• Gilded means Gold Covered
• 1880-1900 is called the Gilded Age because of societies focus on $ and greed. The rich were getting richer and the poor getting poorer. • Mark Twain wrote a novel entitled The Gilded Age and showed the growing gap between rich and poor. • President Rutherford B. Hayes (1876-1880) noted that 90% of the nations money was controlled by just 10% of the population.
Graft – political corruption.
o Politicians worked for votes by giving money to business and vice versa - Businesses got government contracts for work by giving money to politicians. o Kickback - When a contractor would raise the cost of doing work for the gov’t. Then the politician that hired the contractor would get a percent of the money. The money the politician gets is the kickback. o List other examples of graft below.
• A Political Machines was an organization of local/city politicians and wealthy business owners that worked together to run a city. • The machine boss did not always serve as mayor but he made the political decisions. (How and where to spend money, fix roads, change laws etc.) • These machines were party based - it was either a Democratic machine or a Republican machine. • The machine got votes by getting people and immigrants jobs, housing and gifts - then the people vote for that party’s candidate. • Once the political machines candidate was in office the machine boss would appoint friends and relatives to city jobs. • The machine controlled votes, police, courts, and local government, and used them to gain favor, money and votes.
• A New York City political machine boss that ran the Tammany Hall Machine, a democrat political machine. • He once hired a contractor to build a $3,000,000 courthouse - when finished it cost taxpayers $ 11,000,000. Overall, he stole an estimated $200 million of taxpayer money. In one interview he said, “As...