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CH23 – Political Paralysis in the Gilded Age

Time Frame: 1869-1896

Objectives: At the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the political corruption of the Grant administration and the mostly unsuccessful efforts to reform politics in the Gilded Age.
  • Describe the economic crisis of the 1870s, and explain the growing conflict between hard-money and soft-money advocates.
  • Explain the intense political partisanship of the Gilded Age, despite the parties’ lack of ideological difference and poor quality of political leadership.
  • Indicate how the disputed Hayes-Tilden election of 1876 led to the Compromise of 1877 and the end of Reconstruction.
  • Describe how the end of Reconstruction led to the loss of black rights and the imposition of the Jim Crow system of segregation in the South.
  • Explain the rise of class conflict between business and labor in the 1870s and the growing hostility to immigrants, especially the Chinese.
  • Explain the economic crisis and depression of the 1890s, and indicate how the Cleveland administration failed to address it.
  • Show how the farm crisis of the depression of the 1890s stirred growing social protests and class conflict, and fueled the rise of the radical Populist Party.
  • [wpaudio url=”″ text=”Listen to a summary of Chapter 23″ dl=”0″]



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