54 terms

18, 19, 20

Late 19th century middle class women
Middle class mothers at the end of the century had two or three children
Married later in life
Practiced abstinence
Contraceptive devices were more reliable and more commercially available
Social classes late 1800s
Upper (richer)
Middle (rich)
Working (dirt poor)
public education after 1870
Progress was result of overall economic growth combined with energy and ambition of individual workers and public education
State supported public education only became compulsory after the Civil War when growth of cities provided concentration of population and financial resources necessary for economical mass education
Attendance increased from 6.8 million in 1870 to 15.5 million in 1900
Public expenditures for education quadrupled
Industrialization increased demands for vocational and technical training
Secondary education was still assumed to be for those with special abilities and youths whose families did not need them to work
1890: fewer than 300,000 of 14.3 million children attending public and private schools had progressed beyond the eighth grade
Nearly a third of these were attending private institutions
rags to riches stories
Myth of rags to riches, rather than reality, maintained worker hope and belief in hard work and thrift
immigration-reasons for new immigration
Push pressures
Cheap wheat from Russia, U.S., and other parts of the world poured into Europe with new cheaper transportation and undermined livelihood of many European farmers
Spreading industrial revolution and increased use of farm machinery led to collapse of peasant economy of central and southern Europe—loss of self-sufficiency and fragmentation of landholdings
Political and religious persecutions pushed others
Main reason remained hope of economic betterment
causes of urban growth/cities
Expansion of industry was main cause of urban growth
1890: one person in three lived in a city
1910: nearly one in two
Increasing proportion of urban population was immigrants
After 1890 urban immigrant concentration became even greater as migrants from eastern and southern Europe lacked the resources to travel beyond the city
As cities grew, sewer and water facilities could not keep up
Fire protection became increasingly inadequate
Garbage piled up in streets
Streets crumbled under increased traffic
Housing was inadequate and encouraged disease and disintegration of family life
New York City created a Metropolitan Health Board in 1866
1879 law placed a limit on the percentage of lot space that could be covered by new construction and established minimal standards of plumbing and ventilation
Contest for best design of a new tenement was won by James E. Ware and his "dumbbell" apartment house which crowded 24 to 32 four-room apartments on a plot only 25 by 100 feet
1890: more than 1.4 million people lived on Manhattan Island
In some sections, density exceeded 900 persons per acre
As late as 1900 about three fourths of the residents of New York City's East Side lacked indoor toilets and had to use backyard outhouses
Slums also drove well-to-do residents into exclusive sections and to the suburbs
jacob riis
Increased public awareness of poor immigrants living conditions
Stimulated reform movements
urban transportion
Urban transportation underwent enormous changes
Until 1880s horse drawn cars running on tracks flush with streets were the main means of urban transport
Large number of horses were needed causing high stable costs and pollution from droppings
1880s: electric trolley car invented
Less unsightly
Quieter than steam trains
Growth of electric trolleys
By 1895: some 850 lines operated over 10,000 miles of track
Mileage tripled in following decade
Ownership of street railways became centralized until a few companies controlled trolleys of more than 100 eastern cities and towns
Streetcars changed big city life
Previously, "walking city" could not extend more than two and a half miles from its center
Streetcars increased this radius to 6 miles or more
john a. roebling
He is famous for his wire rope suspension bridge designs, in particular, the design of the Brooklyn Bridge.
louis sullivan
Pioneer of new skyscrapers was Louis Sullivan
Early 1890s: Wainwright Building in St. Louis and Prudential Building in Buffalo
Combined spare beauty, modest construction costs and efficient use of space
walter camp
Football evolved out of English rugby and originated as a college sport
First intercollegiate match was between Princeton and Rutgers in 1869
By 1880s college football was popular
Football's modern character was the work of Walter Camp, athletic director of Yale
Cut size of teams from 15 to 11
Invented scrimmage line, four-down system, key position of quarterback, and publicized the game in a series of books
Sports were a manly activity that women did not participate in
social gospel
Church leaders who preached a better existence to the poor in the afterlife and responsibility for behavior brought meager comfort to residents of slums—the church lost influence
Church leaders followed better off residents out of the city
New York: 17 Protestant congregations abandoned depressed areas of lower Manhattan between 1868 and 1888
As pastors catered to middle and upper class worshippers, they became even more conservative
Increasing proportion of blighted districts were Catholic, and the church devoted much effort to distributing alms, maintaining homes for orphans and old people, and other forms of social welfare
But church leaders were unconcerned with social causes of blight, believing sin and vice were personal and poverty was an act of God
Despite the conservatism of leaders, some earnest preachers worked to improved the lot of the city poor
Dwight L. Moody became famous in the U.S. and Great Britain in the 1870s for conducting a vigorous campaign to persuade the poor to abandon their sinful ways
Evangelists founded mission schools in the slums and tried to provide spiritual and recreational facilities
Established American branches of YMCA (1851) and Salvation Army (1880)
Still paid little attention to causes of urban poverty and vice, believing faith would enable poor to transcend the material difficulties of life
Some ministers, believing cause of problems rested in environment, preached a "Social Gospel" that focused on improving living conditions rather than saving souls
People must have enough to eat, decent homes, and opportunities to develop talents
Advocated civil service reform, child labor legislation, regulation of big corporations and heavy taxes on incomes and inheritances
Most influential preacher was Washington Gladden, who favored factory inspection laws, strict regulation of public utilities and other reforms but never questioned basic values of capitalism
Others went to socialism
D.P. Bliss founded the Society of Christian Socialists (1889)
Advocated nationalizing industry, government unemployment relief programs and other measures designed to aid poor
Charles M. Sheldon wrote In His Steps (1896) in which people in the mythical city of Raymond improve their city by asking themselves "What would Jesus do?"
settlement houses
Settlement houses were organized to grapple with slum problems
Community centers which provided guidance and services to the poor communities in which they were located
Settlement workers were mostly idealistic, well-to-do young people who lived in the houses and were active in neighborhood affairs
American versions of British Toynbee Hall (founded in early 1880s) soon appeared, with 100 by turn of century
1886: Neighborhood Guild, Lower East Side of New York, Dr. Stanton Coit
1889: Hull House, Chicago, Jane Addams
1892: South End House, Boston, Robert A. Woods
1893: Henry Street Settlement, New York, Lillian Wald
Most important settlement workers were women fresh from college who had no other outlet for their energies and skills
Settlement workers tried to interpret American ways to the new immigrants and to create a community spirit in order to teach "right living through social relations"
Expected to benefit morally and intellectually themselves by experiencing a way of life different from their own and by obtaining first hand knowledge
Soon settlement workers found attentions absorbed by practical problems and agitated for
Tenement house laws
Regulation of the labor of women and children
Better schools
They employed private resources to establish playgrounds, libraries, classes, social clubs, and
day-care centers
When felt poor families were neglecting or abandoning children, they tried to place them with foster families in the country
By the end of the century Catholics were joining the movement
1898: First Catholic-run settlement house was founded in an Italian district in New York
1900: Brownstone House in Los Angeles was founded to cater to Mexican immigrants
Nonetheless, settlement houses seemed to be fighting a losing battle
Result was that it became clear authority of state must be brought to bear for improvement to happen
american responses to changes of industrialization and urbanization
More people moved to the city
Less people lived outside the city
More jobs... more money...
Blah blah blah.
charles eliot
1869: Harvard led transformation under new president Charles Eliot
Introduced elective system
Eliminated required courses
Expanded offerings in modern languages, economics, and laboratory sciences
Students were allowed to borrow books from the library
Encouraged faculty to experiment with new teaching methods
Brought in new professors with original minds and new ideas
morrill act
Morrill Act provided funding for a number of universities including Illinois, Michigan State, and Ohio State
Land-grant colleges offered a variety of subjects
Received additional state funds
Co-educational from the start
Most developed professional schools and experimented with extension work and summer programs
vassar college
Beginning with Vassar College (began with 300 students in 1865) opportunity for young women to pursue academics increased
Eventually had the Seven Sisters which included Vassar and
Wellesley and Smith (both 1875)
Mount Holyoke (already established)
Bryn Mawr (1885)
Barnard (1889)
Radcliffe (1893)
herbert spencer
Prevailing opinion in Sociology (heavily influenced by Herbert Spencer) rejected government interference with the organization of society, which was seen as only affected by forces of evolution
William James undercut laissez-faire extremism of Herbert Spencer
john dewet
John Dewey, a professor at University of Chicago, gave direction to these complaints
He was concerned with the implications of evolution for education
frederick jackson turner
Frederick Jackson Turner in "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" (1893) argued that the frontier experience had affected the thinking of the people and helped shape American institutions
Isolation of frontier and the need to create civilization anew with each advance of the frontier accounted for the individualism of Americans and the democratic character of their society
mark twain
The first great American realist was Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens, b.1835)
Became writer for Territorial Enterprise after going to Nevada in 1861
Story that brought him national recognition was "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (1865)
Innocents Abroad (1869), written after a tour of Europe and the Holy Land, made him famous
Twain's greatness came from keen reportorial eye and ear, his eagerness to live life to the fullest, his marvelous sense of humor, and his ability to be at once in society and outside it, to love humanity but to be repelled by human vanity and perversity
Epitomized zest, adaptability and materialism of his age but died a dark pessimist
Gilded Age (1873)
Tom Sawyer (1876)
Life on the Mississippi (1883)
Huckleberry Finn (1884)
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889)
Books were essentially autobiographies that reflected clash between Twain's recognition of the pretentiousness and meanness of human beings and his wish to be accepted by society
He never dealt effectively with sexual love
Often contrived to end his tales on absurdly optimistic notes that rang false
william dean howells
William Dean Howell's realism was more self conscious than Twain's
Born 1837
Became reporter for Ohio State Journal
After the Civil War worked for The Nation then moved to Boston where he became editor of Atlantic Monthly
1886: returned to New York as editor of Harper's
Realism to him meant concern for complexities of individual personalities and faithful description of the genteel, middle-class world he knew best
Had a sharp eye, open mind and real social conscience
Rise of Silas Lapham (1885): dealt with some of the ethical problems faced by businessmen in competitive society
Moved left after the Haymarket bombings
Hazard of New Fortunes (1890): attempted to portray the whole range of metropolitan life
Most influential critic of his time and brought a number of famous foreign writers to U.S. as well as encouraging young American novelists
Naturalist writers believed that the human being was essentially an animal, a helpless creature whose fate was determined by the environment
World was mindless without mercy or justice
stephen crane
Maggie Girl of the Streets (1893)—seduction, degradation and suicide of a young woman
The Red Badge of Courage (1895)
frank norris
McTeague (1899)—story of brutal, dull witted dentist who murdered his greed crazed wife with his bare fists
theodore dreiser
Sister Carrie (1900)—treated sex so forthrightly that it was withdrawn after publication
henry james
Very different than naturalists
Born to wealth
Reared in cosmopolitan atmosphere
Twisted in some strange way as a child and unable to achieve satisfactory relationships with women
Spent most of adult life in Europe writing novels, short stories, plays, and volumes of criticism
Preeminently, though, a realist despite his rarified, overly subtle manner of writing
His major theme was the clash of American and European cultures
Primary interest was the close-up examination of wealthy, sensitive, yet corrupt persons
Dealt with social issues such as feminism and the difficulties faced by artists in the modern world, though, in the end, characters always came first
thomas eakins
born in Philadelphia (1844), studied in Europe in late 1860s, returned to U.S. in 1870 to spend rest of life in Philadelphia teaching and painting
Mastered human anatomy—Gross Clinic (1875)
Early experimenter with motion pictures
Gloried in the ordinary and refused to touch up portraits
Swimming Hole is stark portrayal of nakedness
winslow homer
Boston-born painter known for his watercolors, had no formal training but had intense concern for accuracy
Worked as artist-reporter for Harper's Weekly during the Civil War
After war continued to do magazine illustrations
Roamed U.S. painting scenes of southern farm life, Adirondack campers, and (after 1880) magnificent seascapes and studies of fishermen and sailors
james mcneill
left usa in 1855 and spent most of life in Paris and London
Portraits were triumphs of realism
Misty studies of London waterfront were thoroughly romantic
Whistler's Mother (Whistler called it Arrangement in Grey and Black) spare and muted in tone, more interested in precise arrangements of color and space
mary cassatt
daughter of a wealthy Pittsburgh banker and sister of the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad
Went to Paris and got caught up in impressionist movement
Work was little appreciated in U.S. prior to WWI
1865: 700 magazines in the country
Turn of century: 5,000 magazines
Until mid-1880s, a handful of serious periodicals dominated the field (Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, The Century)
Staid in tone and conservative in political cast
Aimed at upper-middle-class audience, which limited their circulation size
Vast changes after 1885
Forum (1886) and Arena (1889) emphasized hard hitting articles on controversial subjects by leading experts
1889: Edward Bok became editor of Ladies Home Journal
offered advice columns, articles on childcare, gardening, and interior decorating
Commissioned public figures to discuss important questions
Printed colored reproductions of art masterpieces—made possible by the invention of cheap photoengraving process
Crusaded for women's suffrage, conservation, and other reforms
Bok not only catered to public tastes, he created new ones
Reached millions of readers and interested rich and poor
Publishers of these mass circulation magazines, such as Bok, utilized new printing technology to cut costs and depended on advertising revenues which allowed them to sell magazines for 10 or 15 cents a copy and still make fortunes
frank leslie
magazine editor
Frank Leslie was the leading publisher in the 1860s and 1870s of magazines directed at the average person
Specialized in illustrations of current events, cheap romantic fiction, old-fashioned poetry, jokes, and advice columns
Some sold as many as 300,000 copies per issue
Newspapers were even more important for disseminating information and educating the masses
Technological innovations
1871: Richard Hoe and Stephen Tucker developed the web press, which printed simultaneously on both sides of the paper
1886: Ottmar Mergenthaler's linotype machine cast rows of type directly from molten metal, cutting costs considerably
Machines for making paper out of wood pulp reduced cost of newsprint to a quarter of 1860s price
By 1895: machines were printing, cutting, and folding 32-page newspapers at a rate of 24,000 per hour
social darwinism
Social Darwinists and people obsessed with "racial purity" also found new immigration alarming
Attributed social problems of new immigrants to supposed psychological characteristics of newcomers
willaim james/pragmatism
Evolution and Religion
Bitter controversy which was won, among intellectuals if not the general populace, by evolution
The Bible remained a source of inspiration and wisdom
Evolution and Philosophy
Moved away from fixed systems and eternal truths toward specific applications and practical effects
PRAGMATISM: logic requires us to accept the impermanence of even scientific laws
William James
Principles of Psychology (1890) established that discipline as a modern science
Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) treated the subject from both psychological and philosophical points of view and helped readers reconcile their religious faith with increasing knowledge of psychology and physical universe
Most influential philosopher of his time
Free will
Desire to survive existed independently of surrounding circumstance
Truth was relative: did not exist in the abstract but happened under particular circumstances
What a person thought helped make that thought occur
Pragmatism inspired much of reform spirit of late 19th and especially early 20th century
James undercut laissez-faire extremism of Herbert Spencer
"Great Men and Their Environment" (1880): James argued that social changes were brought about by the actions of geniuses whom society had selected and raised to power rather than by impersonal forces of the environment
Fitted preconceptions of rugged individualists
Encouraged those dissatisfied with society to work for change
Relativism made Americans optimistic but bred insecurity
Pragmatism seemed to suggest end justified means, what worked was more important than what ought
to be
chautauqua movement
Illustrative of desire for new information
Founded by John H. Vincent and Lewis Miller in 1874
Began as two week summer course for high school teachers
Expanded into open air offerings of all sorts with a variety of famous speakers and even a series of correspondence courses that led, over four years, to a degree
Books were written specifically for the program
Published a monthly magazine
By 1900 there were 200 Chautauqua style organizations
Often standards were low
Entertainment was as important as education
Reflected prevailing American tastes: diverse, uncritical, enthusiastic, and shallow
President Hayes
Attended Kenyon College and Harvard Law
Practiced in Cincinnati and served in Union Army, entering as major and ending as major general
Elected to Congress in 1864 and as Governor of Ohio in 1868 where he served for three terms
Nominated for president due to reputation for honesty and moderation
Hayes played down the tariff issue
Conservative on money issue
Approved the resumption of gold payments in 1879
Vetoed bills to expand currency
Was opposed to the collection of political contributions from office holders and made requests for civil service reform but did not go any further
Complained about southern treatment of blacks but refused to do anything
President Garfield
Assassinated 4 months after inauguration
During war had risen from lieutenant colonel to major general
1863: won a seat in Congress where noted for oratorical and managerial skills
July 1881: an unbalanced Stalwart lawyer, Charles Guiteau, shot Garfield
Garfield died on September 19, 1881
President Arthur
Became president upon Garfield's assassination
New York lawyer and abolitionist who had risen through party
Appointed collectorship of Port of New York in 1871
Removed in 1878 for refusing to stay out of party politics
Unblushing defender of spoils system despite personal honesty and excellent administrative skills
As president, handled patronage issues with restraint
Gave nominal support to civil service reform
1883: Congress passed the PENDLETON ACT
classified about 10% of government jobs
created bipartisan Civil Service Commission to administer competitive examinations for these positions
made it illegal to force officeholders to make political contributions
empowered the president to expand the list of qualified positions at his discretion
Arthur was a systematic, thoughtful, businesslike administrator
Yet made little effort to push his agenda through Congress
Did not run again
President Cleveland
Grew up in western New York, studied law and settled in Buffalo
Elected mayor of Buffalo in 1881 on the basis of his integrity and then became governor in 1882
No-nonsense attitude toward government—won over reformers
Basic conservatism pleased business leaders
Insisted on honesty and efficiency of all political appointees regardless of party
Little imagination and a narrow conception of presidential powers meant he felt it was unseemly to pressure Congress
Near end of term did try to provide leadership on the tariff question
Government was embarrassed by large revenue surplus which Cleveland wanted to reduce by cutting duties on necessities and raw materials used in manufacturing
Democratic Party was not happy he took stand during election year
President Harrison
Although Cleveland won plurality of votes in 1890 election, Benjamin Harrison (grandson of William Henry Harrison) won electoral contest 233 to 168
Harrison was extremely reserved
During Civil War had a reputation as a strict disciplinarian
Ran unsuccessfully for Indiana governor before winning a Senate seat in 1881
Believed ardently in protective tariffs and was conservative in fiscal policies except in matter of veteran's pensions, where he was freehanded
Flamboyant waver of bloody shirt
While claimed to favor civil service reform, actually did little to forward it
Congress under Harrison
Spent more than a billion dollars in a single session
Raised the tariff to an all time high
Passed the Sherman Antitrust Act
Harrison's lackluster leadership led to the loss of Congress in 1890 and then the presidency, to Grover Cleveland, in 1892
Pendleton Act of 1883
1883: Congress passed the PENDLETON ACT
classified about 10% of government jobs
created bipartisan Civil Service Commission to administer competitive examinations for these positions
made it illegal to force officeholders to make political contributions
empowered the president to expand the list of qualified positions at his discretion
Election 1884
Election for president in 1884 revolved around personal issues since platforms were similar
Republican James Blaine had immense following but reputation soiled by connection with corrupt granting of favors to railways
Democrat Grover Cleveland, a bachelor, had fathered a child out of wedlock
Better behavior by Cleveland earned him the support of renegade Republicans known as Mugwumps
Cleveland won by fewer than 25,000 votes
Blacks in the South
Little federal support was offered to blacks after Reconstruction
Initially blacks were not totally disenfranchised as rival white factions tried to manipulate them
Starting with Mississippi in the 1890s, southern states began to deprive blacks of the vote
Poll taxes
Literacy tests (had "understanding" loophole for poor whites)
Louisiana had 130,000 black voters in 1896 and 5,000 in 1900
Total segregation was imposed throughout the South
Separate but hardly equal facilities were provided throughout the South
Northerners supported the government and the Court
Progress in public education for blacks stopped with return of white rule
Church groups and private foundations supported black schools after 1877
Two efforts in vocational training: Hampton Institute and Tuskegee Institute
Hampton and Tuskegee survived only because they taught a docile, essentially subservient philosophy, preparing students to accept second-class citizenship and become farmers and craftsmen
Segregation imposed a crushing financial burden on poor, sparsely settled communities
Plessey v. Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) Court ruled that even in places of public accommodation, segregation was acceptable as long as facilities of equal quality were provided
Booker T. Washington
Most people, including scientists, were convinced that blacks were inferior beings
By denying blacks decent educational opportunities and good jobs, the dominant race could use the blacks' resultant ignorance and poverty to justify the inferior facilities offered them
Southern black reaction
Racial pride and black nationalism
Revival of African colonization
Demanded full civil rights, better schools, fair wages, and a fight against discrimination of every sort
Initially segregation helped some southern blacks who became barbers, undertakers, restaurateurs, and shopkeepers, because whites would not supply those services to blacks
Living standard of the average southern black doubled between 1865 and 1900
Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee Institute
Convinced that blacks must lift themselves up by their bootstraps and accommodate themselves to white prejudices
Atlanta Compromise (1895)
Don't fight segregation and second class citizenship
Concentrate on learning useful skills
Progress up economic and social ladder would come from self-improvement
Asked whites to help blacks with economic self-improvement
Won him lots of white support but blacks were more mixed in response
City Bosses
City governments were affected by religious and ethnic character of inhabitants and by:
Rapid, helter-skelter growth
Influx of European immigrants
Need to develop costly transportation, sanitation and other public utility systems
Crime and corruption that size, confusion and anonymity fostered
Immigrants lacked experience with democracy and representative government
Industrial workers moved frequently, undermining their ability to develop independent political influence
Difficulties of life in the slums tended to overwhelm newcomers who concentrated on surviving rather than on broad social issues
All of the above enabled urban politicians—predominantly Irish—to take command of urban masses and control them at the polls
City machines were loose-knit neighborhood organizations headed by ward bosses
Bosses performed many useful services for those they considered their constituents
Found jobs for new arrivals
Distributed food and aid in bad times
Would listen to and potentially aid those in trouble with the law, often "fixing" minor infractions
Often provided feasts or gifts on holidays or in recognition of their own birthdays
Unconsciously helped immigrants bridge gap from Old World to complexities of modern American life
Price of such aid was unquestioning political support which bosses converted to cash through such means as
Tribute on gambling
A hand in the liquor business
Control of issuance of peddler's licenses
Better-known city bosses had less socially justifiable roles than the ward bosses, usually obtaining their money through bribes or kickbacks—returns from contractors who padded their bills in order to raid city funds and who split the take with city bosses who had helped them get the job
William Marcy Tweed [1869-1871]: New York
Richard Crocker [mid-1880s to turn of century] and Tammany Hall organization: New York
In the end, most bosses were essentially thieves who got away with it because most middle-class people ignored them or shared indirectly in the corruption
Tenement owners wanted to crowd as many people in as possible
Utility companies seeking franchises preferred a system that enabled them to buy favors
Many urban reformers resented the boss system because it gave power to "unfit" men
Farmer's Alliance
Farm depression triggered new radicalism—the Alliance movement
Organizations of farmers' clubs which had emerged during 1870s
Knights of Reliance began in 1877 in Texas then expanded throughout northeastern part of the state and, after 1885, through the cotton states
Stressed cooperation
Co-ops bought fertilizer and other supplies in bulk and sold them at fair prices
Sought to market crops cooperatively but could not get necessary capital from banks, which led them to question financial and monetary system
Similar though less influential movement developed in North
All Alliances agreed:
Agricultural prices were too low
Transportation costs were too high
Something was radically wrong with U.S. financial system
Need for political action if there was to be improvement
Dakotas and Kansas joined Southern Alliance in 1889 but true national alliance was delayed by prejudices and conflicting interests
Northerners voted Republican, Southerners Democrat
Southerners opposed tariff, Northerners favored
Railroad regulation and federal land policy were vital to Northerners while financial questions were most important to Southerners
Northerners were receptive to third party while Southerners wanted to capture local Democratic machines
Populist party
1890: Farm groups entered politics
South: Alliance-sponsored gubernatorial candidates won in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas
8 Southern legislatures fell under Alliance control
44 representatives and 3 senators were sent to Washington
West: Alliance candidates swept Kansas and captured majority in Nebraska legislature and enough seats in South Dakota and Minnesota to hold the balance of power
February 1892: Farm leaders, Knights of Labor representatives and various professional reformers met in St. Louis and organized the People's party (Populists)
Issued call for national convention in July
Convention nominated General James B. Weaver of Iowa for President
Drafted a platform
Graduated income tax
National ownership of railroads and telegraph and telephone systems
Advocated "subtreasury" plan that would permit farmers to keep nonperishable crops off the market when prices were low, government would loan farmers greenbacks until prices rose, farmers sold crops and repaid debts
Demanded unlimited coinage of silver and an increase in the money supply to at least $50 per capita
Urged adoption of initiative and referendum procedures and election of Senators by popular vote
Denounced the use of Pinkerton detectives in labor disputes and supported the 8-hour day and restriction of "undesirable" immigrants
Populists saw themselves as a victimized majority
Ambivalent about free enterprise system
Attributed social and economic injustices not to built in inequities but to nefarious conspiracies organized by selfish interests in order to subvert the system
1892: Presidential election saw Harrison and Cleveland re-fight the election of 1888
Populist speakers in 1892 election:
Tom Watson, Georgia
William A. Peffer, Kansas
"Sockless Jerry" Simpson, Kansas
Ignatius Donnelly, Minnesota
Strategy in South was to wean black farmers away from Democratic organizations
Black farmers had their own Colored Alliance
White Populist leaders opposed black disenfranchisement and called for full civil rights for all
Northwest: assailed "bankers' conspiracy"
End results were disappointing:
While Populists swept Kansas and elected local officials in a number of western states, Watson lost congressional seat and Donnelly lost Minnesota gubernatorial race
The effort to unite white and black southerners failed miserably
Elsewhere, the party made little headway
Cleveland won the election by 277 electoral votes to Harrison's 145 and Weaver's 22
Coinage act 1873
1892 showed that the money question, especially silver coinage, was of primary interest to voters
Real underlying question was what should be done to check deflationary cycle
Traditionally, U.S. was on bimetallic standard with the number of grains of each in a dollar adjusted periodically to reflect their commercial value
California gold rush had depressed the relative price of gold (a silver dollar was worth $1.03) with the result was that silver was withdrawn and only gold circulated
Then an avalanche of silver from Nevada and Colorado depressed the price of silver until, in 1874, it became profitable for miners to coin their bullion
Only then did they discover that the Coinage Act of 1873 had demonetized silver
Silver miners and inflationists demanded a return to silver coinage while conservatives resisted
jacob coxey
Spring 1894: several "armies" of unemployed (largest led by Jacob Coxey) marched on Washington to demand relief
Wanted government to undertake a program of federal public works;
And to authorize local communities to exchange non-interest bearing bonds with the Treasury for $500 million in paper money and use the funds to hire unemployed workers to build roads
Coxey and two other leaders were arrested and their followers were dispersed by club wielding policemen.
Federal troops were used to break up the Pullman strike in July 1894
President Bryan
Democrats called for free and unlimited coinage of silver at a rate of 16 to 1 after a stirring speech by William Jennings Bryan, whom they nominated for president
Pressured, Populists also nominated Bryan but ran Tom Watson as vice-president on their ticket
Republicans from silver mining states backed Bryan while solid-money Democrats voted for McKinley or refused to vote
Extreme Democratic goldbugs "National Democrats" ran their own candidate
Republicans seemed to have advantage
McKinley had a war record and experience, while Bryan was young and inexperienced
Depression favored party out of power
Newspapers came out almost unanimously for McKinley, even the Democratic press
Bryan responded with an unprecedented speaking tour of U.S.
President McKinley
Republicans announced for the gold standard and nominated William McKinley of Ohio
Mark Hanna, an Ohio business man and McKinley's campaign manager, raised $3.5 million dollars through persuasion and "assessing" a percentage of the assets of banks and insurance companies and of the receipts of big corporations
Used the money to disburse 1,500 speakers and 250 million pieces of campaign literature
McKinley sat on his front porch and received visitors in what appeared to be an informal, but actually highly staged and coordinated, event
McKinley garnered 271 electoral votes to Bryan's 176
Election did not mark the triumph of the status quo but the coming of modern America
Gold and silver actually figured little as new discoveries of gold in Alaska and South Africa and improved methods of extracting gold from low grade ore led to an expansion of the money supply
McKinley's approach, unlike Bryan's, was national and he dealt pragmatically with issues