What two inventions led to the development of the skyscraper in the 1880s?
Elisha Otis's safety elevator made large buildings practical, while the use of the Bessemer Process to create a steel framework enabled buildings to exceed 10 stories.
The first skyscraper was the 10-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago. Skyscrapers proved exceptionally popular in New York City; driven by a lack of available space, New York City grew upwards instead of outwards.
Tammany Hall was a political organization within New York City's Democratic Party. Between the 1860s and the early 1900s, Tammany Hall was the headquarters of New York's machine politics, where political bosses such as Boss Tweed distributed political patronage in exchange for votes and large amounts of cash.
What is machine politics?
In machine politics, a political organization is controlled by a "boss" or small leadership group, which can motivate a large "get out the vote" effort. The boss commands enough votes to maintain political and administrative control of a city, county, or state.
Due to their electoral control, political bosses can distribute government positions and government construction projects, often in exchange for bribes or political support.
Who was Boss Tweed?
Boss Tweed was a notorious political boss in New York City in the 1860s and 1870s. Through his control of Tammany Hall, Tweed was able to bilk New York City out of at least $45 million. Most of Tweed's support came from newly arrived Irish immigrants, whom he courted by distributing food and clothing.
Tweed and other political bosses represented the corruption that led Mark Twain to call the period "The Gilded Age."
What artist proved instrumental in bringing down Boss Tweed's political machine in New York City?
Nast's political cartoons in Harpers Weekly, a popular magazine of the day, spurred an investigation into Tweed's "Ring" (his group of supporters). Auditors of the city books discovered millions in fraudulent charges.
Tweed fled to Spain, but was captured when Spaniards recognized Tweed's face from Nast's cartoons.
What term did novelist Mark Twain coin to describe the political corruption that characterized American government following the Civil War?
The period became known as the Gilded Age, derived from a novel Twain published in 1873 about political corruption.
How did Stalwart Republicans and Half-Breed Republicans differ?
Led by New York's Roscoe Conkling, the Stalwart Republicans supported the spoils system, under which elected officials distributed jobs to friends and supporters.
In the elections of 1876 and 1880, Stalwart Republicans were opposed by Half-Breed Republicans, who favored civil service reform. Both Rutherford B. Hayes (the 1876 Republican nominee) and James A. Garfield (the 1880 Republican nominee) were Half-Breeds.
What significant political change did Rutherford B. Hayes advocate during his Presidency?
President from 1877 to 1881, Hayes advocated civil service reform, setting him at odds with Stalwart Republicans, who continued to support the spoils system.
Hayes's most prominent reform was to clean up the New York Customs House, emblematic of the spoils system. Hayes's efforts included firing Chester A. Arthur, the head of the Customs House.
How did President Hayes react to French attempts to build a transoceanic canal across Central America in the 1870s?
Hayes contended that "The true policy of the United States as to a canal... is either a canal under American control, or no canal."
Hayes need not have worried, as the French plan was impracticable and failed miserably. Nevertheless, he anticipated American interest in a canal during the early 20th century.
Why was Chester A. Arthur chosen as James Garfield's running mate in the 1880 presidential campaign?
While Garfield was a Half-Breed Republican and in support of civil service reform, Arthur was chosen to appeal to Stalwart Republicans, who supported the spoils system.
What did the Pendleton Act (1883) establish?
The Pendleton Act began the decline of the spoils system on the national level by providing selection of government employees based on competitive exams, rather than ties to political figures.
Ironically, the Act was signed by President Chester A. Arthur, who reached the office after the death of President Garfield. Arthur, a Stalwart Republican, was himself a product of the spoils system.
Who were the Mugwumps?
The Mugwumps were Republicans who were dissatisfied with the nomination of James G. Blaine as the Republican nominee for President in 1884. Believing that Blaine was corrupt, the Mugwumps threw their support behind Democratic Party nominee Grover Cleveland.
Mugwump support in the state of New York swung the 1884 election to Cleveland, who proved to be the only Democrat to become President between the Civil War and 1912.
President Grover Cleveland continued the process of civil service reform by making what announcement after his election in 1884?
Cleveland, a Democrat, announced that he would fire no Republican officeholder who was doing his job well. The announcement disappointed many Democrats, who had been out of office for decades.
Cleveland also reduced the size of several federal agencies, which had become bloated with inefficient appointees.
How did President Cleveland invoke the Monroe Doctrine in a dispute with Great Britain?
During his first term, Venezuela and Great Britain's colony of Guinea became embroiled in a boundary dispute. Venezuela asked for American arbitration, which Britain initially refused.
Invoking the Monroe Doctrine, Cleveland sent a sharply written letter to Britain, who then agreed to arbitration.
In the 1888 presidential election, Benjamin Harrison defeated Grover Cleveland. What did Harrison and the Republicans advocate?
Harrison and the Republicans advocated a high tariff, which was favored by Northerners who wanted to protect American industry from less expensive foreign manufactured goods.
They also supported the free coinage of silver, which was popular among farmers and laborers.
Both Presidents Arthur and Harrison supported the modernization of which branch of the armed services?
Under Arthur's administration, the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Naval Academy were established. Harrison increased the size of the Navy, adding seven armored cruisers. Prior to Harrison's increase, the United States had only one modern armored cruiser.
In 1882, Congress banned immigration from ______ for a period of 10 years, which was extended an additional 10 years in 1892.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882 under pressure from Western nativists. In the West, Chinese miners and laborers made up a large proportion of the workforce, filling jobs which Western workers felt belonged to them.
President Harrison continued the trend of American foreign policy to look towards what global region?
United States foreign policy continued to focus on Central and South America. Secretary James G. Blaine convoked a Council of American States, which met regularly to resolve political issues in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1891, two American sailors (who may have been drunk) were stabbed outside a bar in Valparaiso, Chile. How did President Harrison respond?
Harrison demanded that Chile apologize, but the Chileans refused and Harrison threatened war. Secretary of State James G. Blaine, who'd been severely ill, returned and calmed the situation. Chile agreed to pay nominal reparations.
Making good on their electoral promise, Republicans in Congress passed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. What did the Act accomplish?
The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 obligated the government to purchase a minimum amount of silver each month, reducing the supply of silver in the open market, and driving up its price.
Farmers hoped the Act would spur the economy and cause inflation, which would in turn enable farmers (many of whom were heavily in debt) to pay off their debt with less expensive dollars.
In 1890, at the same time they passed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, Congressional Republicans passed the McKinley Tariff. What did the Tariff establish?
The McKinley Tariff, proposed by future President William McKinley, increased tariff rates to almost 50%.
The McKinley Tariff was strongly supported by Republican protectionists, who advocated protecting American businesses and workers within the country by restricting or regulating trade with foreign nations.
What was the "Billion-Dollar Congress"?
From 1889 to 1891, during the first two years of President Benjamin Harrison's administration, Congress passed the first ever billion-dollar budget. The budget included pensions for non-combatants who had served in the Civil War, substantial increases in appropriations for the Navy, and other lavish spending.
What was the Populist Party?
Active during the late 19th century, the Populists fielded James G. Weaver as a Presidential candidate in 1892. The Populists sought to build a coalition of urban workers and farmers in the Midwest, and appealed to supporters of the Greenback Party, union workers, and those who belonged to the Farmers' Alliance. Over one million voters cast ballots for Populist candidates in 1892, and Weaver carried four states.
As part of their 1892 platform, the Populists adopted the Ocala Declaration.
What significant reforms did the Populists propose?
Drawing support from laborers, farmers, and reformers, the Populists proposed a graduated income tax, restrictions on immigration, public ownership of railroads, telephones and telegraphs, and the direct election of senators.
Prior to the passage of the 17th Amendment in 1912, senators were elected by state legislatures, rather than by the voters at large.
During the 1870s, most immigrants to the United States arrived from the countries of Northern Europe. During the 1880s and 1890s, from where did most European immigrants arrive?
Most new immigrants were from Italy, or were Jews from Eastern Europe.
Increasingly, these immigrants clustered in their own neighborhoods, such as Little Italy in Manhattan, or University City in St. Louis.
Grover Cleveland's biographer, Allan Nevins, called the 1892 presidential election "the cleanest, quietest, and most creditable in the memory of the post-war generation." What two issues were prominent in the campaign?
Once again, the issues of tariffs and silver coinage took the forefront. As an economic conservative, Cleveland was against free silver, and won a resounding victory. Cleveland was aided in part by dissatisfaction with the McKinley Tariff, which had exorbitantly raised prices.
In 1893, the stock market suffered a collapse similar to the one in 1873 when railroad overbuilding led to bank failures. How did President Cleveland address the depression that ensued?
Believing that the depression was caused by the free coinage of silver and a shortage of gold, Cleveland convinced Congress to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, and to reduce the McKinley Tariff's rate by passing the Wilson Tariff Act.
Despite their efforts, Cleveland and the Democrats shouldered much of the blame for the depression which lasted from 1893 to 1897 and resulted in their losing heavily in 1894 Congressional elections.
What was Coxey's Army?
Coxey's Army, led by Populist James A. Coxey, was a group of thousands of unemployed men who marched on Washington in 1894 as a result of the depression.
Coxey's Army demanded a public works program, but following their leader's arrest, the group disbanded.
The worsening depression, which began in 1893, led to what result in the 1894 Congressional elections?
Cleveland's Democrats were trounced, and while the Republicans gained control of Congress, the Populists made a strong showing in the West.
The main issue of the campaign was whether or not the government should issue silver coinage.
In The Rise of Silas Lapham and A Modern Instance, _____ _____ ______ examined the role of wealth and industrialization on the American family.
William Dean Howells
Howells adopted the literary style of realism, which sought to depict life as it was, with an emphasis on everyday activities and experiences rather than a romanticized depiction of life.