The Gilded Age

By: Maria Del Pilar Lopez

Gilded Age Politics

This was called the Third Party System, characterized by intense competition two parties, with an edition of minor parties coming and going, especially on issues of concern to prohibitionists, labor unions and farmers.

Political Machines

Organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and usually campaign workers, who receive rewards for their efforts.

Political Bosses (Boss Tweed)

During the 1870s and 1880s, the Democratic and Republican Parties were of almost exactly equal strength. In the elections between 1876 and 1892, no more than 3.1% points separated the two parties. Both of the parties differed enormously in their principles, programs and ethnology-cultural composition.

Graft (I wasn't quite sure)

The unscrupulous use of a politician's authority for personal gain. The term has its origins in the medical procedure whereby tissue is removed from one location and attached to another for which it was not originally intended.


Something that is not inherently unseemly, the U.S Constitution provides the President the power to appoint individuals to government positions.

Stalwarts (X)

U.S. history, member of a faction of the Republican Party that opposed the civil-service reform policies of President Rutherford B. Hayes and sought unsuccessfully a third presidential term for Ulysses S. Grant.

Civil Service Reform

George Plunkitt, a local leader of New York City's Democratic Party, defended the spoils system. "You can't keep an organization together without patronage," he declared. "Men ain't in politics for nothin'. They want to get somethin' out of it."

In the most significant political reforms of the late 19th century, congress adopted the Pendleton Act, creating a federal civil service system, partly elimination political patronage.