Chapter 20

Chapter 20 - Chapter 20: Gilded Age Politics 1877-1900 The...

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Chapter 20: Gilded Age Politics 1877-1900 The Nature of Party Politics Politics served as a form of recreation Cultural- Political Alignments Memberships shifted according to issue in question Opposed gov’t interference in matters of personal liberty- Democratic party Believed gov’t could be an agent of moral reform identified w/Republican party People formed strong loyalties to individual politicians, loyalties that often overlooked crossness & corruption James G. Blaine typified this appeal- “Plumed Knight”- Disregarded his corrupt alliances w/businessmen & Party Factions Roscoe Conking- “stalwarts” Conkling worked spoils system to win gov’t jobs for his supporters “Half breeds” led by James G Blaine pursued influence as blatantly as Conkling did Mugwumps such as Senator Carl Shurz of Missouri scorned political roguishness that tainted Republican Issues of Legislation Issues of sectional controversies, patronage abuses, railroad regulation, tariffs & currency provoked heated debates but also important legislation Grand army of Republic, Union Army veterans allied w/Republican Party & cajoled Congress into providing Confederate veterans received none of this money, some southern states funded small pensions & built old age homes for ex-soldiers Civil Service Reform Pendleton Civil Service Act: signed by President Chester Arthur, created civil service commission to oversee competitive examinations for gov’t positions Economic policy occupied congressional business Railroads also played favorites, reducing rates to large shippers & offering free passenger passes ot Railroad Regulation Munn V Illinois, Supreme Court declared that grain warehouses owned by railroads acted in public interest Wabash- Court declared that only congress could limit rates involving interstate commerce Interstate Commerce Act: prohibited pools, rebates, & long-haul/short-haul rate discrimination & it created Interstate commerce Commission, nations 1 st regulatory agency to investigate railroad rate-making methods, Tariff Policy Congress initially created a tariff which levied duties on imported goods, to protect American manufactures
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Chapter 20 - Chapter 20: Gilded Age Politics 1877-1900 The...

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