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Politics of the Gilded Age

  • Era of “forgettable presidents” during the Gilded Age that was plagued by corruption, laissez-faire economics, and Social Darwinism
  • Campaigning grew immensely and voter turnout was high despite it being a low point in U.S. political history
  • Huge political issues during Gilded Age: patronage, the tariff, civil service reform
  • Dems favored states’ rights & Reps historically supported gov. intervention until after Reconstruction; otherwise, these 2 parties didn’t have major agendas & they didn’t differ that much from each other
  • There was also a huge debate over how fast the money supply should grow (those who wanted increase $ in circulation vs. “sound-money” people who wanted the opposite)
  • Women became increasingly involved in politics: suffragists reunited in 1890 in the National American Woman Suffrage Association & women became involved in ending prostitution, assisting the poor, agitating for prison reform, & improving ed. for females
  • The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was formed in 1874 & later under Frances Willard, the WCTU adopted a “Do Everything” policy
  • The 1896 Election set the stage as an arena for national debate & for the reform politics of the Progressive Era

Politics of the Gilded Age

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  1. Intro
    • Overview
      • Campaign Strategy of “Do-Little” Government
      • Presidential Politics
      • The Great Presidential Puzzle
      • Presidential Politics
      • Another President Who Had a Rise in the World
      • The Politics of the Status Quo
      • Cultural Politics and the People
      • Republican Factions
      • Blaine Covered in Scandals
        • Mugwumps
        • Grover Cleveland
        • The Money Question
        • Coxey's Army
        • Women and Politics
        • Women and Temperance
        • Prohibition Supporters
          • Election of 1896
          • Bryan's “Cross of Gold” Speech
          • “Cross of Gold” Speech
          • Election of 1892 and 1896
          • Example 1
            • Example 2
              • Example 3
                • Intro 0:00
                • Overview 0:06
                • Campaign Strategy of “Do-Little” Government 2:46
                  • Close Elections
                  • Campaigning
                  • Senator Roscoe Conkling
                  • Waving the Bloody Shirt
                  • Big City Political Machines
                • Presidential Politics 7:24
                  • Rutherford B. Hayes
                  • James Garfield
                • The Great Presidential Puzzle 9:58
                  • Roscoe Conkling
                  • James A. Garfield
                • Presidential Politics 10:42
                  • Chester A. Arthur
                  • Pendleton Act
                  • Grover Cleveland
                  • Grover the Good
                • Another President Who Had a Rise in the World 13:11
                  • The Toe-Path to the White House
                  • New York Customs House
                • The Politics of the Status Quo 13:53
                  • The Pendleton Act
                  • Civil Service Commission
                  • Excise Tax and tariff
                • Cultural Politics and the People 15:29
                  • Politics Became a Form of Entertainment
                  • Party Loyalty
                  • Ethnocultural Issues
                • Republican Factions 16:47
                  • Stalwarts
                  • Roscoe Conkling's Faction
                  • Half-breeds
                  • James G Blaine
                • Blaine Covered in Scandals 18:14
                • Mugwumps 20:14
                  • Mugwumps
                  • Fence-Sitters
                  • The Adoption of the Secret Ballot
                  • Images of Mugwumps
                • Grover Cleveland 23:18
                  • First Democrat
                  • Treasury Crisis
                • The Money Question 24:29
                  • Sound-Money
                  • An Era of Chronic Deflation
                  • Bland-Allison Act of 1878
                • Coxey's Army 25:46
                  • Jacob Coxey
                  • The Creation of Government Jobs
                  • The Issus of Government Bonds
                  • Assist the Unemployed
                • Women and Politics 27:49
                  • National American Woman Suffrage Association
                  • State Campaigns
                  • Separate Spheres
                • Women and Temperance 30:31
                  • Woman's Christian Temperance Union
                  • Frances Willard
                  • Carry Nation
                • Prohibition Supporters 32:39
                • Election of 1896 33:21
                  • Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894
                  • J.P. Morgan
                  • William Jennings Bryan
                • Bryan's “Cross of Gold” Speech 35:41
                  • The Democratic Silver Campaign
                  • The Paralyzing Equilibrium
                • “Cross of Gold” Speech 37:50
                  • Laboring Interests
                  • The Toilers
                • Election of 1892 and 1896 38:43
                  • McKinley's Consolidation
                  • Republican Dominance in National Politics
                • Example 1 40:14
                • Example 2 42:55
                • Example 3 45:12