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Gilded Age Politics

Gilded Age Politics - Gilded Age Politics I PARTY POLITICS...

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Gilded Age Politics I. PARTY POLITICS a. A period of “do-nothing” politics b. Still Democrats and Republicans and they are similar c. Neither take a stand against big business d. Most of the Presidential candidates are obscure e. Congress is run by big business f. 80-90% voter turnout g. Vote as you shoot II. LOCAL POLITICS a. ON THE CITY LEVEL i. Start to see the rise of political machines. The people in charge of running the cities. Machines arise to take care of city, largely doing it for their own benefit. They are skimming so much money off of the top. Political machines “take care” of immigrants so that they can get a vote. Very corrupt. Appearance is for the people, and immigrants love them, but machines are not fixing things they are making cosmetic fixes. ii. Boss Tweed- Tammany Hall- Tweed gained control of much of the city government. In control of mechanisms of election and paying off anybody to get what they want. Tweed was convicted of bribery on 43 counts. Tweed stole millions of dollars from NY, a courthouse that cost more than Alaska b. ON THE STATE LEVEL
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i. Start to see some initial efforts for RR, banks, utilites, and regulating the governments so it helps the people ii. Government does not do anything about unemployment iii. A lot of state efforts at regulation were shot down by Supreme Court III. PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS a. HAYES (1876)- Tainted by his fraudulency. Starts to work on civil service reform. First to say there need to be merit to get a job in government. Because of his election, he can’t get a lot done. b. THE 1880 ELECTION AND AN ASSASSINATED PRESIDENT- Hayes does not run again and republicans run James Garfield. He wants to focus on civil service reform and reforming the tariff. Charles Guiteau assassinates Garfield. Guiteau wanted a job in government. Chester Arthur becomes president. Shady guy, and a lot though he would be corrupt. He backs away from corruption and he also wants the civil service reform. Arthur gets the Pendleton Civil Service Act- requires someone to take a test in order to qualify for government jobs. Comes out against the tariff. He finds that it is was too high. Treasury does not know what to do with tariff surplus. Bad for the economy. Has to split with his own party for it.
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