In the late 19th century, the gilded age presidents-Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, and Grover Cleveland-are considered as “forgettable” presidents because they failed to eliminate much corruption. The historians agree that their presidency was more of a figure of head than a leader. That is why Mark Twain called this time of history as the gilded age; the glitter and flashiness of the time seemed to mask the ugliness and crass materialism that lays beneath the surface. One reason that presidency failed was the lack of leadership. Some presidents did not do anything; Cleveland was known as the “veto governor.” Also, the corruption including Grant’s scandals began. Some presidents failed to act as people expected. In addition, presidents faced with a devastating depression, especially because of billion dollar congress by Benjamin Harrison. They failed to solve big issues such as tariffs, money issue, and rights of labor. Overall, presidency from Grant to Cleveland was totally failed to handle issues or reforms economically, politically, and socially.
As administration was riddled with corruption, many political leaders were involved in the scandals and faction of the party started, which led the failure of presidency. Because Grant possessed no political experience, his election inferred the political paralysis. Administration was riddled with corruption and cabinet members were useless. As the political machine leaders rose, known as bosses, who manipulate system to get themselves or their political party elected, Grant preferred spoils system, which gives office to loyal members of party in power. Against spoils system, Grantism comprised of liberal republicans who opposed patronage system wanted civil service system which gives office based on individual’s merit or by competitive written examination. Although Grant finally gave in, the republicans hated it. One of the Grant’s scandals was credit...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document