This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: The period following the Civil War from 1865 till 1900 is often referred to as the Gilded Age. The term was coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, it means that the time period created a faade of being a period of general wealth and prosperity but in actuality it was not. During the Gilded Age corruption ran rampant and big business exploited workers and farmers. Workers and farmers organized unions and movements to protect their interests. Grant, a Republican, won the election of 1869, based purely on his reputation from the Civil War. Although the Civil War had ended, many problems still existed including Reconstruction, economic, and social issues. The Grant administration was in trouble from the beginning, having little to no political experience he appointed many of his former friends and comrades to his cabinet. His first term was filled with scandal. Among the scandals to occur during his first term was the Salary Grab Act of 1873 (in which Congress raised its pay by 50%) ( http://www.americanhistory.abc- clio.com/library/searches/searchdisplay.aspx? entryid=248147&fulltext=salary+grab+act&nav=non ). The Whiskey Ring affair also occurred, which involved government officials stealing millions of dollars of tax revenue. Another was the Credit Mobilier scandal; it involved the government giving bonds and work contracts to a phony railroad company in exchange for which many government officials received gifts (Nash, P. 552-553). Grants brother-in-law even took part in a scandal that involved Jay Gould and Jim Fisk trying to buy all of the gold in the country ( http://www.pbs.org/wnet/newyork/laic/episode3/topic4/e3_t4_s2-ml.html ). Grant knowing that many black soldiers had served valiantly during the Civil War supported black suffrage. He opposed the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan to use intimidation to keep blacks from voting. He supported the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which made intimidation, to deprive others of equal protection, voting rights, or the right to serve on a jury a federal crime ( http://www.americanhistory.abc- clio.com/library/searches/searchdisplay.aspx? countryid=undefined&relateddisplay=true&nav=non&fulltext=grant&entryid=254580 ). Although the Klan went below the surface by 1872 due to the enforcement of the law, other hate organizations would also arise to take up its place in the public arena. Unfortunately, during Grants second term the civil rights movement for freedmen came to an end. Many in the North had given up and the Panic of 1873 didnt help any. Grant summed up his tenure to Congress by stating, Failures, have been errors of judgment, not of intent. (Barrett, P. 311). Much of the good Grant could have done was prevented by powerful interests in and out of government (e.g., Radical Republicans, business corporations, stock and bonds, and speculators)....
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 06/05/2008 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '08 term at Austin Peay.
- Spring '08
- Civil War