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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

                Transcription: Politics of the Gilded Age

                Welcome back to

                This lesson focuses on politics of the Gilded Age.0002

                In this lesson, we are going to continue talking about the Gilded Age as an era of corruption, and also as an era of forgettable presidents.0007

                In many ways, we are going to see that the two political parties during this time are not that much different from one another.0019

                They do not have a lot of vision, either party.0026

                And in fact, there is a lot of bickering back and forth, there is a lot of mudslinging.0032

                And ultimately, we see that that politicians of the time and the presidents of the time lacked leadership, 0038

                and ultimately ignore a lot of problems that ordinary Americans were facing during this time period.0045

                This will create a power vacuum and will eventually lead to grassroots movements like the populist movement,0053

                and eventually, the progressive movement as well.0060

                As most politicians during the Gilded Age continue to advocate for limited government, laissez-faire, capitalism 0064

                and self reliance that the government should not intervene.0074

                They embrace the idea of social Darwinism.0077

                Therefore, they are not helping the people who were struggling, they were not helping minorities, this type of thing.0079

                The idea that the government would help, that was not even part of the picture at all, at this point in history.0085

                The campaign tactics were pretty despicable during this time period.0094

                There is no other way of putting it.0100

                This was actually considered a low point in U.S. history and U.S. political history in particular.0102

                The big issues of the age were civil service reform.0109

                As increasingly we are seeing that the spoils system, the patronage system, is becoming a huge corrupt problem in government.0113

                And people are demanding change, they want to clean up government and make it work effectively, efficiently, in a just way.0124

                The other issue that is going to be somewhat controversial is the money question.0133

                And of course, the populists are going to be instrumental in getting that conversation started.0138

                We will talk about women in politics, as increasingly more women will get involved in various political issues, especially temperance.0145

                We will also talk about suffrage, eventually.0155

                And then, we will finish out the lesson with talking about significance of the election of 1896.0157

                Let us get into it.0167

                As I was saying, that the laissez-faire approach of the Gilded Age governments will ultimately result in a do-little government.0169

                They do not do a lot, they do not take a lot of action.0179

                This is going to cause resentment that will continue to build throughout the later 19th century.0182

                Both of Republicans and Democrats avoid taking strong positions on issues.0190

                They will bicker about the tariffs, civil service reform.0196

                But they do not take bold action, they do not have a clear vision.0200

                A lot is not going to get done.0207

                Therefore, we do not remember a lot of these presidents.0209

                There were some close elections during this age between 1876 and 1892.0212

                You may remember this, when Hayes was elected.0220

                And in fact, that ended up only happening because of a backroom decision in Congress.0224

                And ultimately, they compromise, they allow the Republican to come in and 0232

                they say that they will institute home rule and that ended Reconstruction.0237

                Then, we will also talk about the significance of the 1892 election as well, that ultimately, people are pretty divided.0242

                And they do not have a strong feeling one way or the other, Democrat or Republican.0250

                And of course, the Populist Party is becoming an important voice in the political discussion.0255

                But they still do not have enough of the following to win in the elections in the 1890’s.0261

                Campaigning grew immensely and voter turnout was high.0271

                This could possibly be viewed as a positive aspect, especially the voter turnout.0275

                Despite this being a low point in U.S. political history.0281

                Campaigning was on the rise but we will see in some instances that the campaigning gets dirty.0286

                And a lot of the candidates will use low brow tactics where they dig up dirt on their opponents 0292

                and they try to expose scandals or secrets in their personal lives to try to embarrass and smear their reputation.0304

                Most people, even today, would say that that is one thing that turns them off with politics,0316

                turns them off against politics where they do not just want to participate.0321

                That the idea that all politicians are corrupt, they do not care, I do not have a voice, and so forth.0326

                This is a time period when it is kind of interesting because people are getting more involved, they are paying attention,0333

                they are getting pulled into the debate.0339

                Yet, we are not seeing high quality civil servants at this time.0342

                Party patronage was a huge theme and party identity was extremely important.0348

                This will also become popularized by Republican Senator Roscoe Conklin who was from New York.0354

                He was the leader of the stalwart faction.0364

                The stalwarts tended to favor Hayes and his very kind of laid back approach to dealing with the spoils system.0371

                The stalwarts are conservative Republicans who will ultimately oppose civil service exams.0386

                And that is going to become a contentious issue, that in many ways, will divide the Republican Party into a couple different factions.0392

                I will get more into that later.0402

                Republicans were known for waving the bloody shirt and for supporting business, protectionism, temperance, or prohibition.0405

                And they tended to have support from Protestant Americans.0412

                Democrats were definitely polled in big cities.0418

                Political machines, we are also going to see many ethnic groups like the Irish, the Germans,0425

                they tended to be against temperance or prohibition.0429

                We will see this ethnocultural divide as well, in terms of party identification.0434

                And then again, this is an important theme to keep in mind that the Gilded Age was plagued by corruption.0440

                Who were these forgettable Presidents of the Gilded Age?0450

                The first one, Rutherford B. Hayes.0454

                He is known for being the first President after Reconstruction.0456

                He helps to end Reconstruction.0465

                In many ways, this is going to be the first President of a newly redefined, refashioned Republican Party .0467

                That is where I’m trying to get at.0474

                The presidency was ultimately decided by one vote.0476

                Troops were withdrawn from the south and that put an end to Reconstruction.0479

                During his presidency, it was an era of immigration, we have talked about in the last lesson, industrialization and the rise of labor unions.0484

                He tried to run an honest administration but was not very successful in terms of getting Congressional support for legislation.0495

                He was not very well liked and in many ways, we are going to see a divided Congress during his administration.0503

                He was not able to get a lot done.0509

                Then, James Garfield became President but as you could see, he was not in office for very long, as he was assassinated.0511

                He was shot by a man whom he denied a job.0520

                This practice of patronage of the spoils system that had been instituted 0524

                all the way back to Jacksonian times had evolved and become a very corrupt system.0529

                People are very supportive of civil service reform or adamantly against it.0538

                In this case, we could see Guiteau is extremely against.0545

                He went to extremes to express his point of view.0551

                Patronage again, still part of how he appointed government employees despite Congressional demands for good civil service laws.0557

                There is a move toward instituting civil service that only qualified people should be in positions of power and get the job,0565

                not because you know someone, not through your connections, not for doing political favors.0574

                We will see that Garfield was actually open to civil service reform but that also made him enemies.0579

                This is going to highlight that this is a problem.0587

                This whole civil service issue that government, Federal government, in particular, needs to face it head on.0591

                This is a cartoon depicting Roscoe Conklin trying to solve the great presidential puzzle0600

                and deduce who would be the Republican's best candidate in 1880.0605

                Conklin was very influential, very much involved in the stalwart faction.0610

                He hoped to see Ulysses Grant nominated for third term.0618

                He was always a very good friend of his and worked hard in his campaign.0622

                But many Republicans including James A. Garfield opposed a third term.0627

                Here you can see how he was very influential, in terms of bringing people in 0633

                and having a lot of influence over the political system at the time.0640

                Chester Arthur who was President from 1881 to 1885.0647

                When he became President, the murder of Garfield affected him deeply.0655

                He realized that as President, that his duty was to all the people not just to one party.0658

                He worked to carry on Garfield's work and ask for a new civil service law.0664

                Huge backlash from the stalwarts but we will see that eventually they do pass the Pendleton Act.0669

                This will effectively put into place civil service reform.0676

                This is when we are going to apply for certain jobs, people have to take a civil service exam.0683

                That they are qualified to have a position in government.0688

                This is a step in the right direction for progressive minded people.0694

                For people who believe in civil service and it should not be who you know but what you know that gets you the job.0697

                During his second term, he did interfere with the railroad state strike because of the mail service.0705

                We talked about that before with the American Railway Union, that was crushed by the Federal troops that were sent it.0710

                Grover Cleveland was another key President during the time.0720

                He is the only President to have served two un-consecutive terms.0726

                He was known as Grover the good, he worked to improve the Civil Service System, 0731

                kind of build upon these civil service laws that had been put in place.0738

                He forced the railroads to return 81,000,000 acres of government land that they had taken illegally.0743

                He is a bit different than the other Gilded Age Presidents in that regard,0750

                that he starts to change policy regarding these robber barons, if you will.0755

                He did have to deal the tariff issue and in the election of 1888, Cleveland and the Democrats stood for low tariff.0764

                The election was close and eventually Harrison won the electoral vote, although Cleveland won the popular votes.0771

                As you will see, he is not President between these years.0778

                During his second term, he will interfere with the railroad service as well.0783

                I have another image here for you, another President who had a rise in the world, from the towpath to the White House.0791

                This is a page of a Puck magazine with a cartoon showing Chester Arthur kicked out of the New York customs house 0800

                by a man holding paper charges in front of a sign pointing to Washington.0806

                This is just supposed to point out the issues with the political machines,0813

                how much they had been affected by corruption and that the President even is not having too much luck.0823

                The politics of the status quo.0839

                One of the main goals during the Gilded Age for the Presidents was to dispense political patronage after Garfield and reform the spoils system.0841

                Again, the law that I was talking about here, some actual description of it.0850

                Pendleton Act was passed, we have a civil service commission being instituted 0855

                that would ensure that government jobs were given to qualified people.0861

                This sounds all fine and dandy, but in reality we are going to see that, the day to day, 0866

                that ultimately most jobs continued to be given based on patronage.0874

                This is going to continue to, people have to keep fighting for and enforcing this law.0881

                One of the other most contentious issues is what to do with the excise tax and tariff.0887

                This became a major fighting point between Democrats and Republicans.0892

                What will help the economy, having a tariff and a protectionist policy or not?0896

                How do we get revenue and so forth, how can we trade effectively and build our capitalist system.0901

                Democrats favored states’ rights and Republicans historically supported government intervention until early after Reconstruction.0909

                This is a time period where we see very laissez-faire approach with both parties.0918

                There are some minor differences, but for the most part, they did not have different agendas.0924

                I want to talk a little bit about cultural politics and the people.0931

                We are going to see an ethnocultural differences.0935

                We do see, before I get into that actually, more and more people are voting.0939

                Proportionally, there is an increasing voter turnout for President during the elections of 1876-1892, and politics became a form of entertainment.0945

                Although, party loyalty was a serious matter and people chose their parties based on their background,0955

                and some of the issues that they are connected to.0962

                There were sectional differences, in the south for instance, they voted solidly Democratic.0967

                Religion and ethnicity also affected party loyalty.0974

                Democrats tended to be foreign born and Catholic.0979

                Republicans tend to be native born and Protestant.0982

                There were other issues, education, the liquor question, and the observance of the Sabbath.0985

                These were also party issues.0992

                For instance, the Irish and the German immigrant groups tended to be against prohibition,0994

                whereas Protestant groups that were very much involved in the temperance movement supported republicans.1001

                One thing that also cause problems in politics was that 1011

                there was a lot of division and factionalization even within, especially, the Republican Party.1015

                The Democrats were pretty much dominated by southern ideology, states’ rights.1022

                But the Republican factions were, I think much more severe.1029

                The two major factions that I would like focus on here, the stalwarts, I mentioned these before.1035

                They are conservative Republicans who opposed civil service exams.1041

                They grew out of Roscoe Conklin's faction.1045

                As a Congressmen, he considered himself person.1050

                He had a very high view of himself.1055

                He criticized lenient policies of the Hayes administration.1058

                The half breeds were moderate Republicans who backed Hayes and moderate civil service reform.1062

                These grow out of James G. Blaine’s faction that dealt with Chester Arthur’s administration after Garfield’s death.1068

                The usage of these terms, however, ended.1077

                These terms were used in the early part of the Gilded Age but these divisions are going to have a long-term impact.1082

                This is a shocking cartoon.1097

                This is to help illustrate that smear campaigns were part of the Gilded Age politics.1104

                And this tension between Senator Blaine and Roscoe Conklin was pretty harsh and pretty messy, you could say.1111

                They had this huge rivalry and it got ugly, as these two factions are going to be battling it out in the voting booths,1123

                and certainly during campaigns.1134

                We are going to see in fact, when Cleveland was running for office, that Blaine is going to actually be targeted.1139

                We are also going to see that, in this picture, this is James Blaine.1151

                And in fact, there was a famous saying and this ties into what happened in 1884,1161

                there were supporters of the Republican Party candidate James Blaine,1168

                who coined the jingle that alluded to an illegitimate child that his opponent Grover Cleveland had allegedly fathered.1172

                And that slogan went, mama, where is my pa? Going to the White House, haha.1177

                Cleveland responded and this ties into this picture here.1186

                Blaine, Blaine, James D. Blaine, the continental liar from the state of Maine.1190

                Blaine actually had been associated with the Credit Mobiler scandal.1197

                If you remember from the Grant administration.1202

                This again was kind of exposing that he is full of scandals.1205

                He is tattooed with scandals underneath his clothing.1210

                This is kind of messy.1214

                I’m going to show you the cartoon that goes with the Cleveland.1217

                The other saying regarding Cleveland, in a minute.1223

                I also would like to talk about the mugwumps, here is another group of Republicans, former Republicans.1228

                Mugwumps were pompous, self important people, that is where the name comes, 1234

                who left the Republican Party who were reformers.1239

                In many ways, they did not like the factionalization that was happening, understandably so.1242

                They supported Democrat Grover Cleveland.1247

                Remember, he was known as Grover the good, the reformist Governor of New York.1251

                And ultimately, they are going to help give him the numbers, helping him to win the margin New York.1256

                They denied the machine system legitimacy and injected an elitist bias into political opinion.1264

                Mugwumps, they are fence sitters who could not make up their minds.1272

                Goody goody is also associated with this word.1276

                I have some visuals to go along with this.1281

                The idea is that you have one cheek on one side and one on the other.1283

                Northern states, just to also tie into this elitist bias.1290

                Northern states began to impose literacy test.1295

                Northern states also began to impose literacy test to limit voting rights of immigrants,1301

                and the adoption of the secret ballot in the early 1890’s abetted the mugwump’s campaign.1306

                Here we have some cartoons regarding the mugwumps, as well as the famous cartoon that relates to the mama where is my pa?1317

                Gone to the White House, ha ha ha.1328

                That was supposed to smear Cleveland's reputation as having this illegitimate child.1330

                This is another one, this grim back-page Judge cartoon depicts a harsh end for four leading independent Republicans, the mugwumps, 1343

                who were guilty of the crime of supporting Democratic Presidential nominee Grover Cleveland.1352

                Their hands on the rope indicate that they have committed suicide, rather than been lynched.1358

                The victims are, from left to right, the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, former Interior Secretary Carl Schurz,1365

                New York Times editor George Jones, and Harper's Weekly editor George William Curtis, in a girdle with attached fan,1373

                which of course is supposed to smear them and be very critical of their position.1383

                Here is the great American mugwump.1389

                Sits on a fence with this mug on one side and the wump on the other.1392

                A little bit more on Grover Cleveland.1401

                He was the first Democrat to be President since the end of the Civil War.1404

                One of the questions to think about was that was he really consistent with the Democratic party regarding laissez-faire.1408

                Was he a friend or a foe of the railroads, the railroad workers.1416

                He actually vetoed pensions for Civil War veterans, that does not make him very popular.1419

                He was against the high tariff, when he faced an economic depression,1426

                he dealt with the treasury crisis by repealing the mildly inflationary Sherman Silver Purchase Act,1430

                and with the aid of Wall Street maintained the treasury's gold reserve rather than with business failures.1441

                Farm mortgage foreclosures and unemployment.1447

                This you can see is going to infuriate the farmers and motivate them to get involved in the populist movement, to make that connection.1450

                This act did not do enough to help the farmers.1459

                He is going to be criticized for his policies as well.1466

                Speaking of the money issue, there is going to be a huge debate during this era and how fast the money supply should grow.1471

                Those who wanted an increase in circulation vs. sound money people who wanted the opposite.1478

                This is pretty important, kind of the soft money vs. the hard money.1484

                Due do to the U.S. Banking Act of 1863, there was a decrease in freewheeling activity of state chartered banks issuing bank notes to borrow funds.1490

                By 1875, the circulation of greenbacks came to an end and the U.S. entered an era of chronic deflation and tight credit.1498

                This is going to have a destabilizing effect ultimately on the economy.1510

                Silver prices plummeted. There were modest victories one with the Bland-Allison act of 1878 that require the U.S. Treasury1515

                to purchase in coin between two and four million dollars of silver each month, that would make the pro silver faction happy.1524

                The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, it says even more was to be purchased but many believed that this did not go far enough.1534

                Then we are going to see that the populist mayor from Ohio known as Jacob Coxey,1547

                organized an industrial army to protest the Federal government's inaction in the face of the economic crisis.1553

                He ends up gathering a bunch of people forming this army and ends up promoting his program.1560

                He proposed many programs that would later win acceptance during the New Deal.1569

                He was very much a visionary, you could say, progressive minded.1575

                Although, we would not see immediate results, his ideas will have a long-term impact.1581

                But at this point in time, considered too radical.1588

                He advocated for the creation of government jobs.1590

                This is going to happen after the Great Depression, when there is a huge vacuum 1595

                and people are unemployed and people are desperate.1600

                Anyway, he advocates for the creation of jobs, hire unemployed men 1605

                to improve the nation's roads and build public works while also supporting their families.1608

                The project he argued can be financed through the issue of government bonds.1614

                In 1894, he led a group of unemployed workers that become known as the Coxey’s army to Washington1620

                and they demand that the government assist the unemployed.1626

                He is using his First Amendment right.1632

                He was jailed for trespassing, when he tried to read a speech but he went on to found the newspaper Sound Money.1637

                He is a great example of a progressive populist voice who is trying to persuade the government 1644

                to not be a do-little government but to do a lot, or to do something, to take action.1653

                To have a positive effect and take measures to turn things around economically for the people.1660

                Women in politics, as you know, more women were participating in the populist movement.1671

                And in other areas of the U.S. society, we are going to see women getting more and more engaged in political issues.1678

                Now we know there was a long history of keeping women out of party politics in the private sphere,1686

                but we are going to see continued activity.1692

                And I would say women are contesting those boundaries.1699

                The women's suffrage movement which we will get into a little bit later but it is still around, it is growing but it met fierce opposition,1702

                yet suffragettes will reunite in 1890 in the National American Women Suffrage Association.1711

                They are still working, they are still advocating, they are still planning their approach.1722

                Even though there is kind of divisive issue that will cause problems1727

                whereas some feminists will advocate for a state by state approach to have suffrage passed, 1733

                whereas others will push for a Federal amendment.1741

                At this point in time, however, we are going to see that the new goal, 1748

                that is what kind of held back the suffrage movement for many years.1752

                The new goals are state campaigns instead of a constitutional amendment.1756

                Later on, we will see that the idea of pushing for amendment, that is what is eventually going to happen.1761

                It should be noted that in some states, they have the vote for women much earlier like in Wyoming,1766

                this one that comes to the top of my head right now.1774

                I forgot the exact year.1776

                The doctor of separate spheres did open a channel for women to enter public life for a higher and more spiritual realm.1779

                Women did become involved in ending prostitution, helping the poor, agitating for prison reform, and improving education for females.1786

                In many ways, if you think back to, all the way back to the Second Great Awakening1797

                and during all the different reform movements that grew out of that, the transcendentalist movement 1802

                and the reform movements like what Dorothea Dix was doing, for instance, with prison reform and the asylum movement, 1808

                and education reform, and so forth.1816

                Christians kind of looking to take those ideas that they learned in the Bible and they learned in church, 1819

                and put them into practice.1825

                We will see a resurgence of that, in many ways, one of the same ideas.1828

                The Women's Christian Temperance Union became very active, it was formed in 1874.1834

                Later under the leader Frances Willard, the WCTU adopted a do everything policy.1842

                We will see that temperance and women's rights are going to be intertwined.1850

                This group will link all women's concerns with women's political participation.1855

                Francis Willard who was a suffragist, but not a supporter of Susan B. Anthony, had a different approach, 1860

                to offer home protection and only prayerful persistent please, for the opportunity of duties as wives and mothers.1867

                That kind of approach but the majority of the group was looking for more participation.1875

                But this particular leader not as supportive of the vote, I guess you could say, Susan B. Anthony.1884

                She fought against liquor and then after being the national president of the WCTU, 1892

                she was the president of Evanston College for Ladies when it folded into Northwestern.1897

                She is the first dean of women there.1903

                She is going to have a huge influence and be an important role model for other women to get involved in the political sphere.1907

                There is another interesting prohibitionist, activist, temperance activist, Carrie Nation, who came from Kansas.1915

                You should read the biography of her.1925

                She had a very tragic life and saw the negative effects of alcoholism in her own family.1927

                She took matters into her own hands, ended up travelling throughout the Midwest and would smash, she go into saloons and smash them up.1935

                This started to take on the life of its own, she developed this reputation being this crazy woman.1946

                This is a picture over here, Bible in one hand, she was definitely very much inspired by religious ideas, and a hatchet in the other.1960

                Carrie Nation, she was a character and she was pretty outspoken against alcohol.1969

                Here is Frances Willard that we are talking about, the leader of the WCTU.1980

                Here is a picture of women who were against alcohol abuse.1985

                Lips that touch liquor shall not touch ours.1992

                Women speaking out and getting more and more involved.1996

                This, in many ways, will lead to their involvement in other reforms, especially suffrage movement.2001

                The last topic of this lesson is the election of 1896.2010

                Because of the economic problems in the 1890’s, we are going to see that the party that was in power,2020

                the Democrats, were blamed for the economic crisis.2028

                They will definitely blame Cleveland.2032

                This happens throughout U.S. history, when there are tough times economically, usually, 2034

                the voting public will blame the President in-charge and the party that is affiliated with the President.2041

                Many believed that Cleveland did a poor job of dealing with the crisis, by putting down demonstrators in strikes.2049

                He was not really for the people.2056

                That he did not live up to his reputation as a tariff reformer.2057

                Allowing the Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894 which did not make any changes significantly.2061

                He also pushed Congress to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act and abandoned a silver based currency.2069

                Cleveland, instead, turned to JP Morgan in 1895, to arrange the gold purchases needed to replenish the treasury's depleted reserves.2077

                This enraged the Democrats.2089

                He affiliate himself with big business and the banking corporation that is of JP Morgan.2095

                This is not going to go well for the Democrats.2106

                Democrats repudiated Cleveland and they turn to William Jennings Bryan.2108

                Do keep in mind that he was a populist and also a very religious man who advocated for a lot of moral causes, I should say.2114

                The Democrats was paying attention to this grassroots movement.2126

                And in many ways, grabbed onto it, capitalized on it, and realized that the wind was shifting, the tide was turning.2129

                They saw the opportunity.2139

                What we are going to start to see is the Democratic party is going to incorporate2144

                a lot of the populist ideas and latch onto the Populist movement.2148

                Brian will establish the Democrats as the party of free silver.2155

                Remember, that the Populist were the ones who would originally advocated for free silver.2161

                Populist accepted Bryan as their candidate and found themselves for all practical purposes absorbed into the Democratic silver campaign.2168

                On one hand, this could be viewed as good for the Populist because one of the major parties is adopting their ideas.2178

                However, we are going to see that this will eventually lead to the demise of the Populist Party.2186

                It is indicative that third parties have a hard time challenging, they are unable to win against the two major parties.2193

                But that is not to say that it could happen in the future, it is just our history thus far has indicated that.2207

                By persuading the nation that they were the party of prosperity and many traditionally Democratic urban voters 2217

                that they were sympathetic to ethnic diversity, the Republicans turn both economic and cultural challenges to their advantage.2223

                They are going to play the same game.2232

                They are campaigning and they are trying to reach out to groups that 2235

                they traditionally do not reach out to, and they come back and win the election of 1896.2239

                Remember that the Republicans were in power for a while, Cleveland is going to break that trend.2249

                1896 set the stage as an arena for the national debate for the reform politics of the progressive era.2263

                Bryan gives his famous speech known as the Cross of Gold speech and here is an excerpt.2270

                Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests,2276

                the laboring interests and the toilers everywhere.2281

                We will answer their demand for our gold standard by saying to them, you shall not press down upon the brow of labor, 2284

                this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a Cross of Gold.2290

                Kind of this moralistic language uses the symbol to get his point across, to advocate for the laboring interests,2297

                the toilers everywhere and to advocate for easy money supply and for bimetallism.2308

                They are very much against the gold standard, that they see is this awful cross to bear.2322

                Looking at comparison of the elections of 1892 and 1896.2330

                Note, Cleveland’s breakthrough in the normally Republican states of the upper Midwest.2335

                This is in here.2350

                In the 1896 election, the pendulum swung in the opposite direction with McKinley's consolidation of Republican control over the northeast and Midwest.2352

                This is kind of interesting, see how they shifted.2361

                This was all Republican in 1896, whereas we see that this was kind of a mixture.2365

                Quite a few Democrats here.2372

                We are seeing a shift in politics and affiliation in the late 1890’s.2375

                The 1896 election is extremely important and significant 2383

                because it marks the beginning of 40 years of Republican dominance in national politics.2387

                Now we will see in the election of 1896 that William McKinley is going to win and defeat William Jennings Bryan,2394

                although he was extremely popular.2403

                And did give McKinley a run for his money.2408

                We will pick up on McKinley next time.2412

                Now we are going to actually move into the assessments.2415

                This is from William McElroy who was a journalist from 'An Old Warhorse to a Young Politician', 2418

                published anonymously in the Atlantic monthly 1880.2427

                My dear nephew, never allow yourself to lose sight of that fact that politics, and not poker, is our great American game.2434

                If this could be beaten into the heads of some presumably well-meaning but glaringly impractical people, 2444

                we should hear least idiotic talk about reform in connection with politics.2449

                Nobody ever dreams of organizing a reform movement in poker.2453

                Mr. Lincoln, a very estimable and justly popular, but in some respects an impracticable man, formulated widely different error regard to politics.2458

                He held that ours is a government of the people, by the people, for the people.2469

                I maintain, on the contrary, that it is a government of politicians, by the politicians, for the politicians.2474

                If your political career is to be a success, you must understand and respect this distinction with a difference.2483

                Voters demand a patronage reform in politics after,2497

                President Garfield was assassinated, the mugwumps sided with the opposing party, 2502

                the greenback party won mid-year elections in 1878, Grover Cleveland threatened Republican dominance.2507

                The answer.2520

                McElroy ‘s letter uses humor to make a point, which of the following best reflects his true criticism?2524

                Americans pay too much attention to politics, elections were so close that for candidates it was similar to gambling,2530

                Lincoln was admired more than he deserved to be, politics was primarily for holding office for personal gain.2537

                The answer.2546

                Last one, based on the excerpt, which of the following groups or pieces of legislation would most likely support?2551

                Bland-Allison Act of 1878, Coxey’s army, Pendleton Act of 1881, The stalwarts.2558

                The answer, this advocated for civil service reform.2567

                Short answer, briefly explain how two of the following influenced political party identification and loyalty between 1865 and 1900?2576

                Region or location, social class, ethnicity, religion.2586

                I’m going to choose ethnicity and religion.2592

                This one you can actually talk about south being solidly Democratic.2596

                Social class would be pretty easy too.2601

                I’m going to do ethnicity and religion.2603

                Here we go, ethnicity.2605

                Ethnicity played a huge role in party identification, as Irish immigrants tended to support political machines 2607

                that were dominated by the Democrats.2614

                African-Americans remained loyal to the Republican Party.2616

                Religion was an important part of making political decisions, as most Catholics tended to vote Democratic,2622

                while most Protestants voted Republican.2635

                Many Protestants became involved in the temperance or prohibition movement that was supported by Republican candidates during the Gilded Age.2638

                Briefly explain one reason that voter turnout was very high during this era.2650

                Politics was a form of entertainment and people were increasingly engaged in the process because of the importance of party identity.2656

                Pretty simple.2666

                You could also add to that that people chose their parties based on ethnocultural positions.2668

                I think I actually probably leave that out for voter turnout.2686

                I guess you could bring in, just say party identity increased more and more which pulled more people into the political process 2694

                that was based on ethnocultural issues.2701

                I think you could tie that in as well, if you wanted to add another sentence.2705

                But I do not think it was necessary.2710

                I think you could answer that pretty concisely.2711

                Our last section here and this is short answer.2715

                With an excerpt from Eric Felner, historian from Columbia University.2722

                Join and bolts traditional aspirations for economic autonomy and local self government,2729

                in a sense that only the national state could curb the power of corporations and make American society a united brotherhood of free man.2734

                Populists sought to rethink the meaning of freedom to meet the excigencies of the 1890’s.2742

                Like the labor movement, Populists rejected the era’s laissez-faire orthodoxy.2750

                Populists hardly envisioned the massive programs of state sponsored social provision of the progressive era2755

                and the New Deal would come to be seen as the antidote to economic inequality.2762

                Yes, a generation would pass before a major party offered so sweeping a plan for governmental action 2770

                on the behalf of economic freedom as the Omaha platform.2775

                This is from Foner, The Story of American Freedom.2782

                I read this book in college, it is a good book.2789

                Using the excerpt, answer A and B.2795

                Briefly explain Foner’s interpretation of the Populist movement.2799

                Foner viewed the Populist movement as part and parcel toward regulating corporate power and corrupt politics.2805

                And he believed that the Populist movement laid the groundwork for progressive reform during the progressive era and New Deal.2812

                Second part, briefly explain two ways that the Omaha platform can support Foner's statement 2823

                that a generation would pass before a major party offered so sweeping a plan for governmental action.2829

                The Omaha platform advocated for the direct election of senators, 2838

                a progressive income tax rate and regulations of transportation, communications, and banking.2842

                There you go, he is making that connection between Populist ideas that will later have a huge influence on the progressive movement, 2853

                the New Deal, and even today, you can see some of these ideas are still being advocated by progressive groups.2864

                With that, I like to conclude our lesson on the politics of the Gilded Age.2874

                And thank you for watching