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Chapter 19 Notes

The Politics of Equilibrium

a) The Party System
19th century // very stable with little fluctuation in state loyalties. Republicans
held the most presidencies and Senate Democrats led the House
public was intensely loyal to parties voter turnout was tremendous
loyalty was the result of region, religion, and ethnicity
ex. Democrats attracted Catholics, new immigrants, and the poor;
Republicans attracted middle class and Protestants
party identification more cultural than of economic interest
b) The National Government
Federal government held little power/responsibility aside from supporting
economic development and delivering pensions to Civil war veterans
Party leaders cared more about holding office than policy
c) Presidents and Patronage
Presidents had little power except to make government appointments
Rutherford B. Hayes had to deal with factional Republican party split
between Stalwarts and Half-Breeds
Patronage system overshadowed presidency and civil service systems failed
1880 Election // Republicans won the president with President James Garfield
and VP Chester Arthur
Pres. Chester attempted to support civil service reform over Stalwarts
1883 // Congress passed the Pendleton Civil Service Act requiring exams for
some government jobs
d) Cleveland, Harrison, and the Tariff
1884 // Senator James Blaine (Republican nominee) symbol of party politics
liberal Republicans flocked to Democratic reform candidate Grover
Cleveland opposed to graft and special interest and wished to see limited
1887 // asked Congress to reduce protective tariff rate to reduce government
surpluses and size
Democrats passed bill but Republicans opposed it
Democrats re-nominated Cleveland; Republicans named Benjamin Harrison
as their candidate
e) New Public Issues

Pres. Harrison made little effort to influence Congress, but public opinion
forced the government to begin to confront social and economic issues,
especially trusts
mid 1880s // by this time some states were limiting combinations preventing
competition, but reformed wanted national movement
1890 // Sherman Antitrust Act was passed but loosely enforced,
weakened by courts, and had little impact
Republicans main issue was dealing with tariff (McKinley Tariff 1890)
Clevelands 2nd term was similar to his 1st
Devoted to minimal government
Supported tariff reduction (Wilson-Gorman Tariff)
To appease public, Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act in
1887 which banned race discrimination and racial injustice
II The Agrarian Revolt
a) The Grangers
First major effort to organize farmers was the Grange movement in the 1860s
Became highly political in 1873 during the recession and the fall of farm
Urged cooperative political action to fight monopolistic railroad and
warehouse practices, set up co-op stores, insurance companies, and
Montgomery ward mail-order business
Elected Grange politicians in he 1870s to state legislatures to focus on
railroad reform
b) The Farmers Alliance
Formed in South & NW focused on local problems but also larger goal to
create society of cooperation
Like the Grange, it was not very successful
1889 // Southern and NW Alliances merged issues Ocala Demands and won
seats in the 1890 elections
1892 // The Peoples Party / Populists were formed
c) The Populist Constituency
Populism appealed mainly to small farmers, those whose farming was
becoming less viable in the face of mechanized, consolidates commercial
Failed to attract much labor support but attracted miners in the Rocky
Mountain states
d) Populist Ideas

Ocala Platform (1892) outlined Populist reform programs (subtreasuries)

to strengthen cooperatives
Abolish national banks
Direct election of US senators
Other ways for people to influence the political system
Regulation and ownership of railroads
Graduated income tax
Currency inflation
Silver re-monetization
III The Crisis of the late 1890s
a) The Panic of 1893
Led to severe depression caused by bankruptcy of few corporations that led
to bank failure and credit contraction
Caused by depressed farm prices of late 1880s, European depression, and
railroad expansion beyond market demand
Evidence of how dependent the economy was on railroads
Businesses, banks, and railroads failed
Unemployment soared and led to social unrest
1894 // Populist, Jacob Coxey called for massive public works
programs for the unemployed and currency inflation
b) The Silver Question
Financial panic weakened the monetary system and Pres. Cleveland believed
the instability to be the cause of the depression
1894 // Decreasing government gold reserved led Pres. Cleveland to seek
repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890
1986 // Presidential election incredibly fierce because supporters of gold
standard saw it as essential to national stability
supporters of free silver saw gold standard as tyrannous and advantageous to
the wealth
silver would decrease the amount of debt
IV A Cross of Gold
a) The Emergence of Bryan
1896 // Republicans confident of victory because of Cleveland and
Democratic failure to deal with the depression
Nominee William McKinley with platform opposed to free coinage
of silver

William Jennings Bryan delivered Cross of Gold speech opposed to gold

standard at convention and the next day was voted a nominee
Populists were split as to whether or not to fuse with the Democratic party
because it felt like some of their unique needs would be addressed
b) The Conservative Party
Business and finance communities donated heavily to Republicans, Bryans
national stump and camp meeting style alienated Catholics and ethnic voters
who feared he embodied Protestants
McKinley carried election because Democratic platform had proven to be too
narrow/sectional to win nationally
c) McKinley and Recovery
Administration saw return to calm because labor unrest and agrarian protest
had subsided by 1897 economic crisis gradually easing
McKinley focused on implementing high tariff rate, Congress soon passed the
Dingley Tariff
Republicans passed Currency Act of 1900 that confirmed the nations gold
standard pegged dollar to specific gold value
Foreign crop failures resulted in economic uptick, nation enteres period of
expansion once again clear trend between prosperity and gold standard
Free-silver movement had failed // during late 19th century money supply had
expanded much more slowly than increase in production and population, but
by late 1890s the increase in gold supply inflated money
Satisfied the free-silver people
V Stirrings of Imperialism
a) The New Manifest Destiny
Concept of closing the frontier widely heralded by Frederick Jackson Turner
and many others
Foreign trade became increasingly important to the American economy in the
late 19th century
b) Hemispheric Hegemony
James G. Blaine // led early efforts to expand American influence into Latin
America, where, he believed, the US must look for markets for its surplus
Pan American Union // weak international organization located in Washington
that served as a clearinghouse of information to the member nations

1895 // US supported Venezuela in dispute with Great Britain

c) Hawaii and Samoa
Arrival of merchants, missionaries, and planters was devastating to traditional
Hawaiian society
Inadvertently brought infectious diseases to which the natives were
tragically vulnerable
1887 // Treaty negotiated that permitted US to open a naval base at Pearl
1891 // Elevated a powerful nationalist Queen Liliuokalani
Set out to challenge the growing American control of islands
Remained in power only two years
VI War with Spain
a) Controversy over Cuba
Spanish-American War was result of things happening in Cuba
1895 // Cubans rebelled again and it produced a ferocity on both sides that
horrified many Americans
Cubans deliberately devastated the island to force the Spaniards to leave
USS Maine blew up in Havana harbor with a loss of more than 260 people
Ship had been ordered to Cuba in Jan. to protect American lives and property
b) A Splendid Little War
American war effort was not without difficulties
Faced serious supply problems: shortage of modern rifles and
ammunition, uniforms too heavy for the warm Caribbean weather,
inadequate medical services, and skimpy almost indigestible food
Racial conflicts
Significant proportion of American invasion force were black soldiers
Cuba played crucial roles in some of the important battles of the war
(ex. Charge at San Juan Hill)
c) The Battle for Cuba
Continued after the capture of the Philippines
Gen. William R. Shafter moved toward Santiago, which he planned

to surround and capture

July 16 // commander of Spanish ground forces in Santiago

surrendered & August 12 armistice ended the war

d) Puerto Rico and the US
Annexation produced relatively little controversy in the US
Society became increasingly distinctive and resistance to Spanish rule began
to emerge (just like Cuba)

Puerto Rican sugar economy flourished as it took advantage of the American

market that was now open to it without tariffs
e) The Debate over the Philippines
Annexation of Philippines created a long and impassioned debate
Treaty of Paris (1898) brought a formal end to the war
Confirmed the terms of the armistice concerning Cuba, Puerto Rice,
and Guam
VII The Republic as an Empire
a) Governing the Colonies
Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rice presented relatively few problems
Platt Amendment // 1901 barred Cuba from making treaties with other nations
and giving the US control of their foreign policies
Gave US the right to intervene in Cuba to preserve independence, life,
and property
Left Cuba with only nominal political independence
b) The Philippine war
One of the longest, lasting from 1898 to 1902 and one of the most vicious
Emilio Aguinaldo claimed to head the legitimate government of the nation
Rebelled against Americans AND Spanish
c) The Open Door
By 1900 // England, France, Germany, Russia, and Japan were beginning to
carve up China among themselves
1898 // McKinley issues statement in September saying the US wanted access
to China
Open Door Notes
Asking only the open door for ourselves, we are ready to accord the

open door to others.

Europe and Japan received Open Door proposals colly Russia openly

rejected them
Boxer Rebellion
Revolt against foreigners -- Attacked westerners wherever they could

find them
Important event for the role of US in China