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Ulysses S. Grant

U.S. president 1873-1877. Military hero of the Civil War, he led a corrupt administration, consisting of friends and relatives. Although Grant was personally a very honest and moral man, his administration was considered the most corrupt the U.S. had had at that time.

Boss Tweed

A political boss who carried corruption to new extremes, and cheated the city out of more than $100 million. Leader of Democratic Tammany Hall (NY).

Thomas Nast

Newspaper cartoonist who produced satirical cartoons, he invented "Uncle Sam" and came up with the elephant and the donkey for the political parties. He nearly brought down Boss Tweed with drawing depicting him as corrupt and a towering force over the law.

Roscoe Conkling

A politician from New York who served both as a member of the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. He was the leader of the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party. Was highly against civil service reforms. Known as "Lord Roscoe."

James Blaine

U.S. Senator from Maine and leader of the Half-Breeds. He was a dominant Republican leader of the post Civil War period, obtaining the 1884 Republican nomination, but lost to Democrat Grover Cleveland.

William McKinley

The twenty-fifth President of the United States, and the last veteran of the Civil War to be elected. By the 1880s, this Ohio native was a nationally known Republican leader; his signature issue was high tariffs on imports (McKinley Tariff, 1890) As the Republican candidate in the 1896 presidential election, he upheld the gold standard, and promoted pluralism among ethnic groups. Was assassinated in 1901 in a subway station by an anarchist.

Samuel Tilden

Democratic candidate for the U.S. presidency in the disputed election of 1876. A political reformer, he was a Bourbon Democrat who worked closely with the New York City business community, led the fight against the corruption of Tammany Hall, and fought to keep taxes low.

Rutherford B. Hayes

President of the US who was elected by the House of Representative in the disputed 1876 election against Tilden. After his election, Reconstruction was officially ended in the South and federal troops were withdrawn.

Chester Arthur

He was the Vice President of James A. Garfield. After President Garfield was assassinated, September of 1881, Arthur assumed the position. He was chosen to run as Vice President, primarily, to gain the Stalwart's vote. Arthur was left in charge of the United States with no apparent qualifications. He surprised the public with his unexpected vigor in prosecuting certain post office frauds. He was also for service reform.

Grover Cleveland

Cleveland was the democratic presidential candidate for the 1884 election. His republican opponent, James G. Blaine, was involved in several questionable deals. Cleveland won the election turned into a becoming the first democratic president since Buchanan. He took few initiatives, but he was effective in dealing with excessive military pensions. He placated both North and South by appointing some former Confederates to office, but sticking mostly with Northerners. Was president for 2 nonconsecutive terms.

Stalwarts

A faction of the Republican party in the ends of the 1800s Supported the political machine and patronage. Conservatives who hated civil service reform. Lead by Roscoe Conkling

Half Breeds

During the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881), a moderate Republican party faction led by Senator James Blaine that favored some reforms of the civil service system and a restrained policy toward the defeated South. They were half loyal to Grant and half committed to reform the spoils system.

Mugwumps

Republican political activists who supported Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland in the United States presidential election of 1884. They switched parties because they rejected the financial corruption associated with Republican candidate, James Blaine.

Munn v. Illinois, 1877

The Supreme Court upheld the Granger laws. The Munn case allowed states to regulate certain businesses within their borders, including railroads, and is commonly regarded as a milestone in the growth of federal government regulation.

Crime of '73

Through the coinage act of 1873, the US ended the minting of silver dollars and placed the country on the gold standard. This was attacked by those who supported an inflationary monetary policy, particularly farmers and believed in the unlimited coinage of silver.

Gilded Age

A name for the late 1800s, coined by Mark Twain to describe the tremendous increase in wealth caused by the industrial age and the ostentatious lifestyles it allowed the very rich. The great industrial success of the U.S. and the fabulous lifestyles of the wealthy hid the many social problems of the time, including a high poverty rate, a high crime rate, and corruption in the government.

Patronage

Granting favors, giving contracts or making appointments to office in return for political support/alliance.

Populist Party

Political party formed in 1892 representing mainly farmers, favoring free coinage of silver and government control of railroads and other monopolies.

Greenback Party

Political party that farmers sought refuge in at first, combined inflationary appeal of earlier Greenabackers with program for improving labor.

Election of 1876

Race for the presidency between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel J. Tilden. The decision of the winner came down to congress but no one knew which house should vote because the Senate was Republican and the House of Reps was Democratic. Congress created a Special Electoral Commission consisting of 5 senators, 5 House Reps, and 5 justices from the Supreme court. Votes went 8-7 in favor of Hayes.

Billion Dollar Congress

Republican Congress in 1890 that gave pensions to Civil War veterans, increased government silver purchases, and passed McKinley Tariff.

Panic of 1873

Economic panic caused by over-expansion and over-speculation, causing the nation's largest bank to collapse (and bringing with it many smaller banks, business firms and the stock market).

Resumption Act of 1875

Bill passed by hard-money advocates that pledged the government to the withdrawal of greenbacks from circulation and the guarantee of all paper currency in gold starting in 1879.

Credit Mobilier

A joint-stock company organized in 1863 and reorganized in 1867 to build the Union Pacific Railroad. It was involved in a scandal in 1872 in which high government officials were accused of accepting bribes.

Pendleton Act

Passed in 1883, an Act that created a federal civil service so that hiring and promotion would be based on merit rather than patronage. It also required for tests to determine suitability for federal positions.

McKinley Tariff (1890)

Raised tariffs to the highest level they had ever been. Big business favored these tariffs because they protected U.S. businesses from foreign competition.

Sherman Silver Purchase Act

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Granger Laws

A set of laws designed to address railroad discrimination against small farmers, covering issues like freight rates and railroad rebates.

Omaha Platform

Political agenda adopted by the populist party in 1892 at their Omaha, Nebraska convention. Called for unlimited coinage of silver (bimetallism), government regulation of railroads and industry, graduated income tax, and a number of election reforms.

Bland-Allison Act

1873 law that required the federal government to purchase and coin more silver, increasing the money supply and causing inflation.

Mary E. Lease

A lecturer, writer, and political activist. She was an advocate of the suffrage movement as well as temperance but she was best known for her work with the Populist party. She gave a passionate speech in Kansas that said "raise less corn and more hell."

Coxey's Army

Protest march of unemployed workers led by populist Jacob Coxey. Marched on Washington in 1894.

Pullman Strike

in Chicago, Pullman cut wages but refused to lower rents in the "company town", Eugene Debs had American Railway Union refuse to use Pullman cars, Debs thrown in jail after being sued, strike achieved nothing.

Gold Bugs

Politicians who favored basing the US monetary system on gold to the exclusion of silver. The populists were against them.

William Jennings Bryan

Democratic candidate for president in 1896 under the banner of "free silver coinage" which won him support of the Populist Party (Cross of Gold Speech).

Mark Hanna

An industrialist and Republican politician from Ohio. The campaign manager of McKinley in the 1896, in what is considered the forerunner of the modern political campaign, and subsequently became one of the most powerful members of the U.S. Senate.

Populism

Farm-based movement of the late 1800s that arose mainly in the area from Texas to the Dakotas and grew into a joint effort between farmer and labor groups against big business and machine-based politics. The movement became a third party in the election of 1892.

Grange

An association formed by farmers in the late 1800s to make life better for farmers by sharing information about crops, prices, and supplies.

Gold Standard Act (1900)

An act that guaranteed that paper currency would be redeemed freely in gold, putting an end to the "free silver" campaign.

Farmers' Alliances

Groups of farmers, or those in sympathy with farming issues, who sent lecturers from town to town to educate people about agricultural and rural issues.

"Colored" Alliances

Many white Populists in the south struggled with the question of accepting African Americans in the party, after all they were important in the movement, a net work that by 1890 reached over 1.25 million. But when white Populists became willing to accept the assistance of blacks, as long as they were still in control, southern conservatives became angry, believing the Populists were undermining white supremacy, causing the interracial character of the movement to quickly fade.

Soddy

A frontier home usually dug into a hill or made from sod.

Free Silver

Political issue involving the unlimited coinage of silver, supported by farmers and William Jennings Bryan.

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