Chapter 20: Politics in the Gilded Age, 1870-1900

Critical Thinking Questions

12. How does the term “Gilded Age” characterize American society in the late nineteenth century? In what ways is this characterization accurate or inaccurate?
13. With farmers still representing a significant segment of American society, why did government officials—Democrats and Republicans alike—prove unwilling to help find solutions to farmers’ problems?
14. Upon reflection, did the Populist Party make a wise decision in choosing to support the Democratic Party’s candidate in the 1896 presidential election? Why or why not?
15. Despite its relative weakness during this period, the federal government made several efforts to provide a measure of relief for struggling Americans. What were these initiatives? In what ways were they more or less successful?


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