The Gilded Age
The Gilded age was the period of time 30 years after the Civil War, coined by Mark Twain. He was referring to the pretty, shiny, and adorned exterior but the corruption that lied within. This period of time was a period of greed and guile: unscrupulous speculators shady business practices, and scandalous politics.
Grant and the Bloody Shirt campaign
Corruption in the Guilded Age
The corruption often came via the railroads, meddling with stock prices, and through corrupt polticians.
Jim Fisk and his partner Jay Gould were another notable example. These two came up with, and nearly pulled off, a scheme in 1869 to corner the gold market to themselves.
One of the worst situations was the Crédit Mobilier scandal.
The company was constructing the trans-continental railroad and effectively manipulated the business so they could make double the profit by making two companies instead of one.They also paid off Congressmen in order to avoid getting busted.A newspaper finally exposed the scandal, two Congressmen went down, and the Vice President of the U.S. was censured.
The Compromise of 1877
(President Rutherford B. Hayes)