Big Business and Political Corruption

Big Business and Political Corruption - Business and...

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Business and Politics in the Gilded Age; 1870-1895 I. Introduction: a. The Gilded Age – (1873) by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner i. Left no one unscathed (political hacks, Washington Lobbyists, Wall Street financiers, small-town boosters, wildcat miners, and the “great putty-hearted public”) b. Grant’s admin witnessed scandals like the Credit Mobilier scheme – an entrepreneurial congressman names Oakes Ames set up a company that plundered $44 million from the Union Pacific Railroad w/ the help of prominent politicians (inc. future pres. James Garfield) c. Term “conflict of interest” did not exist yet. d. More often than not, senators, representatives, and even members of the executive branch were on the payroll of business interests if not in their pockets. e. Mark Twain, too, fell prey to the “American dream” of getting rich. i. Plunged into one scheme after another in hope of making money 1. Piage typesetting machine proved his downfall. ii. By the 1890s, Twain faced bankruptcy; only the help of Standard Oil millionaire Henry H. Rogers enabled him to begin his dogged climb out of debt. f. In the GA, great fortunes were made and lost w/ dizzying frequency. i.
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course HIST 106 taught by Professor Smith during the Fall '08 term at Texas A&M.

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Big Business and Political Corruption - Business and...

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