Gilded Age

Shri Karri-5





  1. covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint.

    "an elegant gilded birdcage"

    • wealthy and privileged.

      adjective: gilded; past participle: gilded

      "he saw plain, decent boys transformed to gilded, roistering youths"

      Technically meaning covering a less valuable object with a valuable veneer making it seem more valuable than it actually is.

So what does the "Gilded Age" Mean

The term was coined by Mark Twain to depict the ephemeral shallow beauty of the age. Society Gilded a veneer of prosperity, but the majority were oppressed and lived in disease.

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Bloody Shirt Campaign

To counter Johnson's lenient plans towards the south, the radical republicans nominated Civil War commander Ulysses S. Grant
  • Democrats chose Horatio Seymour of New York

The Key Issue was Radical Republican Reconstruction

  • Democrats were very against the plan.

"Waving the bloody shirt"

  • politicians making references to blood martyrs or heroes to criticize opponents.
  • Republicans waved the bloody shirt to remind voters of the civil war their previous decision and the reason behind the union victory.

The hero status and African American Voters ensured that Grant won.

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Political and Social Corruption

  • Machines”: were technically aristocratic philanthropists in a sense. The bosses initially provided for the welfare of impoverished residents in exchange for votes.

  • The system soon became very corrupt

    • kickbacks:get money for a city project, over pay the contractor and agree on a price to be paid back from the contractor

    • bribes: bribed officials and bought votes for them selves.

    • Spoils System: incompetent individuals placed in governmental positions.

  • Tweed

    • biggest machine in New York technically owned New York at the time and made a fortune using kickbacks and bribes

      • New York Times started to uncover the situation but the illiterate population (majority of whom were voting for him) could not understand.

        • Thomas Nast illustrated political cartoons to have the message reach the illiterate immigrant majority and slowly Tweed fell.

Compromise of 1877

  • settled dispute of the election of 1876

    • pulled federal troops out of southern states


    • appointment of atleast one southern democrat to the new president’s, Haye’s, cabinet

    • construction of another transcontinental railroad

    • help south become economically potent again

    • peacefully accept Haye’s presidency

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