Several southern leaders: Tom Watson of Georgia, Leonidas Polk of North Carolina...who has the coolest name ever) supported them. Populism appealed to FARMERS and particularly to farmers with little economic security. (Mostly farmers whose techniques were slowly becoming irrelevant), also appealed to GEOGRAPHICALLY ISOLATED. Also, because of their love of silver, the populists attracted mining regions Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Far west!
Most were members of the rural middle class: professional people, editors and lawyers, or politicans and agitatiors. Almost all leaders were PROTESTANTS.
ex: "Sockless" Jerry Simpson of Kansas
Ignatius Donnelly of Minnesota
Basic elements of populist ideology and how were they relflected in party platform? why did movement fail to obtain significant labor support?
Ideals: first in Ocala Demands of 1890 and more clearly in Omaha Platform of 1892.
-proposed system of "subtreasuries" that would replace co-ops (ex: wanted to use grain as collatoral, or money, to use in order to pay rent on the hugey grain elevators)
-abolition of national banks
-wanted direct election of the US senators (would weaken power of conservative state legislatures)
-Gov't regulation of transportation and communication (ex: railroads, telephones, telegraphs)
-demanded system of Graduated income tax (pay tax based on your income: take money aaway from the big guys ha.)
-Inflation of currency (SIIIILLLVVEEERRR)
*dont quite know why failed to obtain labor support. Perhaps b/c their focus was on farmers and eastern workers didnt care???
Why was the Chatauqua movement so popular at the turn of the century? What societal changes led to movements demise?
Who are the chatauquas??
Movement that included assemblies about on literary, scientific, theological and practical subjects. It was a way for a reformer to reach large numbers of people and spread a message. ADULT EDUCATION MOVEMENT THAT BROUGHT EDUCATION AND ENTERTAINMENT TO COMMUNITIES. Declined in 1920s and 30s: victims of radio, movies and ease of travel.
What were the immediate and long-range causes of Panic of 1893? How serious was depression that followed?
causes by Philadelphia and Reading Railroad company declared bankrupcy along with the National COrdage company. Combined, triggered collapse in stock market.
Long range causes:
-depressed prices in agriculture weakened purchasing power of farmers
- depression conditions resulted in loss of american markets abroad and withdrawal by foreign investors of gold invested i US
-railroads and other industries had expanded too rapidly.
DEPRESSION: BAD BAD BAD. SUPER BAD.
-20% unemployment-comparable to Great Depression.
What developments after 1873 led to coalition of farmers and miners on behalf of silver coinage? Why did "free silver" seem to be the answer?
Before.. "bimetallism" (silver and gold: 16:1 ratio)
1873: Congress passed law officially discontinuing silver coinage. "demonetization of silver"
"CRIME OF '73"
-miners and farmers silver supporters
-Free Silver (free and unlimited coinage of silver) seemed to be answer. Silver=ready supply
Why did the gold-standard issue divide the Democratic party?
Demos split in 2.
-one (southern and western delegates) eager to seize control from people's party incorporated populists ideals (FREE SILVER) into demo platform (they also wanted tariff reduction, income tax, control of trusts and railroads)
-the other (demo's eastern wing) echoed repub platrom by opposing free coinage of silver EXCEPT by international agreement.
How did William Jennings Bryan win democratic presidential nomination in 1896 and how did his candidacy put Populists in a dilema?
Bryan: cross of gold speech. PRO SILVER. democrat. perfect man for the job!
they had expected both major parties to adopt conservative programs and nominate conservative candidates leaving them (pops) to have a cool candidate who protested. Demos had stolen thunder. They had to face the choice of naming thier own candidate and splitting protest vote or endorsing Bryan and losing party identity.
Describe passions of the 1896 campaign. Where did Bryan do well? Why did he lose?
Bryan: -liked by protestants but not by catholics.
SUPPORTED BY SOUTH AND WEST (only where miners and farmers were) The democratic program (like the populists') had been too narrow to win the national election. McKinely won.
How did PResident William McKinely handle bimetallism question? What happened during his admin to help resolve issue?
Enacted Currency, Gold Standard, Act of 1900. It confirmed nations commitment to the gold standard by assigning a specific gold value to the dollar and requiring all currency issued by US to hew to that new value. His admin won approval of the Dingley Tariff, which raised duties to the highest point in American history.
To what extent have historians own views about capitalism, democracy and popular movements shaped their views about populism?
some historians viewed populists with suspician and hostility, others approvingly, as "healthy resistance
how is this at all relevant?