Ch. 20 Prompts
1. Some of the conflicts that arose during the 1890s depression ranged from increased rural hostility towards the cities, fluctuating opinions on government, unemployment and reform. The debate over currency was very heated as well. Farmers were aggravated with the fact that they didn’t get their fair share of economic and social benefits. The public demanded reform and a larger role for the president. The alignment of these political issues along with the government itself led the way for the Progressive Era. 2. Some actions that were taken to prevent women and African American people from voting were outrageous. The Supreme Court upheld cases that allowed states to deny women their voting rights. Congress also refused to pass a Constitutional amendment which would allow women to vote. Some Southern states adopted many methods which made voting a hassle and a challenge for the African American population. They had to pass literacy tests which were near impossible for a largely uneducated population. The states also established a poll tax which made voters pay an annual tax for the right to vote. In Mississippi, registration officials made the voters read and interpret the Constitution which was hard for illiterate people. 3. Party loyalties were still tied to what happened during the Civil War and they remained the same from before the war as well. Voters stayed with the same parties they were with before and shifts were infrequent. The Democrats stayed strong in the South with their policies concerning states’ rights, decentralization, and limited government. The Republicans weren’t very strong in the South because of their policy with cutting military rule. Republicans still pursued policies which would benefit the nation as a whole and they would use the government to propel and promote such policies. 4. Farmers and merchants were upset with the rate discrimination of the railroad companies. Eventually, states paid closer attention and started implementing commissions which would allow states to fix rates, outlaw rebates and investigate rate discrimination. In the case of Illinois, the Supreme Court case of Munn v. Illinois, they ruled that the state could control private property for the common good but only within its own state boundaries. The public soon looked to the government for further action on the matter. Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act (1887) which allowed the investigation and supervision of railroad activities. 5. Civil service reform was an issue for presidents because they understood that to gain national respect, they must have a clean administration and to have such a thing, they’d have to make sure government officials fairly earn those positions. Presidents were trying to reassert their authority by playing by the book. Congress passed the Pendleton Act which required appointed officeholders to pass a competitive exam which would weed out the people who didn’t have enough merit. Grover Cleveland was a president who embodied the efforts of previous presidents who also understood what it meant to have a clean administration. 6. The election of 1888 was a major victory for the Republicans because it gave them the presidency and both houses of Congress. The Republicans finally got the majority of the support in the nation. The Democrats obviously weren’t very happy and they did everything they could to stagnate political progress. 7. The Democrats exploited the “disappearing quorum” rule which meant that members of the House of Representatives could join in the debate but then refuse to answer the roll call to determine whether a quorum was present. 8. The McKinley Tariff Act raised tariff duties by 4% but it also had a provision which allowed the president to lower duties if other countries did the same. The Sherman Antitrust Act was the federal attempt to regulate big business. The penalties were very strict but some of the terms were vague which...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document