History 202 Week 1 Notes
History 202 Week 1 Notes HIST 202
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Chase Goodman on Wednesday January 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 202 at Ball State University taught by Ed Krzemienski in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 71 views. For similar materials see History in History at Ball State University.
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Date Created: 01/13/16
HIST 202 1/13/2016 The Gilded Age 18771901 o The Gilded Ages were named after Mark Twain o Gilded Refers to a very thin layer of gold that you cover a cheaper object with to make it look like solid gold On the surface if you were to look at the years 1877 1901 it would look amazing, like wood being gilded But beneath the surface it was not golden The gap becomes immense in the gilded ages; between people who have cash and people who don’t o Ulysses S. Grant (1822 – 1885) Serves as president from 1869 – 1877 Notorious general from the Civil War Leads army to victory over General Lee War Hero turns president (Happens often) Runs as a Republican The Republican began as the party of Lincoln o They were against Slavery Republican = $ They help the big businesses Went to West Point militarily academy Didn’t do well in School “cronies” Somebody that works for you and tells you what you want to hear o Political Corruption An unbelievable amount of Political Corruption. Whiskey Ring A scandal of unimaginable proportions Deals with Whiskey Distillers o St. Louis is the capital of Whiskey Distilleries are supposed to pay taxes General John McDonald o Comes up with a plan o He collects money from the Distilleries and says it is “Tax” when he is actually stealing it o He steals the government that he is collecting $2 m/year in taxes o He knows that president Grant is really lazy, and that he doesn’t do much unless his secretary warns him General Orville Babcock o He is Pres. Grants secretary o McDonald bribes him, because he is the only link between Grant and the Distilleries McDonald and Babcock are stealing tax money from the Government After Grant found out, he does something common o “If you prosecute Babcock or McDonald, there will be no immunity” o Which means that you will basically get the same punishment as Babcock and McDonald People lose faith in the government Secretary of War William Belknap involved in the Belknap Affair He notices what is going on in the Whiskey Ring He is involved in Indian Trading Post o Government trading post where an Indian would come and trade items o You could buy Indian artifacts and sell them for a lot of money He begins accepting money for the positions in the trading posts o The most he gets from any one trading posts is $6000 o Also there are hundreds of these trading posts Belknap was also a General in the Civil War The political corruption is the defining part of this era Only gets worse as more money is being made 1/15/16 Gilded Age o Ulysses S. Grant set the trend for political corruption, even though he wasn’t responsible, he let it happen Top 5 worst presidents of alltime o Political Corruption At this time it was known by the citizens of the United States o Elected in 1876 Rutherford B. Hayes (18221893) He is the same as Grant in some ways, but the exact opposite in other ways Both were republicans, served as a general in the north of the Civil War He was born in Ohio in 1822, same as U.S. Grant He was pure, unlike Ulysses S. Grant He never swore, never drank, never served alcohol at the White House He is a devout Christian o His Secretary of War plays the piano while his cabinet sings songs Lucy Webb Hayes Became a symbol of purity for the US Government Nicknamed Lemonade Lucy The political corruption continues in his time of office (only serves 1 term) Post Office Scandal “Star Route Frauds” o People in charge of the post office in this region asked the US government an unordinary amount of money They would ask for more money than they need, claiming they were using it for Post Office Services, but they pocketed it Rutherford B. Hayes tries and convicts the people in this scandal o This shows that no matter who is in charge that scandals like these will happen Spoils Systems He put personal friends and people he knew into government jobs o Instead of the best qualified person for that job This system is a HUGE problem People are aware of what is going on o It is in the Newspapers and any media o 1883: Civil Service Act This was to combat the spoils system They had requirements that you had to be able to do You had to be literate o Was the first requirement This only applied to 10% of all of the government jobs There is still room for corruption, about 90% of it is wide open for corruption Started off as a small law, to pass by congress, hoping they could expand it later o 1884: Election Centers on the idea of the Civil Service Act Republican James G. Blaine (Maine) Old Ulysses S. Grant appointee Politically Corrupt o He was a part of the Whiskey Ring o He was a part of the Belknap Scandal Democrat Grover Cleveland (Buffalo, New York) Running on the platform that if he is elected he will expand Civil Service o As soon as he is elected he wants to make it 50% Eventually wants to make it that all governmental employees have to take the Civil Service exam This election is heated If they select James Blaine they are going to continue down the path of political corruption If they select Grover Cleveland he will try to make people in the Government responsible Grover Cleveland had an illegitimate child with a woman he wasn’t married to He was attacked by this politically If you were able to vote at this time, most often when you went to the voting booth they had a paper where it would just say Republican or Democrat You would have to ask for an individual paper with all of the people running separately Republicans throw their support to Grover Cleveland because they have seen enough of this Political Corruption Because they are in favor of Civil Service act These people are known as “Mugwumps” o They are just Republicans that vote for Cleveland It throws the election in favor of Grover Cleveland Grover Cleveland wins the election in 1884 o 1884: Grover Cleveland wins He expands civil service act to 50% to start off with o 1887: Interstate Commerce Act Deals with the Railroads At this time, the Railroads were everything Everything that had to move, traveled by railroad A large portion of the Railroads were owned by the family Vanderbilt They are one of the richest families in the history of the world They had a monopoly in the railroad system o Which means you have to pay whatever they charged John D. Rockefeller In order to help him out, if any small oil company wanted to transfer oil, he would raise the price a lot Vanderbilt’s would put other smaller oil companies out of Business and John D. Rockefeller would buy them out This is scary for the government because Rockefeller and the Vanderbilt’s could close down any business they want to Railroads are a private system now Interstate Commerce Commission They are supposed to make they are charging fair prices for everyone Political corruption o This also effected the interstate commerce commission o The Vanderbilt’s bribed the book keepers to make it “look” fair o 1890: Sherman Antitrust Act A trust is a monopoly This act is set up to try and eliminate Monopolies The purpose is to give the people of the United States some kind of recourse If they government doesn’t listen to the people, then no one will o STATUS QUO All of the presidents were stuck on this Status Quo = maintain the same o Benjamin Harrison (1889 – 1893) From Indiana He is referred to as cold and boring He is part of the Bearded President era He doesn’t want change the way things are ran, wants to maintain the Status Quo
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