The Gilded Age

Chapter 23

The Gilded Aged

To Gild something means that something cheap (usually iron or wood) is covered with gold leaf. This relates to the age because people who traveled to america expected to have many opportunities and to be rich, but were disappointed when they were exposed to harsh life with little money to live off of.

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The Bloody Shirt Campaign

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Election of Grant

Held on Tuesday, November 3, 1868, this was the first presidential election after the Civil War, and during the period of Reconstruction. The Republicans nominated Ulysses S. Grant and their representative because of his leadership during the war. It was called the "Bloody Shirt" campaign because of his valor in winning against the South. One of the most popular slogans during the campaign were "Vote how you shoot" and "Let us have peace". Grant won against his Democratic opponent Horatio Seymour 214 to 80 electoral votes.

Corruption of the Gilded Age

William "Boss" Tweed was the boss of Tammy Hall, the Democratic Party machine that played a major role in the politics of New York. He was elected to the New York State Senate in 1867, but got that job by the "Spoils System". He would go to poor areas in the city and promised to build the necessities for them as long as he received their vote in the election. After he was elected, he became even wealthier by Kickbacks and bribes. He would get money from the rich people in the area to further his campaign as long as he gave them political positions, even if they were not qualified. He would get kickbacks by hiring companies and then paying them a larger amount than they requested with city money. They would then pay him the excess money back using their company money in return for choosing them. That means if they needed 7 million for a project, Tweed would pay them 9 million and they would give him 2 million back to put in his own personal account. He did this for a while until Thomas Nast who worked for Harper's weekly, began making cartoons that showed his political corruption. Tweed insisted that he stop publishing them, but it was too late, because official checked the city records and arrested tweed for embezzlement.

Compromise of 1877

During the Election of 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes, for the Republican Party, and Samuel J. Tilden, for the Democratic Party, ran for president. It was obvious that Tilden had won the popular vote and he was in the lead of electoral votes, 181 to 162, but 20 votes were still unresolved. In three states (Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana), each party reported that their candidate had won. And in Oregon, One of the candidates was declared illegal and was replaced with another candidate. The compromise of 1877 was created to end the dispute between the parties. The Democrats would allow Hayes to be elected as president as long as the Republicans took troops out of the former confederate states, appoint at least on Democrat to presidential cabinet, construct another transcontinental railroad in the South, and create a legislation to industrialize the southern states. This Compromise officially ended the period of Reconstruction.

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