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Gilded Age

age of American history from 1877-1900 defined by political stagnation, forgettable presidents, and corruption

solid South

refers to the strong support of Democrats in the South from 1877 to the turn of the century

Roscoe Conkling

a powerful Republican leader who provided jobs to the party faithful in the New York Customs House


supporters of Roscoe Conkling and the Republicans


supporters of James G. Blaine and opponents of Roscoe Conkling


fence sitters in partisan Gilded Age politics

Rutherford B. Hayes

Republican elected 1876; most significantly ended Reconstruction by removing federal troops form the South; attempted to get rid of corrupt tendencies; no liquor in the White House; did not want to restrict Chinese immigration

James Garfield

Democrat elected in 1880; gave offices to Halfbreeds; assassinated in 1881

Chester A. Arthur

Democrat into office 1884; formerly Garfield's VP; distqanced himself from Stalwarts; supported bill reforming civil service; approved development of modern navy; questioned the high protective tariff

Thomas Reid

Irish American author who wrote about the American West, Mexico, and other untamed areas;

James G. Blaine

leader of the Halfbreeds; reshaped the Republican party from antislavery to business-oriented; lost election of 1884 to Cleveland because of evidence of his corruption in railroad scandals

Grover Cleveland

Democrat elected 1884; believed in limited government; passed the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 (regulated business) and the Dawes Act (to benefit Native Americans) ; reclaimed government land

Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion

label of the Democratic Party in the election of 1884 because he had fathered and illegitimate child

Pendleton Act

created a Civil Service system in which people would be elected based on merit and their score on a competitive test; prohibited civil servants from making political contributions; politicians began to depend more on the wealthy

Greenback Party

favored policy with money not backed by specie; angered by the Specie Resumption Act which withdrew greenbacks printed during the Civil War; party died out after the hard times of the 1870s

James B. Weaver

Populist Party candidate in election of 1892; one the few third party candidates to win electoral votes

Crime of 1873

the name critics gave to the government's removal of greenbacks and stop of silver coining

Bland-Allison Act (1878)

passed over Hayes' veto; allowed coinage of silver between 2 and 4 million dollars each month; did not satisfy farmers, debtors, and miners

Benjamin Harrison

Republican winner of election of 1888; swept the Northern vote; during his first two years Republicans controlled Congress and presidency

billion dollar Congress

enacted the McKinley Tariff , increased pensions to Civil War Veterans, Sherman Antitrust Act, Sherman Silver Purchase Act, passed later defeated bill to protect voting rights of African Americans

veterans' pensions

increased by the billion dollar Congress under Benjamin Harrison

McKinley Tariff (1890)

raised the tax on foreign products to over 48 %

Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890)

increased coinage of silver but not enough to satisfy farmers who wanted unlimited coinage of silver

Populist/ People's Party

based on the Omaha platform; called for political and economic reform; wanted direct election of U.S. senators and state laws enacted by voters themselves; unlimited coinage of silver, graduated income tax, public ownership of railroads, telegraph and telephone systems controlled by gov, loans and federal warehouses for farmers, eight hour workdays

Omaha Platform

beliefs of the Populist Party; first drafted in 1892

Panic of 1893

stock market crashed and railroads went bankrupt from over building; 20% unemployment; Cleveland favored the gold standard and a hands-off policy to fix the economy

gold drain

U.S. gold reserve fell to dangerously low levels when investors began to trade in their silver dollars for gold dollars; Cleveland repealed Sherman Silver Purchase Act but that didn't solve the issue; $65 million in godl borrowed from J.P. Morgan

Coxey's Army

1894 march of the unemployed to Washington demanding gov spend $ to create more jobs

William Havey: Coin's Financial School

convinced Americans that financial troubles were caused by conspiracy of rich bankers; unlimited coined silver was the answer

Willliam Jennings Bryan, "Cross of Gold"

made Bryan the Democrat nominee for election of 1896; represented want for unlimited coinage of silver

free silver

unlimited coinage of silver

WIlliam McKinley

Republican winner election of 1896; supported a high protective tariff but also was a friend of labor; blamed the Democrats for Panic of 1893 in his campaign

Gold Bug Democrats

part of the Democratic Party that broke away from the principle of unlimited coinage of silver and the rest of the Democratic Party; included Grover Cleveland

Mark Hanna

McKinley's head of campaign; promoted him through the mass media; given advantage by the split of the Democrats; raised billions of dollars from business owners who wanted to protect their businesses

Dingley Tariff (1897)

higher tariff enacted by Republicans upont he 1896 victory of McKinley

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