Captains of Industry or Robber Barons? In other words, were the business leaders of the time to be praised or criticized for their ways? Frequently, these men used monopolistic tactics such as the formation of large trusts and horizontal integration to maximize their profits and minimize competition.
Politics of the Gilded Age Impeachment trial ticket The Gilded Age will be remembered for the accomplishments of thousands of American thinkers, inventors, entrepreneurs, writers, and promoters of social justice. Few politicians had an impact on the tremendous change transforming America.
The Presidency was at an all-time low in power and influence, and the Congress was rife with corruption. State and city leaders shared in the graft, and the public was kept largely unaware.
Much like in the colonial days, Americans were not taking their orders from the top; rather, they were building a new society from its foundation. The American Presidents who resided in the White House from the end of the Civil War until the s are sometimes called "the forgettable Presidents.
Andrew Johnson was so hated he was impeached and would have been removed from office were it not for a single Senate vote. Grant was a war hero but was unprepared for public office. He had not held a single elected office prior to the Presidency and was totally naive to the workings of Washington.
He relied heavily on the advice of insiders who were stealing public money.
His secretary of war sold Indian land to investors and pocketed public money. His private secretary worked with officials in the Treasury Department to steal money raised from the tax on whiskey.
Grant himself seemed above these scandals, but lacked the political skill to control his staff or replace them with officers of integrity. Electoral Woes Rutherford B. Hayes was elected in by a margin of one electoral vote.
His successor was Rutherford B. Hayes himself had tremendous integrity, but his Presidency was weakened by the means of his election. After the electoral votes were counted, his opponent, Samuel Tilden, already claimed a majority of the popular vote and needed just one electoral vote to win.
Precisely twenty electoral votes were in dispute because the states submitted double returns — one proclaiming Hayes the victor, the other Tilden. A Republican-biased electoral commission awarded all 20 electoral votes to the Republican Hayes, and he won by just one electoral vote.
While he was able to claim the White House, many considered his election a fraud, and his power to rule was diminished. Assassination James Garfield succeeded Hayes to the Presidency. After only four months, his life was cut short by an assassin's bullet.
Charles Guiteau, the killer, was so upset with Garfield for overlooking him for a political job that he shot the President in cold blood on the platform of the Baltimore and Potomac train station.
Garfield Vice-President Chester Arthur became the next leader.
Although his political history was largely composed of appointments of friends, the tragedy that befell his predecessor led him to believe that the system had gone bad.
He signed into law the Pendleton Civil Service Act, which opened many jobs to competitive exam rather than political connections.
The Republican Party rewarded him by refusing his nomination for the Presidency in One President impeached, one President drowning in corruption, one President elected by possible fraud, one President assassinated, and one disgraced by his own party for doing what he thought was right.
Clearly this was not a good time in Presidential history. Congressional Supremacy This was an era of Congressional supremacy.
The Republican party dominated the Presidency and the Congress for most of these years. Both houses of Congress were full of representatives owned by big business. Laws regulating campaigns were minimal and big money bought a government that would not interfere.
Similar conditions existed in the states. City governments were dominated by political machines. Members of a small network gained power and used the public treasury to stay in power — and grow fabulously rich in the process.
Not until the dawn of the 20th century would serious attempts be made to correct the abuses of Gilded Age government.Gilded Age capitalists, according to Nevins, sought to impose order and stability on competitive business, and that their work made the United States the foremost economy by the 20th century.
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Soon after the Reconstruction period, an era known as the Gilded Age erupted. During the 's - 's, America took a drastic leap into industrialization.4/5(2).
Essay 1 The Robber Barons versus the Captains of Industry American industry was on the rise during the Gilded Age. Many different historians have believed that these Americans were either Captains of Industry or portrayed as a Robber Baron.
Politics in the Gilded Age were intense. In the years between and , control of the House of Representatives repeatedly changed hands between the Democratic and Republican parties. Political infighting between the Stalwart and Half-Breed factions in the Republican Party prevented the passage of significant legislation.
Within a year of the Haymarket riot, the Knights' membership had been cut in half. Within a decade, the Knights were all but extinct. Craft and Industrial Unions. More enduring gains were made by unions that sought to organize only a particular craft or industry.