GildedAgeOL - THE GILDED AGE: 1869-1889 Themes of the...

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1 THE GILDED AGE: 1869-1889 Themes of the Gilded Age: 1. Politics : hard vs. soft money ('70s & '90s); trusts (throughout late 19th c.) 2. Industrialism : U.S. became the world’s most powerful economy by 1890s: railroads, steel, oil, electricity, banking – America was transformed from an agrarian nation to an urban nation between 1865 and 1920. 3. Urbanization : millions of "New Immigrants" came from Southern and Eastern Europe, mostly to work in factories. a. Unions and Reform movements sought to curb the injustices of industrialism. b. Farmers increasingly lost ground in the new industrial economy and eventually organized (Populism) 4. The “Last West” 5. By 1900 society had become more stratified into classes than any time before or since. POLITICS I. Ulysses S. Grant as president A. Most popular figure to emerge from Civil War 1. People eager for a change from politics-as usual; Grant appeared to be non-political 2. Grant received and accepted many gifts such as houses and large sums of money as if the country owed him for winning the war. B. Presidential election of 1868 1. Grant the Republican nominee a. Platform of continued military Reconstruction b. Grant supporters during campaign began "waving the bloody shirt" – reviving gory memories of the Civil War 2. Democrats nominated Horatio Seymore on plank denouncing military Reconstruction. a. Wealthy easterners demanded federal bonds issued during war be redeemed in gold despite being purchased with badly depreciated paper greenbacks. b. "Ohio Idea" --Poorer mid-western delegates called for "repudiation" plank by demanding redemption of bonds in greenbacks to maximum extent possible - Hoped c. Seymore refused to support "Ohio Idea" hurting Democrats chances. d. Significance: Money issue dominates politics in 1870s (and 1890s) 3. Grant d. Seymore 214 to 80 but only by 300,000 in poplar vote a. Freedmen gave Grant 500,000 votes and his margin for victory. C. Grant presided over an era of unprecedented growth and corruption 1. Grant considered one of worst presidents in U.S. history 2. much corruption in his administration and his reluctance to try to end graft in other areas. 3. "Jubilee Jim" Fiske and Jay Gould attempted to corner gold market in 1869 a. Persuaded Grant to make the federal Treasury refrain from selling gold. b. Fiske and Gould then bid price of gold upward. c. Treasury finally released gold and the bubble burst ("Panic of 1869") d. Like the Crash of 1929 with overspeclulation and inflated stock values. e. Congressional probe found Grant did nothing illegal but acted recklessly. 4.
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This note was uploaded on 01/10/2010 for the course A D taught by Professor D during the Spring '09 term at Eastern Oregon.

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GildedAgeOL - THE GILDED AGE: 1869-1889 Themes of the...

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