The Gilded Age
By Caroline Rogers
Definition of "Gilded"
The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today
An 1873 novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner that discusses the greed and political corruption after the civil war in the era now referred to as the Gilded Age.
Election of Grant / Bloody Shirt Campaign
Bloody Shirt was part of the expression "waving the bloody shirt," referring to a political plan used in campaigns during the Reconstruction period, following the Civil War. This term described the attempts made by radical northern Republicans to defeat southern Democrats by talking about bloody sacrifice designed to keep alive the hatreds and prejudices of the Civil War period. During the most forceful attacks, in the campaigns of 1872 and 1876, orators would literally wave a bloody shirt to remind audiences of the Civil War casualties.
Compromise of 1877
The Compromise of 1877 was an unwritten deal that settled the 1876 U.S. presidential election by making Republican Rutherford B. Hayes President over Samuel Tilden. This election was so close it had to be decided in the House of Representatives. The House worked out a compromise which allowed Hayes to be president under these conditions:
- The removal of all Federal troops from the former Confederate states. (Troops only remained in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida, but the Compromise finalized the process.) Hayes had already promised to do this.
- The appointment of at least one Southern Democrat to Hayes' cabinet (David M. Key of Tennessee was appointed Postmaster General.) Hayes had already promised this.
- The construction of another transcontinental railroad using the Texas and Pacific in the South (this had been part of the "Scott Plan" which initiated the process which led to the final compromise)
- Legislation to help industrialize the South