Chapter 23 The Gilded Age

by Abbie Hough

The Gilded Age

The Gilded age was full of booming and busting prosperity. The age was not all good though. Underneath the gold was discordant political parties motivated by greed. The term 'gilded' refers to covering something with gold leaf or gold paint, to make it appear better than it is. The era was thus labeled the 'gilded age' by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their book about the era.

Compromise of 1877

The compromise was an unwritten and informal decision to end the dispute from the election of 1876 addressing reconstruction. It allowed the military districts to dissolve because reconstruction was complete. Republicans agreed to withdraw federal soldiers from the south, increase industrialization in the south, appoint democrat positions in south, and appoint a democrat to the cabinet.

The "Bloody Shirt" Campaign

During the election of 1868 between Seymour and Grant, Seymour did a lot of visiting of other states and campaigning while Grant did not. Instead, grant issued the "Bloody Shirt" campaign which was a euphemism reminding the nation of what the south did to the country during the civil war. It was wildly successful and lead to Grants election.


The Gilded Age is con notated with greed. The spoilers system was notoriously used as well as bribes for positions in politics. Other forms of greed took place as well in businesses. William "Boss" Tweed is infamous for his greed in stealing $200 million dollars from the city hall. It was very hard to catch Tweed because of his power, manipulation, and because of the difficulty to manage what he was doing. He was exposed in an expose in. New York Times and was prosecuted by Tilden. Thomas Nast is famous for the cartoons he drew of Tweed whichever illustrated his wrongdoings to the illiterate immigrants.