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The Gilded Age

Politics, Mass Culture, Science and Urban Life of the Gilded Age.

Alexander Zahir

on 6 June 2011

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Transcript of The Gilded Age

Reforms The Gilded Age 1870-1920 American Life around 1900 Science and Urban Life Progressive Politics Dawn of Mass Culture Expanding Public Education Politics in the Gilded Age Local and national political corruption in the 19th century led to reform efforts.
Rapid urban growth occurred under inefficient government operations. an organized group that controlled the activities of a political party in a city
Offered services to voters and businesses in exchange for political and/or financial support Political Machines Gained control of local governments in Baltimore, New York, San Francisco, and other large cities. Controlled the city Worked to secure votes in their ward’s precincts Worked to gain support on a city block or in a neighborhood City Bosses Controlled . . .
Access to city jobs
Business licenses
Influenced courts and other city agencies

Used power to . . .
Build parks, sewer systems, waterworks
Give money to schools, hospitals, orphanages
Provide government support to new businesses By solving city problems, the bosses reinforced voter loyalty, thereby winning more support. Many of the ward workers and captains were:
1st or 2nd generation immigrants.
Poorly educated
Joined the machine early & worked their way up

Related to the new immigrants:
Spoke the same language
Helped with naturalization (citizenship process)
Helped find housing, jobs

in return they got immigrant votes for the political machine. Immigrants in the Political Machines Political machines used fraud to win elections by falsifying names to gain votes.
Graft – the illegal use of political influence for personal gain
“Kickbacks” – illegal payments Election Fraud William M. “Boss” Tweed, 1868-1871 Example of a City Boss Democratic political machine, “Tammany Hall”
Headed the Tweed Ring, a ring of corrupt politicians.
Built the New York County Courthouse – Actual construction cost $3 million, cost to taxpayers $13 million Tweed Ring was broken in 1871, Boss was charged with 120 counts of extortion and fraud and sentenced to 12 years in jail but sentence was reduced to 1 year. After serving time, was rearrested on another charge but fled to Spain where he was recognized and captured. Patronage system – giving gov’t. jobs to those who helped get a candidate elected
Civil Service System – jobs to the most qualified, despite what their political views are Reforms under Presidents Rise and Fall of the Populist Party In response to the 1890 McKinley Tariff
Hurt western and southern farmers
1892 Election – Populist had candidate but Cleveland won
Sherman Silver Purchase Act 1890
Federal govt. had to borrow $60 million + from J.P.Morgan
Coxey’s army = 500 men in 1894 marched on D.C. to petition govt. for debt relief
Wm.Jennings Bryan – 1896 Cross of Gold speech, condemned gold standard The Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) 19th President
Unable to convince Congress to start reforms
Appointed independents to his cabinet
Set up investigative commissions to look into corruption issues James A. Garfield (1881) 20th President
Independent candidate
Selected Republican as vice president
Was shot July 2nd in a D.C. train station by a mentally unbalanced lawyer whom Garfield had turned down for a job
Garfield died Sept. 19th Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885) 21st President
Worked to have passed the Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883) which set up a bi-partisan commission for civil service hiring Grover Cleveland (1885-1889) and (1893-1897) 22nd & 24th President
Only president to serve two non-consecutive terms
Reputation for honesty and hard work.
Dedicated & effective administrator
Wanted lower tariffs but Congress wouldn’t support it.
Tariffs – a tax imposed by a govt. on imported or exported goods. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) 23rd President
Grandson of President Wm. Henry Harrison
Won electoral vote (popular vote won by Cleveland)
Helped pass the McKinley Tariff Act (1890) which raised tariffs
Received campaign funds from companies that would benefit from higher tariffs
Not strong President William McKinley (1897-1901) 25th President
Raised tariffs again
Identified with special interests and trusts
Gold Standard Act of 1900
Stabilized dollar to one ounce of gold.
Some historians believe this was one of the most important elections of the 19th century
McKinley’s win was seen as a victory for the urban middle-class over the rural agrarian interests in the South and West Other Reforms and
Political Events U.S. Declares War on Spain Pres. McKinley asks Congress to declare war on Spain to liberate the Cuban people
1898 Teller Amendment – promises Cuba independence once the Spanish are out Pacific Ocean Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, acts against orders and authorizes Navy Commodore George Dewey to seize the Spanish-controlled Philippines
Surprise attack on Manila Bay is successful, no loss of life occurs
U.S. annexes Hawaii, to use a refueling naval base U.S. prepares invasion of Cuba which falls quickly
20,000 regular and volunteer troops
Rough Riders – volunteer cavalry led by Lt. Col. Teddy Roosevelt
Led the charge up San Juan Hill, outside Santiago Formally ends the war
Spain granted the U.S.
Puerto Rico
U.S. agrees to pay Spain $20 million for the Philippines
The U.S. withdrew from Cuba in 1902 but with rights (in the Cuban Constitution) to a permanent U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay. Treaty of Paris Rise of Tension Yellow Journalism Joseph Pulitzer and Wm. Randolph Hearst tried to outdo each other
Created stories to gain readership with their exclusive coverage of the Cuba situation
Published intercepted secret letter from the Spanish Ambassador who called Pres. McKinley dimwitted U.S.S. Maine Sinks U.S.S. Maine sails into Havana Harbor, 1898
Mysterious explosion killed more than 250 U.S. sailors
Initial investigation wrongly concluded that the ship had been mined, although the Spanish said there had been an accident in the ship’s boiler room (this was correct) “Remember the Maine!” becomes a rallying cry for war. Advances in science and technology
helped to solve urban problems. Skyscraper Invention of elevators and development of the internal steel skeleton Milwaukee, designed by Daniel Burnham (1846-1912) Louis Sullivan
(1856-1924) Born in Boston, studied briefly at MIT.
Moved to Chicago in 1873 eventually joined German engineer and established Adler & Sullivan in 1881
Defined the Chicago School

At right, their design of the Carson, Pirie, Scott department store in 1889 Electric Transit 1888 – Richmond (VA) 1st city to electrify urban transit
Electric street cars or trolleys
Some underground (subways)
Some elevated “el” trains
New railroads helped growth of suburbs NYC – Near Central Park In Engineering... Invented steel cable suspension bridges.
Brooklyn Bridge
John Augustus Roebling, Prussian immigrant, came to America in 1831 Landscape Architecture Daniel Burnham, Chicago
Designed city landscape, 1909

Frederick Law Olmstead, landscape architect
Planned urban parks
NYC’s Central Park
1870s - D.C. and Boston Airplanes Wilbur & Orville Wright
(Bicycle manufacturers from Dayton, Ohio)
First airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on Dec. 17, 1903 PRINTING
New printing techniques and cheap paper allowed newspapers to be printed and sold cheaply

Workers adjusting a large printing press as two others examine freshly printed copies of Farmers Advance. The paper was a publication of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. The press was likely part of the company's in-house printing operation. (Wisconsin Historical Society) Photography George Eastman
1888 – Kodak camera
$25. includes 100-picture roll of film
Send back to Kodak lab who would, for $10, develop the film and return the camera and more film Schools Between 1865 and 1895, states passed laws requiring 12-16 weeks of school for all children between the ages of 8 and 14.
R,R, & R = Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

62% of all white children attended elementary school
34% of all African American attended elementary school

By 1890 less than 1% of African American teenagers attended high school; by 1910, only 3% A school building in Tribes Hill, New York, with students playing on the playground, circa 1900. Students sitting at their desks in a one-room schoolhouse near Princetown, New York, circa 1900 University: Exanding Higher Education By 1900, less than 3% of students went on to attend a college or university.
Between 1880 and 1920, large increase in college enrollments
New courses of studies offered, such as modern languages, physical sciences, and psychology and sociology.
By 1900, only 4,000 African American students attended colleges (out of a population of 9 million.) African American Universities Black colleges and universities were founded after the Civil War, between 1865 and 1868.
Howard, Atlanta, Fisk Universities Tuskegee Normal & Industrial Institute (now called Tuskegee University, Alabama) was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington
Teaching certificates, useful skills in agricultural, domestic, and mechanical work First African American to receive a doctorate from Harvard University in 1895
Founded the Niagara Movement in 1905 to promote a liberal arts education for future black leaders W.E.B. Du Bois Growth of Highschools Demand for advanced technical and managerial skilled workers
By early 1900, courses were added in the areas of social studies, civics, and science.
Vocational courses added to prepare male graduates for industrial jobs in drafting, carpentry, and mechanics, and female graduates for office work. More time for leisure activities leads to the development of a modern mass culture. American Leisure Activities People wanted to get away from the congestion of the city and the grime of their industrial jobs and enjoyed leisure activities.
Advertising campaigns and a growing consumer culture. Coney Island (NY) opens in 1884 “Inside the park was an enchanted, storybook land of trellises, columns, domes, minarets, lagoons, and lofty aerial flights. And everywhere was life – a pageant of happy people; … It was a world removed – shut away from the sordid clatter and turmoil of the streets.”
Bruce Blen, quoted in Amusing the Million Amusement Parks Large and small cities began setting aside green spaces for parks, playgrounds, or other outdoor activities.
Connected by street or trolley-car, amusement parks constructed on the outskirts of towns
Roller coasters were an exciting and modern entertainment experience Bicycling Bicycling began as a male sport.
1888 – 50,000 men and women bicycling
1890 – 10 million bikes produced!
Women’s fashion changed from corsets and skirts to waistshirts and “split” skirts
Bicycling allowed women a new freedom Baseball 1845 NYC - concept of modern baseball
1850 – 50 baseball clubs existed in the U.S.
1860s – 12 clubs in NYC
1876 – National League
1900 – American League
Blacks formed own leagues Tennis Modern version of tennis began in North Wales in 1873
Introduced shortly after to America SPREAD OF MASS CULTURE Mass circulation newspapers
Sensational headlines Joseph Pulitzer, 1847-1911 Hungarian immigrant pioneered major newspaper changes
Large Sunday edition
Sports coverage
Women’s news
Emphasized sin, scandals, and sex William Randolph Hearst By 1895, he was owner and publisher of the San Francisco Examiner and the recently acquired New York Morning Journal
Tried to outdo Pulitzer and exaggerated stories in the press Circulation war and by 1898, both Pulitzer and Hearst were publishing 1 million papers a day each! Fine Arts By 1900, each large city had at least one art gallery
By 1900, there were thousands of public libraries in U.S. cities all over the country Progressives believed that unregulated capitalism and that urban growth problems needed government intervention.
Protecting the American people from the corruption of large corporations, such as the railroads and trust companies
Protecting the rights of the labor movement, women, blacks, and consumers in general.
Most progressives were middle class Americans from both the Republican and Democratic parties
Progressives = Reformists What is Progressivism? Goals of the Progressives: End to "white slavery" (prostitution and the sweat shops)
"Americanization" of immigrants
Immigration restriction legislation
Anti-trust legislation
Rate regulation of private utilities
Full government ownership of private utilities
Women's suffrage
End to child labor
Destruction of urban political machines
Political reform Origins of Progressive
Thought and Action: 1. "Discovery" of povertyPoverty had always existed in American society, but a number of urban reformers began to call for new legislation to help the poor in the late 1870s and early 1880s .

2. Charity movementPrior to the late 1870s, there was no systematic method for social welfare, just individual charity groups funded by private donors. In 1877, however, reformers in Buffalo, New York, organized a citywide effort to coordinate local charities. This type of system eventually spread to other United States cities.

3. Emancipation of WomenThe 1880s saw the first generation of women--mostly white and middle- or upper-class--to graduate from college in large numbers. These women left college full of enthusiasm, but, for the most part, were shut out of professions in medicine, law, science, and business. So, they often used their energies to battle social injustices.

4. The "Social Gospel Movement"Up until the 1880s, most Protestant ministers had not concerned themselves with the problems of industrial society. Rapid urbanization and industrialization, however, convinced many of them to fight for social justice. The goal of the Social Gospel movement was to make Christian churches more responsive to social problems like poverty and prostitution. Some ministers became known nationally as spokesmen for the Social Gospel, including Washington Gladden and Walter Rauschenbusch. 5. Social settlement movementThe social settlement movement was formed as a ministry to immigrants and the urban poor. University-educated men and women (such as Jane Addams) settled in working-class neighborhoods to try and help the poor and learn about the real world. Most settlement houses started with clubs and classes, then campaigned for housing and labor reform. As they aided people, settlement houses also tried to instill middle-class values and often had a paternalistic attitude toward the poor.

6. Good Government movementIn the 1880s, reformers organized clubs in several American cities in an effort to streamline government, to clean up corruption, and to turn municipalities into model corporations. The National Conference for Good City Government took place in Philadelphia in 1894. This was the starting point for many reformers who identified themselves with the Progressive movement. The keynote speaker was future President Theodore Roosevelt, who was the Chief of Police for New York City at the time. In his speech, Roosevelt preached morality and efficiency in city government. The founding of the National Municipal League was one crucial outcome of the National Conference for Good City Government. The League was a training ground for Progressives. It became an exchange network for various reform movements and still exists today Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt (1858-1919) 26th President (1901-1909)
Considered by some to be the first modern President
Progressive politician
Active reformer
Strong sense of public service
Born into a wealthy and large family Member of New York Assembly, 1882-84
North Dakota rancher, 1884-86
Deputy Sheriff
Member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission, 1889-95
Pres. of the NYC Police Board, 1895-97
Assistant Sec. of the Navy, 1897-98
Colonel, Rough Riders, 1898 Governor of New York, 1898-1900
Vice-President, March 4-Sept.14, 1901
Became President when McKinley was assassinated
President 1901-1909
Youngest Pres.

Leader of Expeditions
Africa, 1909-1910
South America,1913-14 TR was a family-centered father of six who ended his workday at 4 PM and played with his children. During the Presidency of Teddy Roosevelt DOMESTIC
Initiate conservation practices
Dynamic reformer – moral campaigner against corruption
Food and drug companies
Large corporations Conservation 1903 - Naturalist John Muir convinced President Theodore Roosevelt that the federal government should manage and protect California's Yosemite Valley.
TR responsible for the creation of a national park system Roosevelt and Muir Foreign Policies Expansionist ideas
Supported Spanish-American War
Acquired Panama Canal Zone (completed in 1914)
Sent U.S. battleships on world tour
Roosevelt Corollary to Monroe Doctrine Teddy Roosevelt wins Nobel Peace Prize Treaty of Portsmouth (NH) 1905
Negotiated by TR between Russia and Japan
Ends the Russo-Japanese War and TR was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for it. The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (1904) Basically says that the U.S. does not want to expand its territory in the western hemisphere and will not tolerate any other nations … to attempt any colonization in the western hemisphere. If there is a problem with any country in this hemisphere, the U.S. will act to help that country.

This was prompted because Venezuela and the Dominican Republic defaulted on loans to European nations, who wanted to send warships over to collect.
U.S. worried that once in region that European powers would not leave, so the U.S. offered to collect the debts for them.

“If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations, it need fear no interference from the United States. …, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation, and in the Western Hemisphere the adherence of the United States to the Monroe Doctrine may lead the United States, however reluctantly, in flagrant cases of such wrongdoing or impotence, to the exercise of an international police power.”

“ Our interests and those of our southern neighbors are in reality identical. They have great natural riches, and if within their borders the reign of law and justice obtains, prosperity is sure to come to them. While they thus obey the primary laws of civilized society they may rest assured that they will be treated by us in a spirit of cordial and helpful sympathy.”
“We would interfere with them only in the last resort, and then only if it became evident that their inability or unwillingness to do justice at home and abroad had violated the rights of the United States or had invited foreign aggression to the detriment of the entire body of American nations. It is a mere truism to say that every nation, whether in America or anywhere else, which desires to maintain its freedom, its independence, must ultimately realize that the right of such independence can not be separated from the responsibility of making good use of it.” The Bull Moose Party - 1912 Nickname for the Progressive Party of 1912.
The bull moose was the emblem for the party, based on Roosevelt's boasting that he was "as strong as a bull moose."
TR came in 2nd place in a three-way president race of 1912 TR Did not seek a third presidential term in 1908
Had promised not to run for re-election, but was popular and would have won
Republican nomination as William Howard Taft, who promised to carry on Roosevelt's policies.
In 1912, TR decided to seek the Republican nomination because he felt that Taft was not going to work to continue the Progressive policies
TR did not receive the Republican nomination
New party was created, the Progressive Party.
The Republican vote split between Taft and Roosevelt, allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the 1912 presidential election. William Howard Taft (1857-1930) 27th President (1909-1913)
Began office following TR’s policies but changed to more conservative measures, such as the high protective tariff and lost popularity.
Large man, 350 pounds
January 6, 1912 President Taft signs proclamation that admits New Mexico into the Union as the 47th state.
Pres. Warren Harding appointed Taft as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1921
It was the honor that Taft wanted the most
Taft had a brilliant legal mind but was a poor politician
Legal and Jurist background Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) 28th President, 1913-1921
Goals to lower protective tariffs and put more controls on large businesses
Attorney & history professor at Bryn Mawr, Wesleyan, and Princeton
President of Princeton, 1902-1910
Governor of New Jersey, 1911-1913
Dedicated administrator
Felt president was moral & political leader of the country
Began the practice of delivering his first message to Congress in person
First president, since John Adams, to go to the Capitol. Domestically
Lowered tariffs
Set stronger anti-trust measures
Clayton Anti-Trust Act, 1914
Legalized labor unions, right to strike
Ability to punish monopolies
Enact child labor laws
First income tax law (16th Amendment)
Federal Reserve Act
Reformed nation’s banking Foreign Policy - The Great War Woodrow Wilson Kept U.S. out of war in Europe during 1st term.
The Great War was eventually too big to ignore; US had to step in.
Moralistic approach to international relations
Cooperated with Congress in directing war efforts
Had vast emergency powers

Dedication to peace process
League of Nations
Congress wouldn’t approve it The U.S. and Mexico Mexican Revolution (1910-1920)
1913 Mexican president assassinated & was replaced by General Victoriano Huerta.
Wilson refused to acknowledge Huerta’s claim to power
Mexican officials illegally arrested American sailors in 1914; Wilson ordered U.S. navy to seize the port of Vera Cruz, Mexico. Huerta’s regime fell apart in a year
Replaced by another revolutionary, Venustiano Carranza
Pancho Villa, revolutionary, killed 16 Americans in New Mexico (in retaliation for Vera Cruz)
Wanted to start a war between Mexico and U.S.

Pres. Wilson orders Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing and troops to invade Mexico in 1916 in order to crush Pancho Villa. (The U.S. never found him and he was eventually assassinated.) How will this change in 'Post-War' America
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