Unformatted text preview: Lecture 4: Paradoxes of Gilded Age
The Two Party System
The Democratic Party
The Republican Party
Critics of the Two Party System: Mugwumps, Socialists,
Black Disfranchisement: starting w/ the “Mississippi Plan” in
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Reminder: Discussion Sections: Study Guide # 2, Paper # 2. Readings are not easy so feel free to have questions about difficult passages. Today: OneMinute Questionnaires, Disc. Section # 2
No Class next Monday—LABOR DAY
Lecture outlines will be posted on blackboard under “Course Information” on the combined Blackboard website—Sections 19
Response Monday’s OneMinute Questionnaires: Great job section 1. Expectations for Examinations The Paradoxes Of Gilded Age
Politics High voter turnout (average of almost 80% in pres elections from 18761896, the highest in our history)/unimpressive politicians
Intense party loyalty/increasing criticism of the two parties
Huge interest in politics/shrinking electorate due to black disfranchisement The Two-Party System
Most Americans identified very strongly w/ one of the two political parties. Party loyalty was much stronger than it is today. Very close elections, though Republicans typically won the presidency.
Presidential Elections 1876 Hayes (R) 1880 Garfield (R) 1884 Cleveland (D) 1888 B. Harrison (R) 1892 Cleveland (D) 1896 McKinley (R) 1880 Election: Typical of close
elections of the Gilded Age
elections 1884 Election 1892 Election Regional Strengths of the Parties The Democratic Party Criticized as the party of "Rum,
Romanism, and Rebellion" Strange bedfellows: Attracted Catholic immigrants in urban settings and Southern whites, who were overwhelmingly Protestant. They were therefore strong in the rural South and urban NE and MW.
Accused by their enemies of being on the wrong side of the temperance question, immigration, and the Civil War The Party of Free Trade Generally had a limited vision of government involvement in the economy, especially at the national level. Grover Cleveland: “I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering. Though the people support the gov’t, the gov’t should not support the people.” Political “Machines” Tammany Hall: at the local level urban Democrats believed in providing jobs in exchange for votes. Critiques of Machine Politics Republican Party Waving the “Bloody Shirt”: Sen.
George Frisbie Hoar (R-Mass)
George Constituencies of the Republican
Party African Americans, the vast majority of whom lived in the South until WWI
“Old stock” Americans, not from the South. Protective Tariff: Anti-Tariff Cartoon
1880s The Republicans and the Economy Republicans argued that their economic philosophy was more in keeping with the new corporate economy. They argued that the tariff would help American business grow; they also believed in providing federal land to the Railroads to promote economic development. Critics of the Party System Despite the immense power of the two party system, some critics emerged in the Gilded Age.
Critics raised a variety of issues: some focused on corruption, others on ideology. Civil Service Reform: Key issue for those
unhappy w/ the two main political parties.
unhappy Fear of Corporate Control of Gov’t Mugwumps or Liberal Republicans Americans who believed that corruption was ruining the political system. Mostly made up of dissatisfied Republicans but also some Democrats. Mugwumps Pendleton Civil Service Act of 1883 Third Party Politics At the local level, third parties were a common feature of political life in the Gilded Age. Many of them were quite radical in orientation.
Local labor parties (many successfully won local office)
Socialist Party (formed 1900)
People’s Party (formed 1892): made up of disgruntled farmers and workers. African American Disfranchisement begins in 1890 w/ the “Mississippi Plan” Poll Tax, Literacy Test, Grandfather Clause Massive Impact on Voter Turnout
Example of Louisiana White Black Total 1897 164,088 130,044 294,432 5,320 130,757 1900
(After constitution) 1904 91,716 1,342 (After Poll Tax) 93,058 ...
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- Fall '08
- History, Coalition government, Two Party System