The 19th century was a time of great political change in the United States. From the election of Abraham Lincoln to the end of Reconstruction, politics played a major role in shaping the country. In this blog post, we’ll explore how important politics was in the closing decades of the 19th century.
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The Gilded Age
Politics in the late 19th century USA was marked by a number of important events and trends. Among these were the rise of the Republican Party, the expansion of the federal government, and the growth of cities. These events and trends had a significant impact on the lives of Americans and the course of the nation’s history.
The American economy tripled in size between 1865 and 1900. average annual incomes rose from $380 in 1865 to $1,100 in 1900, and the percentage of Americans living in poverty dropped from 32% to 9%. This economic growth was the result of a number of factors, including the spread of railroads across the country, the development of new technology (such as electricity and steel), an increase in immigration, and a rise in international trade. While there were some drawbacks to this economic growth (such as the rise of monopolies and income inequality), overall it led to a period of great prosperity in the United States.
The Political System
The political system of the Gilded Age was one that was incredibly corrupt and was often times controlled by a select few people. The majority of Americans did not have a say in what happened in their government and the people who did have a say were often bribed or coerced into voting a certain way. This level of corruption led to a number of scandals, such as the Teapot Dome Scandal, which only served to further mistrust the government in the eyes of the people.
The Progressive Era
The 1890s in the United States was marked by a number of significant changes. One of the most important changes was the rise of the Progressive Era. The Progressive Era was a time when people fought for social and political reform. During this time, politics played a big role in the country.
The economy was the main factor that led to the progressive era. The United States had just come out of a depression in 1893 and experienced a period of rapid economic growth. This growth was due to a number of factors, including an expanding population, new technologies, and an influx of foreign capital. The economy created new opportunities for Americans, but it also created new problems.
The growing economy led to the development of large corporations and the rise of a new class of wealthy Americans. These businessmen used their wealth to influence politics and government. They supported candidates who favored business interests and opposed those who wanted to regulate businesses or redistribute wealth.
The growing economy also led to the rise of labor unions. Workers banded together to demand better pay and working conditions. Sometimes they went on strike, or refused to work until their demands were met. The government sometimes intervened in these disputes, but often sided with businesses rather than workers.
The progressive era was a time of great political and social reform in the United States. The main goals of the progressives were to regulate businesses, help the poor, and reduce corruption in government. Progressives believed that these goals could be achieved through laws, which is why they pushed for changes in legislation at both the state and federal levels.
The Political System
Politics in the late nineteenth century United States was a dirty, dangerous business. Elected officials were often corrupt, and political campaigns were financed by corporations and wealthy individuals who expected favors in return. The average voter was bombarded with campaign literature and treated to lavish campaign parties and free gifts. Politicians used every trick in the book to win elections, and the general public was becoming increasingly disillusioned with the system.
In 1887, a group of reformers called for a constitutional convention to fix the broken political system. The resulting document, known as the Constitution of 1888, included a number of reforms designed to clean up politics and make it more responsive to the will of the people. These reforms includeddirect election of senators, secret ballot voting, and civil service reform.
The Constitution of 1888 was a good start, but it did not go far enough to fix all of the problems with the political system. In 1890, another group of reformers calling themselves “progressives” began agitating for even more reform. They wanted to make politicians more accountable to the people they represented and make government more efficient. Some of their ideas were radical, but they ultimately succeed in passing a number of important reforms, includingthe direct election of presidents, an income tax, and Prohibition.
The progressive movement was one of the most important political developments in late nineteenth century United States history. It helped to clean up politics and make government more responsive to the needs of its citizens.