The Gilded Ages

By: Natalie Herklotz

The meaning of the word "gilded"

Gilded: to cover something with a thin layer of gold


The term "Gilded" applies to the Era because this time period was known for cheap manufacturing and industry. Poor quality products were made then coated with a thin layer of gold to make money quickly. The Era also followed Mark Twain's book "The Gilded Ages"

Election of Grant

  • 1868
  • Ulysses S. Grant, a republican, was running against Horatio Seymour (Democrat)
  • Grant campaigned to keep all radical reconstruction, and even though many did not like reconstruction he was elected.
  • Elected because he was a well known and respected hero from the Civil War. People over looked that he was considered a drunkard and a "lover" over blacks.


Bloody Shirt Campaign

  • Republicans waved bloody shirts to remind citizens of the Democrats' lack of support in the Civil War
  • Kept hatred and prejudices from the Civil War period
  • Also reminded the public of the Civil War casualties


Corruption in the Gilded ages

Corruption was very prevalent in the Gilded Ages, and many companies as well as individuals were making money both legally and illegally. Government finally decided it was time for guidelines and regulations, but were not sure how to apply changes.


The Union Pacific Railroad Company was one scandal that occurred the Gilded Ages. Credit Mobilier was created in efforts to supply materials and labor. The Union Pacific Railroad Company kept their involvement with the Credit Mobilier quiet, and within their first few year the company became bankrupt.

Compromise of 1877

Occurred after the Election of 1876. Samuel J. Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes ran for president, Tilden won the popular vote (as a Democrat) and Hayes won the electoral vote. Hayes became president and agreed to….


1. End the Reconstruction period

2. Pull Republicans troops out of Southern States

3. Appoint 1 Democrat into administration

4. Legislation had to help industrialize the South


The Compromise of 1877 was an unwritten, informal agreement between the Republicans and the Democrats. It led to the beginning of the Jim Crow Laws and Segregation throughout the South.

William Marcy Tweed "Boss Tweed"

  • Head of Tammany Hall in NY
  • Tammany Hall machines uses bribery and rigged elections (Spoils System) to con $200 million out of the city.
  • Spoils System: Official offers jobs in the government to people in exchange for their vote. These people often were unskilled for that position and hurt the society in the long run.
  • Tweed promised jobs, housing, and other wanted items for their votes. They would receive what he promised, but when Tweed went to contractors they had to give him a kickback, which made him very rich quickly.
  • Finally in 1871, the New York Times published evidence that Tweed had misused the city funds and was charged for his actions.
  • Thomas Nast also showed the corruption of Boss Tweed through picture campaigns supporting immigrants and citizens.