Population increasing significantly even through deaths of Union and Confederate Ranks- over 39 million people in 1870 (which was a gain of 26.6%).
U.S. 3rd largest nation in Western World behind Russia and France.
Corruption, which originated due to Ulysses Grant (good soldier bad politician).
The “Bloody Shirt” Elects Grant
“Good general would make good president”
Grant = most popular northern hero from war.
Citizens from Philly, Washington, and hometown (Illinois) presented him with a house.
NY gave him $105,000.
One presidential vote was democratic & very narrow cultural background.
Republicans nominated Grant for the presidency
Grant’s letter of acceptance: “Let us have peace”
Democrats denounced Military Reconstruction
Wealthy eastern delegates: asked for federal war bonds be redeemed in gold- even though many were depreciated with paper money.
Poor Midwesterners replied w/ “Ohio Idea”: called for redemption in greenbacks.
In debt democrats’ goal: keep money in circulation and interest rates lower.
Midwestern delegates got platform but not candidate.
GRANT VS. SEYMOUR
Horatio Seymour rejected “Ohio idea”.
Republicans got enthusiasm for Grant by “waving the bloody shirt”.
Republican slogan: “Vote as You Shot” to Union Army Veterans
Grant beat Seymour-> 214-80 electoral votes.
Most white voters supported Seymour, southern states not counted (Mississippi, Texas, Virginia).
500,000 former slaves gave Grant his victory.
The Era of Good Stealings
Railroad promoting left gullible bonds buyer
Unethical stock-market manipulators
Judges and legislators put their power for sale
Notorious millionaire partners:
“Jubilee Jim” Fisk & Jay Gould. Fisk provided “brass” and Gould had brains.
Wanted to corner gold market but only if Federal Treasury didn’t sell gold.
Worked on Grant and his brother.
Bid gold price up to profit from its high value.
“Black Friday” – Treasury released gold.
Price of gold dropped
Tweed Ring in NYC: displayed the ethics of the age.
Burly “Boss” Tweed – bribery, graft, fraudulent of $200 million
NY times got evidence against him in 1871 and published it (w/out 5 mil)
Nast (Cartoonist) degraded Tweed
Attorney Tilden headed prosecution: Tweed died behind bars
A Carnival of Corruption
Corruption within Gov. and within Grant’s administration- bribed by cigs, wines, horses
Credit Mobilier scandal: 1872
Formed by Union Pacific Railroad insiders
Hired themselves with inflated prices to build it
Distributed shares of stock to congressmen
Censure of two congressmen and VP of U.S. accepted pay from them.
Robbed treasury of millions in excise-tax revenues
“Let no guilty man escape”
Own private secretary accused, he excused him w/ statement to jury
Secretary of War: William Belknap resigned after getting bribes from suppliers to Indian reservations
The Liberal Republican Revolt of 1872
Disgust with Grant forming across nation
Liberal Republican Party formed
“Turn the Rascals out”
Wanted purification of administration and end to Military reconstruction
Cincinnati nominated Horace Greenly for Presidency
Editor of NY tribune, dogmatic, emotional, & unsound in political judgments
Democrats promoted Greenly, Republicans re-nominated Grant: both unqualified
Republicans: “Grant us another term” -> Grant won
Republican congress passed general amnesty act:
Remove political disabilities from all but 500 past confed leaders
Congress reduced high civil war tariffs and civil-service reform to Grant’s admin.
Depression, Deflation, and Inflation
Economic Panic of 1873
Overreaching promoters: more railroad track, more mines, factories, sowed more grain fields than markets could take.
Bankers made too many loans to finance those.
No profits and loans paid back
Nations worldwide suffered similarly.
Over 15, 000 business bankrupt
NYC Unemployed battled police
Freedman’s savings and trust company