The Gilded Age

By: Elyssa Madden

Part A

Gilded: A worthless metal dipped into gold giving the impression that the metal has value

The Gilded Era in the United States a term coined by Mark Twain. It described how people for the outside viewed the U.S. and how people from the inside viewed the U.S. Another way to describe the appearance of the country. From the outside America looked great. People saw the American Dream and how it was being fulfilled by millionaires like the Vanderbilt's. From the inside it was ugly. The cities were overcrowded, smog, child labor in factories, and many immigrants.

Part B

Ulysses Grant was nominated as the Republican candidate in 1868 along with the Democratic candidate Horatio Seymour. Grant did little campaigning compared to Seymour, who traveled the country talking about how the South was ready to fully commit back to the Union. Seymour's campaigning was unsuccessful as Grant waved "the bloody shirt". "The Bloody Shirt" was a euphemism reminding the voters about what the South and the Democratic Party did to the nation. Grant won the election.

Part C

William "Boss" Tweed was an American politician and was the "boss" of Tammany Hall, a place that was considered the Democratic Party political machine. In 1869 Tweed took control of the New York City government. The fortune made by Tweed was gained from bribes and kickbacks. To gain votes Tweed would tell the local immigrants that if they voted he would have the city build them a new tenement since Tweed was Commissioner of Public Works. With the money given to Tweed to build the tenement, he kept 1/2 of the money for himself and used the other 1/2 to build whatever he told the immigrants he would build for them. Tweed was finally exploited for his wrong doings by the carton artist of the New York Times, Thomas Nast. Nast drew cartoons that depicted the wrong doings of Tweed and Tammany Hall hoping that even the immigrants would understand, which they did.

Part D

The months following the election of 1876 the Compromise of 1877 was made. Both the Republican and Democratic Party leaders made this compromise to resolve disputed issues from the election. (Hayes vs. Tilden) In the compromise Democrats agreed to accept Rutherford B. Hayes, the Republican candidate, as the next president of the United States as long as the Republicans agreed to terms made by the Democrats. The terms were:

-to withdraw federal soldiers remaining in the South

-enact federal legislation that would spur industrialization in the South

-appoint Democrats to patronage positions in the South

-appoint a Democrat to the President's Cabinet

Once both parties agreed to the terms made, the Electoral Commission selected Hayes at the president 2 days before inauguration.