AmericanPolitics during the Gilded Age
Americanpolitics, during the Gilded Age, had some key features that includedpolitical patronage, corruption, and a stalemate between the tworival parties. There was the waving of the bloody shirt, acharacteristic that was common among the Republicans and it aimed atuniting the army veterans (Kennedy, Cohen and Piehl 368). Nopolitical party had made an effort, after the Civil War, to unite thearmy veterans apart from the Republican and this was a strategy thatthey used to win the presidential elections. The Democrats came upwith the Ohio Idea, but they failed to draw more votes to win thepresidential seat.
Theera was also characterized by the massive corruption and looting ofthe public resources. There were unethical activities that weretaking place in the stock market that caused serious problems in theeconomy of the US. “While many rose from modest circumstances,their wealth, and their methods for treating workers and conductingbusiness alienated many Americans, who thought their unregulatedactions eroded political and economic freedom and damaging democracy” (Foner chapter 16). These are the events that led to the GreatDepression that affected the economy of America. Although thegovernment officials and other business people observed transparencyin most of their transactions, the whole country was full ofcorruption. During the Grant era, as the president, all the honestpeople were pushed silenced to give way for the fraudulent activitiesto take place. The Democratic Party received $ 200 from the citythrough bribery, and the Credit Mobilier Scandal erupted in 1872because of the railway construction company that was formed to offerthe railroad construction services at an inflated price. The companyreceived dividends at a very high percentage, and the shares weredistributed to the Congressmen so that they may not blow the whistleconcerning the illegal activities that were taking place (Kennedy, etal. 369).
Therewere two major political parties during the Gilded Age the LiberalRepublican Party and the Democratic Party, and they were competingfor the government offices (Kennedy, et al. 369). The RepublicanParty was very dominant during this era compared to the Democraticand it engineered Grant to power. The Republicans were very carefulin selecting the candidates who contested for the presidency, andthis made the party famous among many citizens. Grant had nopolitical skills, but he was extensively voted for to beat his rivalcontestant, from the Democrat Party. The Democratic Party was popularamong Catholic people, the poor farmers, and those who were after thehard money.
Duringthe Gilded Age, the office of the President was held by Rutherford B.Hayes. When he took over the office, he started solving variousissues of corruption. By this time, the New Yolk Customs House washeld by Chester Arthur however, as the president, Hayes wanted toreform the office. In connection to this, he fired Arthur and insteadrecalled by then the powerful Republican Party boss, Mr. RoscoeConkling, to take over the duties. Hayes made several reforms to hisgovernment with regard to how activities would be carried out. Heprohibited individuals, who were holding office, from participatingin any activity that was directly related to the political party. Anycontributions that were made to the office holders were suspended atthe same time. He was furious and never tolerated strikes andviolence. He was for the businesspeople rather than for the workers,and wherever the employees` strikes turned violent, he ordered thefederal troops to quell the demonstrations. Undeniably, he was afterrestoring the law and order in all states of the US.
Foner,Eric. GiveMe Liberty!: An American History.(4thed). W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. Print.
Kennedy,D.M., Cohen, L & Piehl, M. TheBrief American Pageant: A History of the Republic.Cengage Learning, 2016. Print.