Chapter 7 Powerpoint

The Gilded Age
Things aren’t always
what they appear….
Segregation and
Racism in the Gilded Age
(and beyond)
Failures of Reconstruction
allow racism to expand in
the post-Civil War South…
– Sharecropping
– Voting restrictions
– Violence of the KKK
• African Americans move
west looking for
opportunity, but what
happens to those who are
left behind?
The rise of Jim Crow
• Jim Crow laws: laws meant to enforce the segregation of
schools and other public places
– Segregation: separation of blacks and whites
– Jim Crow: figure from the 1830s, symbol for inferiority of
African Americans
• Combined with laws restricting the right of African
Americans to vote, this created an atmosphere of legalized
racial discrimination!
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
• Homer Plessy sues railroad
company for segregating seating,
arguing it violates the 14th
Amendment… case goes to the
Supreme Court!
• Supreme Court ruling: “separate
but equal” facilities do not violate
14th Amendment
– Jim Crow laws are legitimized by the
• Result: nearly every aspect of life in the
South becomes segregated by law
“Separate but equal”
How equal are these facilities in reality?
Racism in North and South
• System of segregation continues until the Civil Rights
period and are “enforced” by state authorities as well as
groups like KKK
• More than 2,500 African Americans lynched between 1885 and 1900
• While segregation is not legal, racism is also present in the
– Job discrimination
– White-only neighborhoods
Resistance to racism
Efforts to achieve equality
for African Americans
emerged in late 19th
century, inspiring civil
rights leaders for years to
– Ida B. Wells (1862-1931)
– Booker T. Washington
– W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963)
Washington vs. DuBois
Booker T. Washington
– Born into slavery
– Became teacher after Civil War;
founded Tuskegee Institute (1881)
in Alabama to help African
Americans learn trades
– Did not openly challenge
– Believed “self help” was the key
to equality, even if it meant doing
so in a separate community
W.E.B. DuBois
– Born after slavery into middle class
– Harvard-educated scholar
– Encouraged African Americans to
reject segregation
– Believed educated African
Americans (a.k.a. the “Talented
Tenth”) should lead fight for
equality; established NAACP in
1909 to lead reform movement
What similarities and differences existed between Booker T.
Washington and W.E.B. DuBois in their fight for equality?
Chinese and Mexican Segregation
• Chinese Immigration:
– Segregation from whites
• Had their own schools
• Tried to protect their rights
• Mexican Americans
– Wanted more rights
– Las Gorras Blancas: Cutting holes in barbed wire
fences and burning houses of rich landowners
Women Segregation
• Wanted to get more rights
• Formed different unions
– Women’s Christian Temperance Union
– Unions were not successful
• Susan B. Anthony: Formed movement to try
and gain more rights for women
Women’s Suffrage Movement
It’s all about the
Political and Economic Challenges
• Corruption plagued both local and national
• One example of this corruption was Boss Tweed
and Tammany Hall in New York City
Tammany Hall
 1789, in NYC, the Tammany Society was
 Originally a patriotic & charitable organization
 1817, Irish leaders gained membership in
 Enacted practice of exchanging votes for
 For the next 70 years New York City would be
governed by Tammany forces
 1868, William Tweed became the leader of
 Ushered in an era of extreme corruption
William Tweed
 Began his rise to influence in the1840s as
a volunteer fireman in New York City
 From these beginnings Tweed managed to
build a base of power
 He was soon elected to a term in the New
York State Assembly
 During his term he was active in Tammany
 The organizational force of the
Democratic Party in New York
Tweed used a vast system of patronage
 Tweed gathered a small group of men who
controlled New York City's finances
 They dispensed jobs and contracts in
return for political support and bribes
 Political patronage is the dispensing of
favors or rewards in return for support or
The Scandal
 Estimated he stole $75 million to $200
 Contractors presented bills ranging
from 15% to 65% over the actual cost
 Extra money was divided among
Tweed and his subordinates
 The Tweed Courthouse
 Most excessive example of corruption
 Cost the city $13 million to construct
 It actually cost only $3 million
 Tweed’s Downfall
 Refused to authorize the “Orange
 Sheriff gave evidence of
embezzlement to The New York Times
 Political cartoons drawn by Thomas
Nast increased anger towards Tweed
Efforts were instrumental in bringing
down the Tweed Ring
 Contributed to the political & cultural
 Created the elephant as the symbol
for the Republican Party and the
donkey for the Democrats
 Developed the popular appearance of
Uncle Sam
 Popularized the current day
conception of Santa Claus
The Fate of Tweed and Tammany Hall
Tweed was tried and convicted of forgery and
Was sentenced to a 12-year prison term
He was released after serving only one year, but
was quickly arrested on another corruption
He escaped and fled to Cuba and then eventually
He was extradited back to the United States in
1876 and died later in a New York City jail cell
Boss Tweed
Price Indexes for Consumer & Farm Products: 1865-1913
Who were the Populist?
Railroads take advantage of farmers
• Excessive Prices
– Shipping
– Storage
• Farmer’s could not pay their
Founder of the National Grange of the Patrons of
Husbandry (1867)
The Grange Movement
 First organized in the 1867 in the Midwest,
the south, and Texas.
 Set up cooperative associations.
 Social and educational components.
 Succeeded in lobbying for “Granger Laws.”
 Rapidly declined by the late 1870s.
for the
for All!
The Farmers Alliances
 Begun in the late 1880s (Texas first 
the Southern Alliance; then in the
Midwest  the Northern Alliance).
 Built upon the ashes of the Grange.
 More political and less social than the Grange.
 Ran candidates for office.
 Controlled 8 state legislatures & had 47
representatives in Congress during the 1890s.
New Political Party Emerges
• Populist
– People’s Party
– Help farmers and laborers
• Party Platform
– Increase in $$ supply
– Graduated income tax
– Federal loan program
The Populist (Peoples’) Party
 Founded by James B. Weaver
and Tom Watson.
 Omaha, NE Convention in July,
 Got almost 1 million popular
 Several Congressional seats
James B. Weaver,
Presidential Candidate
James G. Field, VP
Omaha Platform of 1892
Abolition of the National Bank.
Direct election of Senators.
Govt. ownership of RRs, telephone & telegraph companies.
Government-operated postal savings banks.
Restriction of undesirable immigration.
8-hour work day for government employees.
Abolition of the Pinkerton detective agency.
Australian secret ballot.
Re-monitization of silver.
A single term for President & Vice President.
Panic of 1893
Farmers are in debt.
Railroads go bankrupt.
Government wears thin of gold.
Stock market crashes.
15,000 businesses and 500 banks collapse.
20% of workforce is unemployed.
Bimetallism vs. Gold Standard
• Bimetallism
– “Silverites”
– Gov’t gives gold or
silver in exchange for
paper currency.
• Gold Standard
– “Gold Bugs”
– Backing dollars solely
with gold.
Gold Triumphs Over Silver
 1900  Gold
Standard Act
 confirmed the
commitment to
the gold standard.
 A victory for the
forces of
Heyday of Western Populism
Why Did Populism Decline?
The economy experienced rapid change.
The era of small producers and
farmers was fading away.
Race divided the Populist Party,
especially in the South.
The Populists were not able to break
existing party loyalties.
Most of their agenda was co-opted by
the Democratic Party.