APUSH Chapter 23

APUSH Chapter 23 - Chapter 23 Political Paralysis in the...

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Chapter 23 Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age I. The “Bloody Shirt” Elects Grant I. The Republicans nominated Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, who was a great soldier but had no political experience. The Democrats could only denounce military Reconstruction andcouldn’t agree on anything else, and thus, were disorganized. The Republicans got Grant elected (barely) by “waving thebloody shirt,” or reliving his war victories, and used hispopularity to elect him, though his popular vote was only slightlyahead of rival Horatio Seymour. Seymour was the Democratic candidate who didn’t accept a redemption-of-greenbacks-for-maximum-valueplatform, and thus doomed his party. II. However, due to the close nature of the election, Republicans could not take future victories for granted. II. The Era of Good Stealings I. Despite the Civil War, the population still mushroomed, partiallydue to immigration, but during this time, politics became very corrupt. Railroad promoters cheated gullible customers. Stock-market investors were a cancer in the public eye. Too many judges and legislators put their power up for hire. II. Two notorious millionaires were Jim Fisk and Jay Gould. In 1869, the pair concocted a plot to corner the gold market thatwould only work if the treasury stopped selling gold, so they worked onPresident Grant directly and through his brother-in-law, but their planfailed when the treasury sold gold. III. The infamous Tweed Ring (AKA, “Tammany Hall) of NYC, headedby “Boss” Tweed, employed bribery, graft, and fakeelections to cheat the city of as much as $200 million. Tweed was finally caught when The New York Times secured evidence of his misdeeds, and later died in jail. Samuel J. Tilden gained fame by leading the prosecution of Tweed,and he would later use this fame to become the Democratic nominee inthe presidential election of 1876. Thomas Nast, political cartoonist, constantly drew against Tammany’s corruption. III. A Carnival of Corruption
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I. Grant, an easy-going fellow, apparently failed to see thecorruption going on, even though many of his friends wanted offices andhis cabinet was totally corrupt (except for Secretary of State HamiltonFish), and his in-laws, the Dent family, were especially terrible. II. The Credit Mobilier, a railroad construction company that paiditself huge sums of money for small railroad construction, tarredGrant. A New York newspaper finally busted it, and two members of Congresswere formally censured (the company had given some of its stock to thecongressmen) and the Vice President himself was shown to have accepted20 shares of stock. III. In 1875, the public learned that the Whiskey Ring had robbed theTreasury of millions of dollars, and when Grant’s own privatesecretary was shown to be one of the criminals, Grant retracted hisearlier statement of “Let no guilty man escape.” Later, in 1876, Secretary of War William Belknap was shown to have pocketed some $24,000 by selling junk to Indians. IV. The Liberal Republican Revolt of 1872
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APUSH Chapter 23 - Chapter 23 Political Paralysis in the...

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