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National Politics in the Gilded Age

Gilded Age

Referring to the superficial glitter of the new wealth so prominently displayed in the last years of the 19th century. Coined by Mark Twain.

Solid South

Solidly Democratic until the mid 20th century

Roscoe Conkling

The NY Republican senator who became a powerful leader of his party by dictating who in the R ranks would be appointed to lucrative jobs in the NY Customs House.


Conkling and his Supporters were known as this___________.


The Rivals for patronage of the ____________ were the_________.


Republicans who did not play the patronage game were ridiculed for "sitting on the fence."

Rutherford B. Hayes

President of the US, elected in 1876.

James Garfield

A halfbreed of Ohio who was the Republican Compromise for nomination. Elected as president in 1880.

Chester A Arthur

Elected as Vice President for ________________ in 1880. He became president after Garfield was murdered by a deranged Stalwart. Fairly successful as president, but was not renominated in the 1884 election.

Thomas Reid

A sharp-tongued bully who became Speaker of the House in 1890 and instituted an autocratic rule over the House that took years to break.

James G Blaine

The leader of the halfbreeds. He had the potential of being a great political leader and largely succeeded in reshaping the Republicans from an antislavery party into a well organized, business-oriented party.

Grover Cleveland

The Democratic nominee in the 1884 election.

"Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion"

The label of the Democrats during one of the dirtiest campaigns in history.

Pendleton Act

An act passed in 1881 that set up the Civil Service Commission and created a system by which applicants for classified federal jobs would be selected on the basis for their scores on a competitive examination.

Greenback Party

A party formed by supporters of the paper money, not backed by government specie.

James B. Weaver

A member of the Greenback Party from Iowa who was elected to Congress in 1878.

Crime of 1873

The halting of the coining of silver by Congress in 1873.

Bland-Allison Act (1878)


Benjamin Harrison

The grandson of the former president, William Henry Harrison, whom the Republicans campaigned for.

Billion Dollar Congress

In which the Republicans controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress.

Veterans' Pensions

One of the acts of the Billion Dollar Congress, it increased the monthly pensions to Civil war Veterans, Widows, and Children

McKinley Tariff (1890)

A tariff that raised the tax on foreign products to a peacetime high of over 48 percent.

Sherman Silver Purchase Act (1890)

An act that increased the coinage of silver, but in amounts too small to satisfy farmers and miners.

Populist (People's) Party

Foundation for this party was provided by the Alliance movement...

Omaha Platform

Hosted by the Populist party, the goal of the meeting was to nominate candidates for president and VP for the new party, and also to do something about he concentration of economic power in the hands of trusts and bankers.

Panic of 1893

In the spring and summer of 1893, the stock market crashed due to overspeculation, and dozens of railroads went into bankruptcy as a result of overbuilding. It lasted for almost 4 years.

Gold Drain

When the gold reserve fell to a dangerously low level.

Coxey's Army

A march to WA in 1894 by thousands of unemployed led by Populist Jacob A. Coxey of Ohio

William Harvey, Coin's Financial School

The author of a pamphlet with simple lessons in economics to end the depression; the little book that taught millions of discontented Americans that their troubles were caused by a conspiracy of rich bankers.

William Jennings Bryan, "Cross of Gold"

A man who addressed the crowd at the election convention of 1896. His speech known as this ____________ literally made him the Democratic nominee for president.

Free Silver

Inflated currency, a 16 to 1 ounce ratio to gold.

"Gold Bug" Democrats

A conservative faction that either formed the separate national Democratic party or voted republican.

William McKinley

The republican presidential nominee, from Ohio, best known for his support of a high protective tariff but also considered a friend of labor.

Mark Hanna

The financial power behind McKinley's nomination as well as the subsequent campaign for president.

Dingley Tariff (1897)

A higher tariff enacted by the Republicans.

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