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

Key Terms

bloody shirt campaign
the strategy of Republican candidates to stress the sacrifices that the nation had to endure in its Civil War against Democratic southern secessionists
civil service
the contrast to the spoils system, where political appointments were based on merit, not favoritism
Coxey’s Army
an 1894 protest, led by businessman Jacob Coxey, to advocate for public works jobs for the unemployed by marching on Washington, DC
Farmers’ Alliance
a national conglomeration of different regional farmers’ alliances that joined together in 1890 with the goal of furthering farmers’ concerns in politics
Gilded Age
the period in American history during which materialism, a quest for personal gain, and corruption dominated both politics and society
a farmers’ organization, launched in 1867, which grew to over 1.5 million members in less than a decade
the group of Republicans led by James G. Blaine, named because they supported some measure of civil service reform and were thus considered to be only “half Republican”
a portion of the Republican Party that broke away from the Stalwart-versus-Half-Breed debate due to disgust with their candidate’s corruption
Populist Party
a political party formed in 1890 that sought to represent the rights of primarily farmers but eventually all workers in regional and federal elections
the group of Republicans led by Roscoe Conkling who strongly supported the continuation of the patronage system
subtreasury plan
a plan that called for storing crops in government warehouses for a brief period of time, during which the federal government would provide loans to farmers worth 80 percent of the current crop prices, releasing the crops for sale when prices rose


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