Definition of 'gilded' : covered thinly with gold leaf or gold paint
The "Gilded Age" was first stated by Mark Twain. The Gilded Age era was a time in America between the 1870s and the early twentieth century. The word gilded is used to describe something that is just simply covered with gold, but not actually real gold inside. It was the same too in America, people started to celebrate wealth and show it to the people around them. But at the same time, there were lots of cheap commercialization, shoddiness, and fakery to fight to the top.
Election of Grant
Waving the "bloody shirt" referred to politicians reminding people the lives lost and hardships during a war that was recently fought. This strategy was most used by Radical Republicans. It was most effective with the veterans in the North. The Democrats were upset with this tactic during the Election of 1868.
People in American were obsessing over wealth, and with wealth came lots of corruption. Men started gaining political power, and the "bosses" began running for office. Their goal was only personal success. One of these men were William "Boss Tweed. He managed to rebuild the city with $200,000,00 through kickbacks and bribes.
Thomas Nast was a political cartoonist who illustrated to the immigrants, who were unable to understand English, the corruption of William "Boss Tweed. People who were insulted by him tried to stop him from continuing his illustration. He escaped to Spain, but ultimately got executed when authorities returned him back into the US.
Compromise of 1877
The Compromise of 1877 was a document that settled the dispute of Election of 1876, although it was unofficial. It pulled federal troops out of the South that was placed by Congressional Reconstruction. It was issued to prevent another violence after the Civil War.