Politicians of the Gilded Age

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Politicians during this time period worried more about ensuring their own financial success, securing votes by any means, granting jobs or favors in return for votes, and remaining popular. They were not concerned with social issues, but supported or crushed these issues in accordance with the decision that would benefit them personally. If politicians were judged to be good personally, they were automatically viewed as good politically. Changes were made for personal benefit, not the good of the community. Read political ideologies were not central to this time period. Use specific people mentioned in Chapter 19 to validate or invalidate this statement.

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As stated by Henry Adams, the Gilded Age which occurred through years 1870-1895, was the most "thoroughly ordinary" period ever in American politics. It was a time of presidents who made no dramatic changes to the nation, serving more than two consecutive terms, or drafted any major bills. Politicians of that time period worried more about ensuring this own financial success, securing votes by any means, granting jobs or favors in return for votes, and remaining popular. Therefore, the statement that politicians during the Gilded Age made changes for personal benefit, not the good of the community is in fact valid and can be shown through politicians' actions during this period.

During the weak presidencies of Andrew Johnson and Ulysses Grant, Congress emerged as the dominant branch of government with power centered in the committee system. Two republican senators helped show this and the moral quality of the legislative branch. The first is Roscoe Conkling. Conkling was a Republican senator of New York. During this time period, many citizens agreed that the national government should tackle problems such as poverty, unemployment, and trusts in the nation. Conkling followed nothing of this sort. In fact, in more than two decades in Congress, he never drafted one bill. Instead, Conkling...
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