648-673 q8

648-673 q8 - James Yang Pg 648-673 1 Why did the American...

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James Yang Pg. 648-673 1. Why did the American public mistrust organized power, and was their reasoning justified? The Gilded Age stands out in American history due to the corruption that occurred in the government, from Grant, to Tilden and Hayes. All of the mistrust that the American public had stems from the government, and the people had good reason for doing so. The government is the main source of organized power, and the weak presidencies of Johnson and Grant, accompanied by bribes and dubious deals led Americans to distrust it. The most popular Republican politician, James Blaine from Maine, had been paid off by favors to railroads and lied about it later. If the most popular Republican politician was found out to be a liar, than trusting the government was made nearly impossible. Also, most politicians were very open about their policies, and Conkling from New York even argued against liberal reformers that government jobs should be rewarded based on loyalty not merit. To politicians, it did not matter how capable officeholders were, rather it mattered whom they supported. Qualified workers being replaced by incompetent friends sent a wave of fear through America, and led Americans to mistrust the government. This uncertainty is perfectly reasonable, because the scandals, bribes, and favoritism were all real, and the negative effects on Americans were obvious. 2. Do you believe that the urban bosses stepping into local government positions helped or hampered American and why? When native-born elites left government positions in search of more lucrative businesses, their old traditions were replaced by the new ideas of urban bosses that stepped in. This change helped America as a whole, because the urban bosses wished to win as many votes as they could and to do so spread politics all around the city. With control based mainly on the immigrant vote, bosses such as “Bit Tim” Sullivan and “Hinky Dink” Kenna, helped the lower social classes in their cities. Jobs were handed out in desperate times and Sullivan of New York even gave out shoes for the children and turkeys to struggling families on Thanksgiving. George Plunkitt even attended funerals and weddings if the voters wished, helping brides and mourners in return for a vote. This personal connection benefited the boss, giving him votes, and also the lower classes, giving them food, clothing, and job opportunities. These relationships also led to skyrocketing voter turnouts, because party leaders wished to make politics worthwhile.
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648-673 q8 - James Yang Pg 648-673 1 Why did the American...

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