The Gilded Age Era

By Conner Mann

Gilded Age

The Gilded Age was a period of US history from 1870 to 1898 which was marked by the growth of industry and wealth which supported materialism and political corruption. Mark Twain coined this term out of irony because businesses were booming but farming was suffering.

The Bloody Shirt Elects Grant

Grant Elected

The Republican Party nominated Ulysses S. Grant to continue the South's reconstruction efforts. The Democratic Party nominated Horatio Seymour to enforce redemption of the greenbacks to redeem US bonds. Ulysses S. Grant won the nomination for President because of the Bloody Shirt Campaign. The bloody shirt campaign was the larger than life phenomenon that by holding up a bloody shirt which resembled the Civil War, in a symbolic way the public was recognizing the martyrs of the war.

Corruption in the Gilded Age

The Stories of William "Boss" Tweed and Thomas Nast

William Tweed was a politician in New York who lead a group that gained power as corrupt Democratic leaders. He personally profited from his supporters and deceived the state of New York. He inflated business prices in order to gain a profit. Finally, in 1871 the New York Times under covered this example of poor ethics. Thomas Nast's brilliant cartoon exposed Tweed and the trick was over. Samuel J. Tilden led the prosecution against Tweed. As a result, Tweed's political career was over, and he died in jail.


Credit Mobilier/ Union Pacific scandal-political leaders excepted bribes from a major company moving it's money around to avoid payments.

Whisky Ring robbed treasury millions in excise-tax revenues

William Belknap, Secretary of war, resigns because of pocketing bribes

Compromise of 1877

In true Henry Clay style...

The Compromise of 1877 was set up to determine which party would win the election of 1876. An electoral commission was set up with 15 men made up from the Senate, House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court. The committee determined without opening the ballots that were disputed that the Republicans were victorious in the disputed states. The democrats of the commission and around the country were outraged that Mr. Hayes would become President. However President Hayes promised that he would withdraw federal troops from Louisiana and South Carolina, thus ending reconstruction in the South.