Chapter 19 Key Terms

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Gilded Age Party System
- remarkably stable
- From the end of the Reconstruction until the late 1890s, the electorate was divided almost precisely evenly between the Republicans and the Democrats.
- 16 states were consistently Republican, and 14 were mostly Democrats (mostly Southern), and only 5 states (most importantly NY and Ohio) were usually in doubt, and generally decided the outcome of national elections. - The congressional balance was similarly stable, with the Republicans controlling the Senate and Democrats controlling the house.
- Intensity of the parties loyalty: In most of the country, Americans viewed their party affiliations with a passion and enthusiasm: voter turnout in presidential elections between 1860 and 1900 averaged over 78% of all eligible voters (only 50% in current day elections). - Large groups of potential voters were disenfranchised in these years: women (in most states), blacks and poor whites (south).
- Party loyalty reflected cultural inclinations: regional affiliations, churches, or other ethnic group, not economic interests.
- To white southerners, loyalty to the Democratic Party was a matter of of unquestioned faith. It was a vehicle by which they had triumphed over REconstruction and preserved white supremacy.
- Religious and ethnic differences shaped party loyalties. Democratic party attracted most of the Catholic voters, recent immigrants, and poorer workers - groups that often overlapped.
- The republican party appealed to northern Protestants, citizens of old stock, much of the middle class - also considerably overlapped.
- Among the few substantive issues on which the parties took different stands was the matters connected with immigrants.
- Republicans tended to support measures restricting immigration and to favor temperance legislation, which many of them would believe to discipline immigrant communities.
- Catholics and immigrants viewed such proposals as assaults on them and their cultures and opposed them; the Democratic party followed their lead.
Garfield Assassinated
July 2, 1881 on the Washington railroad station
Pendleton Act
- Chester A. Arthur, who succeeded Garfield, tried to - like Hayes and Garfield before him - follow an independent course and promote reform, aware that the Garfield assassination discredited the traditional spoils system.
- 1883, Congress passed the first national civil service measure, the Pendleton Act, which required that some federal jobs be filled by competitive written examinations rather than by patronage.
-The Pendleton Act of 1883 was the federal legislation that created a system in which federal employees were chosen based upon competitive exams. This made job positions based on merit or ability and not inheritance or class. It also created the Civil Service Commission.
Sherman Antitrust Act
- in response to the states popular demand both houses of congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act
- July 1890: most members of congress saw the act as a symbolic measure to deflect public criticism but not likely to have any real corporate power
- it's purpose was to break up trusts but it was actually used to break up unions
- for over a decade after it's passage the Act was indifferently enforced and steadily weakened by courts
- it had almost no impact
McKinley Tariff
- The republicans were interested in the Tariff.
- Representative William Mckinley of Ohio and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich of Rhode Island drafted the highest protective measure ever proposed to Congress.
- Known as the McKinley Tariff, it became law in October 1890.
- Republicans leaders misinterpreted public sentiment: the party suffered a stunning reversal in the 1890 congressional election.
- REpublicans senate majority went to 8, and in the house their party retained only 88 of the 323 seats. This led to the Democrats winning a majority in both houses of congress (since 1878) in the 1892 election.
Interstate Commerce Act
- In the Wabash supreme court case in 1886 the court ruled one of the Granger LAw in Illinois unconstitutional.
- 1886
- Wabash a supreme court case that ruled that individual states did not have the right to regulate interstate commerce
-led to the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 and the Interstate Commerce Commission
Interstate Commerce Act
-established the federal government's right to oversee railroad activities
-required railroads to publicize their rate schedules and file them with the government
- A five person agency, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), was to administer the act, and it would rely on courts to reinforce its rulings. For almost twenty years after the passage, the IC Act - which like the Sherman Act was barely enforced and narrowly interpreted by courts - had little practical effect.
the Grange (origins, grievances, program)
- American farmers were the most individualistic of citizens, and had made the most effect to organize.
- first major farm organization appeared in the 1860s: The grange
*Origins:
- Appeared shortly after the Civil war in ta tour throughout the South by Oilver Kelley, a minor Agricultural Department official. He was appalled by what he considered the isolation and drabness of rural life. 1867, he left government and with others, founded the National Grange of the PAtrons of Husbandry.
- At first, their purposes were modest - they attempted to bring farmers together to learn new scientific agricultural techniques.
- They also hoped to create a community, relieving the loneliness of rural life.
- By 1875, Grange claimed more than 800,000 members.
*Grievances:
- As membership grew, the lodges in the MW began to focus less on social benefits of organization and more on economic possibilities. They attempted to organize marketing cooperatives to allow farmers to circumvent the hated "middle man" (people who managed the sale of farmers' crops, taking a large cut of the profit for themselves).
- Urged cooperative political action to curb monopolistic practices by railroads and warehouses.
- Set up cooperative stores, creameries, elevators, warehouses, insurance companies, factories that produced machines, stoves and other items.
- One corporation emerged to specifically meet the need of Grangers: The first mail-order business, founded by Montgomery Ward and Company in 1872.
*Political Programs:
- Grangers worked to elect state legislators pledged to their program. At their peak, they managed to gain control of the legislatures in most of the MW states.
- Their purpose was to subject the railroads to government controls. The granger laws of the early 1870s imposed strict regulations on railroad rates and practices.
- New Regulations were soon destroyed by courts leading to the decline of the power of the association
Farmers' Alliances
- As early as 1875, farmers in parts of the South (notably Texas) were banding together in so-called Farmers' Alliances. By 1880, the southern Alliance has more than 4 million members, and a NW alliance was emerging.
- Like the Granges, the Alliances dealt with local problems.
- They formed cooperatives and other marketing mechanisms
- They established stores, banks, processing plants and other things to free them from the hated "furnishing merchants" who kept so many farmers in debt.
- Some alliance leaders also saw the movement as an effort to build a society in which economic competition might way to cooperation.
- Argued for a sense of mutual, neighborly responsibility that would enable farmers to resist oppressive outside forces.
- Alliance lecturers traveled throughout rural areas attacking the concentration of power in great corporations and financial institutions and promoting cooperation as an alternative economic system.
Populists/People's Party
- Called the Peoples party, but members known as Populists.
Sentiment for a third party was strongest among the members of the NW alliance and Southerners.
- In July 1892, 1300 exultant delegates pured into Omaha, Nebraska, to proclaim the creation of the new party, approve an official set of principles, and nominate candidates for the presidency and vice presidency.
- Election of 1892 demonstrated potential power for the new movement. James B. WEaver, the populist candidate,led nearly 1500 populist candidate to win seats in state legislatures. The party elected 3 governors, 5 senators, and 10 congressmen.
- Populists dreamed of creating a broad political coalition.
- Populism always appealed to farmers, particularly small farmers, or family farmers strugging to hold onto their land. In the south there were a lot of modest landowners to, and significant numbers of sharecroppers and tenant farmers.
- Populists tended to be not only economically, but also culturally marginal. Movement appealed above all to geographically isolated farmers who felt cut off from the mainstream of national life and resent their isolation. Populism gave such people an outlet for their grievances, and provided with a social experience of belonging to a community.
- Notable for the groups they failed to attract like Labor. Reps from the Knights of LAbor attended early organization meeting; the new party added a labor plank to its platform -- calling for shorter hours for workers and restrictions on immigration, and denouncing the use of private detective agencies as strike breakers in labor disputes.
-Most of the populist leaders were members of the rural middle class: professional people, editors or lawyers, or longtime politicians and agitators.
"free silver"
- Although for the most part Populism never attracted significant labor support (because of the economic interests of labor and the economic interests of farmers were often at odds), the Rocky Mountain states were one exception.
- They were successful in attracting miners to their causes, partly because local populist leaders endorsed a demand for "free silver," the idea of permitting silver to become, along with gold, the basis of the currency so as to expand the money supply.
- In colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and other areas of the Far WEst, silver mining was an important activity, and the People's party enjoyed substantial, if temporary, success there.
Colored Alliances
- In the south, white populists struggled with the question of whether to accept AA into the party. Their numbers and poverty made black farmers possibly valuable allies.
- There was an important black component to the movement - a network of "Colored Alliances" that by 1890 had 1.25+ members.
- Most white populists were willing to accept the assistance of AA only as long as it was clear that whites would remain indisputably in control.
- When southern conservatives began to attack populists for undermining white supremacy, the interracial character of the movement quickly faded.
Omaha platform 1892
Platform of the Populist Party. Demanded unlimited coinage of silver, graduated income tax, government regulation, secret ballets, and some pro-labor planks. appealed to farmers
Panic of 1893
- led to the most severe depression the nation had yet experienced
-began in 1893 when Philadelphia and Reading Railroad could not meet payments on loans and declared bankruptcy
- other companies followed and began to fail as well
- depressed prices in agriculture=farmers could not purchase other goods
-depressed conditions in Europe= loss of American Market abroad
- the depression showed how dependent the country was on railroad success
- once the depression began the economy rapidly crashed
- it led to the highest level of unemployment at that point
Coxey's Army
- The suffering of the depression caused naturally produced social unrest, especially among the enormous numbers of unemployed workers.
- 1894, Jacob S. Coxey, an Ohio businessman and People, began advocating a massive public works program to create jobs for the unemployed and an inflation of the currency.
- Became clear that his proposals were making no progress in Congress.
-Coxey announced that he would send a march of the unemployed to the capital to present their demands to the government.
- "Coxey's Army" as it was known, numbered only about 500 when it reached Washington, after having marched on foot from Ohio. Armed police barred them from the Capitol and arrested Coxey.
- Congress took no action on their demands.
William McKinley
- As the election of 1896 approached, Republicans, watching the failure of the Democrats to deal effectively with the depression, were confident of success.
- Republicans decided on Governor William Mckinley of Ohio, who had as a member of Congress authored the 1890 tariff act, as the party's presidential candidate.
- The republican platform opposed the free coinage of silver except by agreement with the leading commercial nations.
William Jennings Bryan
- 36 year old congressman, an an effective orator.
- Delivered "cross of Gold Speech" - Defenders of the gold standard seemed to dominate the debate until his final speech.
"cross of gold"
- Speech delivered by William Jennings Bryan, who defended "Free silver" in what became known as the most famous political speeches in American history.
- The closing passage sent his audience in a frenzy, the last line, "you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold"
- It became known as the "Cross of Gold Speech"
Democrat-Populist "fusion"
- The choice of Bryan and the nature of the Democratic platform created a quandary for the Populists.
- They had expected both major parties to adopt conservative programs and nominate conservative candidates, leaving the populists to represent the growing forces of protests.
- The populists faced the choice of naming their own candidate and splitting the protest vote or endorsing Bryan and losing their identity as a party.
- By now, the populists had embraced the free silver cause, but most populists still believed that other issues were more important.
- Many argues that "fusion" with the democrats - who had endorsed free silver by ignored most of the other populist demands - would destroy their party.
- Majority concluded that there was no viable alternative.
-Amid considerable acrimony, the convention voted to support Bryan.
demise of the Populists
- For the populists and their allies, the 1896 election results were a disaster.
- They had gambled everything on their "fusion" with the democratic PArty and lost.
- Within months of the election, the People's party began to dissolve. Never again would American farmers unite so militantly to demand economic reform.
Gold Standard Act of 1900
1900 - This was signed by McKinley. It stated that all paper money would be backed only by gold. This meant that the government had to hold gold in reserve in case people decided they wanted to trade in their money. Eliminated silver coins, but allowed paper Silver Certificates issued under the Bland-Allison Act to continue to circulate.
-McKinley wanted higher tariff rates
- he had to deal with the explosive silver question but he did not think the issue was very important
- he sent a commission to Europe to explore the possibility of a silver agreement with England and France
- the Republicans enacted the Gold Standard Act of 1900
- it confirmed the nations commitment to the gold standard and a specific gold value to the dollar
-the Act required all currency issued by the US to stick to that gold value
Half-Breeds
Favored tariff reform and social reform, major issues from the Democratic and Republican parties. They did not seem to be dedicated members of either party.
Mary E. Lease
Eloquent Kansas Populist who urged farmers to "raise less corn and more hell"
Populism
the political doctrine that supports the rights and powers of the common people in their struggle with the privileged elite
Stalwarts
Republicans fighting for civil service reform during Garfield's term; they supported Cleveland.
Chester A Arthur
(October 5, 1829 - November 18, 1886) was an American attorney and politician who served as the 21st President of the United States (1881-1885); he succeeded James A. Garfield after his assassination. At the outset, Arthur struggled to overcome a slightly negative reputation, which stemmed from his early career in politics as part of New York's Republican political machine. He succeeded by embracing the cause of civil service reform. His advocacy for, and subsequent enforcement of, the Pendleton Civil Service Act was the centerpiece of his administration.
Mugwumps
republicans who jumped party lines to vote for Cleveland
William Harvey's "Coin's Financial School"
best selling novel supporting the coinage of silver as a cure all for the economy.
Election of 1896
Republicans nominate William McKinley
known protectionist opposed free silver
caused 34 delegates from west to walk out & join Dem's
Democrats nominate William Jenning Bryan
Cross of Gold Speech helps him secure nomination
Youngest man ever nominated at 36
Great Orator known as "Great Commoner"
Dingley Tariff
raising rates to new record high levels.
Front-Porch Campaign
-William McKinley's campaign strategy: stay at home and give speeches from his porch, people can come if they want
-works
Oliver H. Kelley
-founded the Grange
-was appalled by the isolation and drabness of rural life he left the government
Crime of '73
-ended minting of silver dollars and placed the country on the gold standard
-considered a conspiracy by big bankers when Congress stopped the coinage of the silver dollar against the will of the farmers and westerners who wanted unlimited coinage of silver.
- The Fourth coinage Act of 1873 embraced the gold standard but demonetized silver. Therefore, because it set a specie standard of gold and not silver, miners felt it was a crime.
- Silver mine owners wanted to end the crime of '73 so the government would take their surplus of silver and pay them more than market price
- discontent farmers wanted currency inflation so they also wanted to end the crime of '73
- farmers wanted to raise the price of farm goods and make it easy to pay off farmers debts
-congress mad no response to the mine owners/ farmers demands
Roscoe Conkling
-leader of the Stalwarts (faction of the Republican party)
-Stalwarts favored traditional, professional machine politics
James G. Blaine
-leader of the Half-Breeds (faction of the Republican party)
-Half Breeds favored reform
-each faction competing for control of the party threatening to split it
Election of 1884
-James G. Blaine (Republican Half-Breed faction) VS. Grover Cleveland
-the reason for Cleveland's tight victory was from a religious controversy shortly before
-Catholics were offended by James. G Blaine so voted for Cleveland resulting in his VICTORY!
Wilson-Gorman Tariff
-enacted during Grover Cleveland's 2nd term reelected (president with Harrison in between his 2 terms)
-reduced tariffs with very modest reductions (not very much)
Tom Watson
-the only southern congressman elected in 1890 to openly identify with the Alliance
-elected to the U.S congress, became known as a champion of Georgia's farmers
James Weaver
-Populist presidential candidate of the People's Party who ran in the election of 1892 but Cleveland won
James A. Garfield
(Republican) the Half-Breeds' elected presidential candidate for the Republican Party for the election of 1880; assassinated four months into his presidency by Charles Guiteau (mentally unstable).
Farmer's Declaration of Independence
vowed to use all lawful & peacful means to free themselves from the tyranny of monopoly; recitation of the farmers' grievances and asserted their determination to use the power of the state to free themselves from the tyranny of monopoly
Ignatius Donnelly
Minnesota editor and politician; wrote the Omaha platform preamble; prized silver coinage
Bi-metallism
Using silver and gold as a basis for the dollar to expand money supply., cause inflation so crop prices go up, farmer make more money
Sherman Silver Purchase Act
Required the government to purchase an additional 4.5 million ounces of silver bullion each month for use as currency.
Marcus A. Hannah
Ohio boss of the party leaders. Set his eyes on William McKinley of Ohio for president. Opposed free silver except by agreement with leading commercial nations.
Granger Laws
Grangers state legislatures in 1874 passed law fixing maximum rates for freight shipments. The railroads responded by appealing to the Supreme Court to declare these laws unconstitutional
dark horse
candidate who receives unexpected support as a candidate for the nomination of a political convention
Rum Romanism and Rebellion
insult used by Republican to insult Democrats, which ended up costing the Republicans New York in the elections since it demoralized the Irish Americans who were populous voters
The "Money Question"
after the depression of 1893, Populists and many others blamed the depression on an inadequate supply of money. Conservatives blamed it on a lack of commitment to sound currency.
"though the people support the government, the government should not support the people"
Grover Cleveland