2-5-08 - Gilded Age Politics- where we start taking steps...

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Gilded Age Politics- where we start taking steps to take over established territories like guam, become more of a world power. Roughly same period of time, about 1870 to roughly 1900. When looking at nation events we refer to this as Gilded age, Politics and National society has the bigger name gilded age, comes from Mark Twain. Twain 1872 book – Gilded Age. Talked about the society of the times criticize the political corruption that marked the era, the fascination with personal greed and wealth, not very complimentary. Looked like on the surface prospering, underneath much worse, not as well off. A lot of American’s agreed, and many historians do now. 1. a. Problems i. It was an era with pretty significant problems 1. was battling with the problems arising from industrialization, a. disparity in the wealthy and the poor. i. The poor couldn’t dig their way out. ii. Disproportionate corporate power iii. small businesses struggle to survive. iv. Periodic depression and prosperity b. government doesn’t do anything to balance out the business cycle i. (1873-1877 terrible depression, 1893-1897 another terrible depression). c. American’s became increasingly frustrated because the political system didn’t seem to rise to the challenge. d. Presidents were not powerful, they were honest enough. e. Big business was the power, industrial tycoons were the big deal i. set the tone for the economy. ii. Not looking to president, was looking to businessmen. f. Presidents and politicians don’t respond to the issues of the day. b. Parties i. democratic and republican parties very balanced. 1. No president won 1872-1896 by majority vote. 2. Neither party wanted to alienate their supporters. 3. Northerners wanted increased tariffs, made goods in US more competitive 4. Southerners were opposed, wanted to keep prices cheap as possible. 5. Most parties didn’t want to make stand on key issues. c. Issues i. Tariffs, Demands about railroad regulations, regulation of telegraph, currency (how much money can be in circulation, what type of print), how to obtain power to become executive branch, how to appoint post master general (purely support or because a good worker).
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ii. Neither parties nor politicians would stand up for this. 2. Rise of a 3 rd Party- Create third party to stand up for key issues. a. Who-Rural people in south and west, farmers mainly. i. Farmers feel left out, all the nation’s attention seems focused on how to grow manufacturing in the US. ii. As people flood into cities more and more political power resides in urban areas, more and more house seats flex to cities. iii. Farmers feel unloved and unappreciated. Farmers were suffering, crop prices were declining, banks were foreclosing on their land, farmers saw no relief in site. 1.
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course HI 252 taught by Professor Pruden during the Spring '08 term at N.C. State.

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2-5-08 - Gilded Age Politics- where we start taking steps...

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