The Gilded Age
By David Gu
Gilded: Covered with Gold
This was a time of economic growth, filled with advancement and prosperity - on the outside. Internally, businesses were corrupted and used bribes in order to benefit themselves, with some industries becoming huge monopolies dominated by one company. There were much corruption in the government as well, with scandals even with the Grant Administration, causing people to distrust the government as well as corporations.
Grant and the "Bloody Shirt" Campaign
Ulysses S. Grant
Famous General of the Union Army, he was still wildly popular as the Republican Representative.
Democratric Representative from New York.
The Corruption of the Gilded Age
One of the most notorious scandals of this era was the Tweed Ring. William "Boss" Tweed, the owner of Tammany Hall, devised a complex system where he was able to get money from the city by ensuring kickbacks from his co-conspirators. He ran a political machine, which was how he was able to gather up the support of the lower class by offering them a few benefits that he was able to provide - in return for complete loyalty to him. Therefore Boss Tweed controlled many aspects of the politics of New York City, stealing over $100 million in the process. His frauds were brought to the public thanks to Thomas Nast, a political cartoonist in New York City. His cartoons were instrumental in bringing the Tweed Ring down, and even received a bribe from Tweed to stop producing them. When Tweed escaped from jail to Spain, he was caught because he was recognized by people from Nast's cartoons.
Greed was Tweed's objective, nothing else.
The Giant Thief
None of the public authorities could match up to Tweed's power during his rule.
Comprimise of 1877
During the election of 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes did not win the popular vote for the presidency, and was only a few electoral votes away from Samuel J. Tilden. It was an unofficial comprimise that gave the presidency to Hayes in return for the South to go back to their old ways. Union Reconstruction troops were pulled out of the South, and Democrats were also allowed back into major politics. It was seen as betraying the African American cause of equality while brining the South back to the Union.