III. Farmer's Revolt
A. Background of the Farmer's Crisis
B. Farm Problems
- Homestead Act 1862
a. Made available 160 acres to each settler willing to farm it
b. Settlers had to live on the land for five years, and improve it.
c. Cost was a nominal fee of $30, after which the land belonged to the settler,
but during the five-year period, the Land was exempt from attachment for
d. From 1862-1900, 500,000 families acquired title to lands in the West
under this act, (but it should be noted that 2,500,000 purchased land from
Railroad and land companies and from state governments during the same period).
e. The limit of 160 acres was not sufficient on the Great Plains as in the
(1) insufficient water supplies
(2) inadequate building materials, few trees.
(3) Great Plains was not the traditional type of frontier.
(a) Severe droughts and blizzards plagued the area.
(b) As many as 2/3 of the settlers abandoned the homesteads, returning East
- Changes in Agriculture in the Post-Civil War Era
a. Favorable prices from grain led to a concentration of a single money
crop grown in the Great Plains such as wheat or corn.
b. Profits were used to buy goods which previously had been raised by the
c. Manufactured goods were purchased in town or through mail-order houses
such as Montgomery Ward (who established his firm in 1877 in Chicago)
d. Larger, better equipment enabled more acreage to be planted and harvested
e. Increasingly, the need for business-like practices arose for success
at farming, but many farmers lacked the necessary business skills, and blamed
others for their failures, such as the Railroad, the bankers, or the federal
C. Early Attempts at Organization
- Single Money Crop - farmers tied themselves to the production
of single crop which was good if the price were high but led to many bankruptcies
when the price was too low
- Lack of Currency - growth of Big Business in the Northeast
led to a scramble for available currency
- High Interests Rates - With a short money supply, interest
rates went as high as 40% charged by Eastern loan companies causing as many
as 1/4 of the farms in the Midwest to be run by tenants rather than owners
- High Property Taxes - over-valued land resulted in over-assessed
local and state taxes
- High Tariffs
a. Eastern industry was benefited by the high tariffs of the era and burdened
b. Low-priced produce was sold in a competitive world market place while
high priced manufacture goods were protected in the home markets.
- Nature's Rampage (Acts of God)
a. Insect infestation destroyed millions of acres of crops - grasshoppers
in the Midwest, boll weevils in the South
b. Flooding and soil erosion followed by cycles of drought in the trans-Mississippi
West after l886, and Western Kansas 1887.
c. At least l/2 of Western Kansas migrated back to the East by 1891 - "In
God We Trusted, In Kansas We Busted."
- Storage and/or Shipping Fees
a. Farmers had to pay for the storage of their produce which reduced their
b. Railroads sometimes charged more in shipping fees than the produce was
worth, making it cheaper to burn the grain sometimes as fuel than to ship
it to market
- No National Organization - Although by 1890 almost one-half
of the population was engaged in farming, they remained poorly organized,
being by nature individualistic and independent.
D. Populist Movement
a. Farmers saw control of the national government pass from their hands
into the hands of the industrial class after the Civil War.
b. They saw the formation of large combinations in industry, whereby industrialists
eliminated competitors and maintained a monopolistic price.
c. They felt economically oppressed by railroads who discriminated against
d. They felt themselves economically injured by the national banking system
which favored the industrialists and prevented the freeflow of credit to
smaller agricultural communities
- National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry (the
a. Granger Movement was the first attempt by farmers to strike back at the
industrial and railroad giants oppressing them.
b. Oliver Hudson Kelley founded a secret society in 1867
in Fredonia NY which was at first non-political - its original goal was
to stimulate farm families with social, educational and fraternal activities
such as picnics, lectures and music presentations.
c. Its structure was similar to Masons -- they used passwords and secret
handshakes and contained a four-level hierarchy (Laborer to Husbandman,
men; Maid to Matron, women).
d. Women, usually subjected to loneliness, especially liked Granger activities.
(1) By 1871, it was introduced into SC and quickly spread through the South
(2) By 1874, it had 858,000 members and peaked at 1 1/2 million from the
mid-West and South
f. Its economic platform illustrated their contempt for industrial and banking
(1) It advised farmers to dispense with middlemen and commission agents.\
(2) It expressed violent opposition to monopolies and trusts.
(3) It demanded regulation of the railroads by state and national governments
in the interests of the producers.
(4) It advocated agricultural and industrial education.
(1) They tried to improve the farmer's plight by establishing farmer's co-ops
(2) An attempt to manufacture their own harvesting machinery failed because
(3) Succeeded in raising the Department of Agriculture to the Cabinet Level
(4) Obtained rural delivery and parcel post services
h. They entered the state political arena, having some success in the Upper
Mississippi Valley area (Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota)
i. Some success at regulating the railroads and grain elevators was achieved
at the state level, but the successes were restricted by later Supreme Court
j. Granger Decline -- membership eroded by 85% by 1880
(1) The laxness of organization permitted many persons who were not interested
in the farmer and his problems to join.
(2) The huge, unwieldy mass within the organization led to dissension in
(3) The connection of the Grange with many political movements led to its
(4) The Grange failed to secure permanent and effective railroad regulation
(5) The main cause was the failure of the Granger cooperative endeavors,
which went to pieces, and left a burden of discredit and indebtedness.
- Greenback Labor Party - 1878
a. Organized in Toledo with 800 delegates from 28 states, the Greenback
and Labor Reform Parties combined farmer and labor issues
(1) Stood for more greenbacks in circulation and the free coinage of silver
(2) Advocated fewer working hours, and restrictions on Chinese immigrants
b. In 1878, they polled l,060,000 votes and sent 14 members to Congress
c. In 1880, they endorsed such issues as Women's suffrage, a graduated income
tax, and federal regulation of interstate commerce
(1) James Weaver, their presidential candidate in l880, received 3% of the
(2) Benjamin Butler in 1884 did not do as well as Greenbackers had in 1880.
d. Because it was primarily a third party effort, it failed to make much
headway in the South, except in Alabama, where Greenbackers demanded adequate
educational facilities, denounced the convict-lease system, and cried for
an equalization of the tax burden.
- Alliance Movement
a. Numerous farmer's alliances emerged in many states, hoping to unite black
and white farmer's facing the same economic issues.
b. The first, Knights of Reliance , was established by
a cattleman's association in Lampassas County Texas in 1877 and quickly
spread throughout the cotton states.
c. By 1890, the various farmer's alliances claimed membership of 1 million
d. Stressed the use of co-ops to buy fertilizer and other supplies collectively
gaining a cheaper price than individually.
e. All alliances agreed that farm prices were too low, transportation costs
were too high, and that something was wrong with the financial system of
f. Unfortunately, these alliances adopted different policies throughout
the country, and therefore remained at best only regional in effectiveness.
g. Continued sectionalism hampered their unification
(1) Northern Alliances voted Republican, favored the tariff, focused on
regulation of railroads and federal land policies, resisted synthetic foods
like margarine and generally came to favor the formation of a new Party
(a) National Farmer's Alliance formed by Milton George
(b) Won Kansas legislature, Nebraska legislation and was the balance of
power in Minnesota and South Dakota
(2) Southern Alliances voted Democrat, opposed the tariff, focused on financial
reforms, were against land syndicates and crop futures speculation, and
favored the one-party system of the Solid South - Democrat
(a) National Farmer's Alliance and Industrial Union was
a merger of farmer's alliances in the South and Southwest
i) It included everyone "not obnoxious to the Constitution," which
excluded railroad officials, bankers, cotton buyers, real estate brokers,
shopkeepers ("anyone who bought and sold for gain")
ii) Unfortunately it also excluded Blacks farmers
(b) Won control of 8 Southern legislatures, 44 Congressional or Senate seats
(c) A Segregated Colored Farmer's Association claimed one
million members in 1888
h. An attempted merger in 1889 failed because of the differences:
(1) Southern Alliance had three times as many members
(2) Blacks were members of the Northern Alliance.
(3) South's practice of secret rituals was unacceptable to the Northern
IV. Politics of the Gilded Age
- Early Leadership
a. Ignatius Donnelly (1831-1901) - Minnesota, elected three
times to Congress, and populist candidate in l900.
b. Mary Elizabeth Lease - popular speaker urged farmers to "raise less
corn and more Hell"
c. Tom Watson (1856-1922) - Georgia Congressman, Senator
and Governor and later Populist vice-presidential candidate in 1896, presidential
candidate in 1904
d. "Sockless Jerry" Simpson - Kansas Congressman
e. William A. Peffer - Kansas Senator
f. James Kyle - South Dakota
- Early attempts at National Unity - Beginning in 1890
a. Agrarian interests in the West and South + labor + Grangers + Greenbacks
met in St. Louis in Dec l889.
b. People's Party formed in Kansas June 1890
c. Southern Alliance + Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association + Colored Farmers'
Alliance met in Ocala Florida to draw up a list of grievances
(1) Labor representatives called for the creation of a new party
(2) Southern representatives resisted its formation, fearing a rise in Black
- Those who favored a national effort were frustrated by the failure
of agrarian efforts to liberalize the Democratic Party or get Republicans
to listen to their demands and were encouraged by successes at the state
level when unified, and therefore met to unite in 1892.
- Issues raised
a. Regulation and government ownership of railroads, telegraph and telephones
b. Free Unlimited Coinage of Silver -- their major issue
c. The issuance by the federal government of legal tender notes and the
abolition of national banks as banks of currency issue
d. A graduated income tax
e. A "sub-treasury plan" (Southern innovation) to permit farmers
to receive loans against their unperishable produce when prices were low
by storing the goods in government warehouses until prices went up and then
selling the goods and repaying the loans.
f. A parcel post to combat the express companies
g. An 8-hour day for wage earners
h. Immigration restrictions of undesirables
i. Popular election of US Senators
j. Electoral innovations such as initiative, referendum and the secret ballot.
k. Restricting land ownership to US citizens
l. At first calling for full civil rights for all citizens (Black members
who could not vote were no good to the party), the People's Party met resistance
to this in the South where it was feared that Blacks would gain political
- Organization of the Populist Party
a. A national meeting in Cincinnati 19 May 189l with 1400 delegates from
32 states planned independent action from the major parties
b. February 1892 - People's Party of the USA ("Populists")
was formed in St. Louis with 800 delegates
c. Their first national convention met in July 1892
(1) James Weaver was nominated for president and polled
over one million votes, carrying Colorado, Kansas. Idaho and Nevada with
22 electoral votes.
(2) In 1896, Democrats captured their chief issue (free coinage of silver),
leading them to endorse the Democrat, William Jennings Bryan
(3) To keep a separate identity, Tom Watson (GA) was nominated vice-president
d. Why Populism Failed as a Viable Third Party Effort
(1) Southern farmers did not abandon the Democratic Party
(2) Nationally, Democrats embraced the key Populist issue, free coinage
of silver, which spelled their doom as a serious political party effort
(3) Farmers entered into a period of relative prosperity from 1897 - 1920,
making money more plentiful and lessening the demands for extreme financial
e. Achievements of the Independent Farmers Movement
(1) Although they failed as a viable third party effort, many of their proposals
were adopted over the next two decades, including
(a) Initiative and referendum adopted in many states
(b) Direct election of Senators - 17th amendment l913
(c) Secret ballot in many states adopted
(d) Graduated income tax passed under Cleveland allowed a tax on incomes
over $4000, although the Supreme Court struck it down in Pollock vs
Farmer's Loan & Trust Co , the 16th amendment 1913 made an income
(e) Eight-hour work day a reality today
(2) A much greater emphasis was placed on popular education and social and
economic reform, esp. in the South, which led to increased regulation of
railroads and banks by state govern-ments, the expansion of state departments
of agriculture, the utilization of the party primary instead of the state
convention as the means of nominating candidates, the replacement of the
old party ballot with the secret ballot, and the shift to a commission form
of city government.
(3) Overall, the Populists greatly liberalized the US political system but
failed to reform the financial situation or achieve government ownership
of the railroads, telephone or telegraphs
f. Nationwide, Cleveland Democrats of the conservative east were replaced
by more progressive Bryan Democrats from the mid-west.
g. Unfortunately in the South, while conservative Bourbon Democrats were
ousted from the party's control, a new type of leader emerged, demagogues,
who stirred the people to democratic revolt and used class agitation and
race hatred to rise and stay in power, offering little substantive progressive
A. Administrations of Garfield (20th) and Arthur (21st)
B. Election of 1884 - Arthur, who angered too many Republicans particularly
from his own faction, was not nominated for President in his own right (but
he died in 1886 of Bright's Disease, a liver ailment.)
- Struggle over the Spoils of Office
a. James G. Blaine's appointment as Secretary of State was a victory for
the Half-Breed Republican faction.
b. The struggle over control of the customs collectors's job at the port
of NY was won when Garfield nominated a Conkling opponent, William H. Robertson,
who was eventually affirmed
(1) Conkling retired from politics and the Stalwart faction
(2) This was as much a victory for Presidential power as it was for "Half-Breeds."
- Garfield the man
a. The son of Ohio homesteaders and last of the log cabin presidents was
president of Hiram College at age 26.
b. Allegedly, he could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other
c. He was a Major General in Civil War who resigned in 1863 to become a
Republican congressman for 17 years until his election to the presidency
d. He was the first left-handed person to be elected President.
- Assassination of Garfield 2 July 1881
a. Office seekers flooded the White House, where Garfield found it hard
to say no.
b. At a train station in Washington DC, en route to Williams College in
Massachusetts on 2 July 1881, Garfield was shot by a mentally unstable,
disappointed office seeker, Charles J. Guiteau , stating
as he shot him: "I am a stalwart and Arthur will be president."
c. Garfield lingered in agony for eighty days with a 44 caliber bullet in
his back before dying on 19 Sept 1881 in Elberon NJ, 2 months shy of his
d. Guiteau was tried, convicted and executed (30 June 1882).
- Arthur's Presidency
a. Although second in command to the stalwart Roscoe Conklin
who expected him to appoint numerous Conklinites to political offices, Arthur
stated: "Conklin made me vice-president but God made me President"
and appointed equal numbers from among supporters of Blaine and Conklin.
b. A 9-man Tariff Commission recommended substantial tariff reductions,
but a Republican-dominated Congress did not act on this recommendation.
c. Pendleton Act 1883 - Public reaction to Garfield's assassination
+ Democratic victories in the Bi-Elections of 1882 forced a Republican congress
into civil service reform.
(1) A Civil Service Commission was created to administer examinations to
determine a merit basis for appointees to Federal offices.
(2) It forbade the levying of political campaign assessments on Federal
(3) It called for apportioning appointments among the states according to
(4) It established a limited civil service list that the President expanded
as he desired
d. Other actions under President Arthur
(1) Corrupt Republicans were prosecuted.
(2) Pork barrel legislation was vetoed
(3) Secretary of the Navy Whitney built a steel Navy
(4) Commodore Stephen Bleecker opened the US Naval War College in 1884 in
Newport RI to provide naval officers with postgraduate training in advanced
naval science and warfare, international law and history.
(5) Chinese Exclusion Act 1882
(6) Bureau of Labor was created as part of the Dept of the Interior in 1884
(7) The Senate failed to ratify a treaty to build a canal across Nicaragua
C. Cleveland's administration as 22d President - 49 years old
a. Republicans in Chicago
(1) On the fourth ballot, James Gillespie Blaine (ME),
Garfield's Secretary of State, who served in both House and Senate, was
(2) Gen. John A. Logon (IL) was nominated as Vice-President
(3) Republicans were badly split over the issue of civil service reform.
(a) Stalwarts or Conklingites staunchly supported the party.
(b) Half-breeds , led by Blaine, strongly supported civil
service reform, but remained supporters of the Republican party.
(c) "Mugwumps " (Algonquin for "Big Chief"),
led by George William Curtis and Sen. Carl Schurz (MO), bolted the party
and as Liberal Republicans, agreed to support the Democrat, if sufficiently
b. Democrats in Chicago nominated the 47-year-old reform-minded, bachelor
Governor Stephen Grover Cleveland (NY) for President and
Thomas A. Hendricks (IL) for Vice-President.
c. Greenback Labor Party also endorsed Butler for president.
- Campaign -- the dirtiest in US politics.
a. Blaine in the published Mulligan letters was linked
to the Credit Mobilier scandal
(1) He was investigated by the House of Representatives in 1876 and charged
with illegally using his influence.
(2) In one letter, Blaine requested from a friend, a reply which disavowed
that he had any part in the railroad scandal.
(3) The missive ended with "Burn this letter!" but
the letter survived.
(4) Democrats shouted the slogan Burn Burn Burn this letter!
b. Cleveland, while mayor of Buffalo NY, was linked to the illegitimate
son of a widow.
(1) Cleveland did not deny his relationship with the woman.
(2) Several men had known her company but Cleveland, the only bachelor,
provided child support.
(3) Republicans countered with the slogan Ma Ma Where's My Pa?
c. Because neither Cleveland nor Blaine served in the Civil War, the "Bloody
Shirt" issue was dead, but the campaign focused on a choice between
immorality (Ma! Ma! Where's My Pa?) versus dishonesty (Burn Burn Burn this
d. A blunder by a Blaine supporter in NY, the Rev. Samuel D. Burchard
, angered Irish Catholics and cost Blaine NY's electoral votes and therefore
(1) Burchard referred to Democrats as the party of Rum, Romanism
and Rebellion , a slap against Irish immigrants who voted Democrat.
(2) The angry Irish turned out in greater numbers than they probably would
have and gave Cleveland a 1,149 vote margin in NY of 1,125,000 votes cast.
a. Cleveland 4,911,017 - 219 electoral votes to Blaine 4,848,334 - 182 electoral
b. Butler 175,370; St. John 150,369
D. Election of 1888
- He supported the principle of laissez faire (French
for "allow them to do"), the doctrine which meant that the government
should not interfere with business
- Presidential Succession Act was passed in 1886 which provided for
succession to proceed through the Cabinet in the order of creation of those
- Dawes Severalty Act (seen previously)
- Hatch Act funded agricultural experimental stations
to be located in most states to study farming techniques, crop diseases,
crop uses and abuses in order to reverse the trend of top-soil erosion,
the result of poor land management and crude farming methods
- Interstate Commerce Act (seen later)
- Fought to reduce a Treasury surplus by reducing the tariff
- February 1889 - Department of Agriculture was elevated
to a Cabinet level position as farming became big business.
- Vice-president Hendricks died on November 1885 and was not replaced
E. Harrison's Administration As 23d President
a. Cleveland had angered several important groups of voters during his first
term, including Texas farmers, by vetoing a bill to provide seeds for drought
stricken areas, reasoning that "the government should not support the
b. He furthered angered cattle ranchers by nullifying their illegal leases
of Indian grasslands (which partially led to the Dawes Severalty Act)
c. Cleveland resented the press' interest into his private life especially
after he married 23-year-old Francis Folsom , the youngest
first lady ever.
d. Cleveland tried to stop the free coinage of silver under the Bland Allison
Act by calling for a reduction of the tariff to reduce the treasury surplus.
e. Most importantly, Cleveland angered the powerful Union veterans' lobby
-- Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).
(1) He appointed two Cabinet positions to former confederates, and suggested
that captured Confederate battle flags be returned to their respective states.
(2) Arrears Pension Act 1879 allowed more veterans to have
(a) He investigated each individual claim, vetoing any appearance of fraud.
(b) Pensions rose from $56 million in 1885 to $80 million by 1888.
(c) Although vetoing more bills than any previous president, 413 (2/3) bills,
earning him the wrath of the GAR, he also signed more than any president
(3) Dependent Pension Bill introduced by Sen
Henry W. Blair (NH) allowed all honorably discharged veterans with at least
90-days service, who were not able to earn their support or who were dependent
on manual labor, to receive a pension.
(a) Congress passed it in Jan 1887.
(b) 11 February - Cleveland vetoed it, claiming that it would make the pension
list a refuge for fraud, rather than an "honor roll "
- Major Candidates
a. Democrats in St. Louis renominated Cleveland for a second term, although
less enthusiastically and Allen G. Thurmond for vice-President.
b. Republicans in Chicago
(1) Facing thirteen candidates, Republicans nominated on the eighth ballot
Senator Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) (IN), grandson of
ninth President, William Henry Harrison, although defeated for reelection
as Senator in 1887 (Blaine and McKinley were on all eight ballots)
(2) Levi P. Morton (NY) was nominated as vice-president
a. The major issue was the tariff.
b. Cleveland's affair in Buffalo resurfaced and the press also was interested
in his marriage to Francis Folsom, but the campaign was not nearly as dirty
as in 1884.
c. Murchison Letter , supposedly written by British-born
Charles Murchison to Sir Lionel Sackville-West, British ambassador to the
US, was printed in Republican papers
(1) The letter asked who he should vote for in the interests of Great Britain
(2) Publication of the letter's response, which indicated a vote for Cleveland
was best for Britain, angered Irish voters, giving NY to Harrison by 14,000
(3) The letter was actually written by George Osgood ,
a. GAR support for Harrison plus the outcome in NY gave Harrison 233 electoral
votes to 168 for Cleveland, although Cleveland had a plurality of 100,000
popular votes (5,540,050 to 5,444,337).
b. Republicans gained control of both Houses of Congress (strengthened in
the Senate by the addition of six states, all voting Republican).
F. Election of 1892
- Harrison the man
a. His great-grandfather signed the Declaration of Independence, his grandfather
was President and his father was an Indiana Congressman.
b. An Indiana Senator and a Civil War General, he had aided Garfield's campaign.
c. His wife Carrie oversaw a major renovation of the White House, installing
the first electric lights, and having the first White House Christmas Tree.
- Domestic Issues
a. 51st Congress -- "billion dollar Congress "
-- first congress to spend a billion dollars annually in peacetime.
b. Dependent Pensions Act 1890 was designed to deal with
a Treasury surplus
(1) James Tanner appointed Commissioner of Pensions.
(2) Pension rolls of Civil War veterans swelled from 676,000 to 970,000
with costs swelling from $81 to $135 million annually.
c. Sherman Anti-Trust Act 1890 - 2 July
(1) Following the lead of KS and other states, Congress passed a law aimed
at monopolistic trusts by declaring illegal trusts as in restraint of trade
(2) It was greatly weakened by ambiguous language, that was applied to unions.
(3) NJ permitted holding companies to be legally chartered in the state,
which allowed trusts to circumvent this anti-trust legislation.
d. Sherman Silver Purchase Act 1890 - 14 July
(1) Western interests in Congress, in return for support for the McKinley
tariff, secured Northeastern support for this bill
(2) It promoted the free coinage of silver by requiring the government to
purchase 4.5 million ounces of silver per month at current market prices
and to mint coins
e. McKinley Tariff 1890
(1) The highest peacetime tariff with an average of 48.4%
(2) Its author, Rep. William McKinley of Ohio, was defeated for reelection.
(3) In response, the Bi-Elections of 1890 returned the House to the Democrats.
f. Redistribution of Indian lands
(1) April 1889 - Two million acres in Oklahoma was opened to white settlers
(2) 1890- 11 million acres in SD was opened to non-Indian settlement.
G. Cleveland's Second Administration (24th president)
a. Republicans in Minneapolis renominated Benjamin Harrison
for President and Whitelaw Reid (NY) was nominated for
b. Democrats in Chicago on the first ballot nominated Grover Cleveland
for President for a third time and added Adalai E. Stevenson
(IL) for Vice-President
c. Populists in Omaha nominated James B. Weaver and James
G. Field (VA)
a. Although Populists were active in the Midwest, the campaign was relatively
b. Harrison's pro-tariff stance hurt his image in the light of the Homestead
strike of 1892.
a. Cleveland - 5,554,414 (277 electoral) votes; Harrison - 5,190,801 (145
b. Populists carried 6 western, Midwestern states 1,027,329 popular (22
H. Election of 1896
- Panic of 1893 continuously plagued his second administration.
a. In a special session of Congress, Cleveland pushed to repeal the Sherman
Silver Purchase Act, an issue that badly split the Democratic Party
b. Congress met from 7 August until 30 Oct debating its repeal before finally
repealing it 239-108 on 28 August and the Senate repealing it on 30 October
- To stop the flow of gold out of the US treasury, Cleveland arranged
a $65 million loan from Wall Street financier J.P. Morgan
to be made in gold in l895.
- Cleveland's use of federal troops ended the Pullman strike 1894,
which damaged his image
- April 1894 - Ohio businessman Jacob S. Coxey led
a march, known as Coxey's Army, on Washington of about 500 unemployed workers
who demanded relief, wanting a federal works program, the move ended with
the arrest of the leaders.
- Wilson-Gorman Tariff (1894) only slightly reduced
it from an average of 48.4% to 41.3%.
a. It replaced any lost revenue with a 2% tax on incomes over $4000
b. The tax was declared unconstitutional in Pollock vs Farmer's Loan
and Trust 1895
- Cleveland withdrew a Treaty of Annexation between the US and Hawaii
a. He had sent J.H. Blount to investigate the background of the treaty
b. Blount, from the South, remembered the presence of federal troops during
Recon-struction, against Southern wishes and therefore did not believe in
forcing persons into a particular position against their wishes.
c. He discovered the unorthodox events which led to the treaty and suggested
that because native Hawaiians did not support annexation, it should not
occur, and Cleveland agreed
I. McKinley's Administration (25th President)
- Bi-Elections of 1894 - Because the Panic of 1893 had made Cleveland
very unpopular, the Republicans again controlled the House, although Populists
enjoyed a 42% increase in votes.
a. Republicans in St Louis
(1) Gov William McKinley (OH) was nominated for President,
although many regarded him as a puppet of business kingpin Marcus
Alonzo Hanna , his campaign manager
(2) Garret A. Hobart (NJ) was nominated for Vice-President
(3) Republicans endorsed the gold standard, although promising to work for
the silver standard internationally, supported a protective tariff and favored
annexing the Hawaiian Islands
b. Democrats in Chicago
(1) Although Cleveland offered himself for a third term, he was bypassed
in favor of 36-year-old William Jennings Bryan , who electrified
the convention with his Cross of Gold speech, blasting
the gold standard in favor of unlimited coinage of silver.
(2) Arthur Sewall (ME) was nominated for Vice-President
c. Some Republicans, led by Henry M. Teller, met as the National Silver
Republicans and endorsed the Democratic candidates
d. Some Democrats, under the banner of National Democrats, favored the gold
standard and nominated 79-year-old John M. Palmer (IL) and Simon B. Buckner
e. Because the Populists had their chief issue, the free coinage of silver,
stolen by Bryan and the Democrats, they endorsed Bryan for President to
unite the anti-McKinley vote, but tried to maintain a separate identity
by nominating Tom Watson (GA) for Vice-President, a move that killed the
Populist Party as a viable third party effort
a. Bryan campaigned vigorously -- 14 weeks, 29 states, 13,000 miles and
b. McKinley never left his front-porch at home in Canton Ohio.
c. Republicans, with a war chest of $16 million to the Democrats $1 million,
successfully painted Bryan as an anarchist and dangerous revolutionary
d. This election pitted debtor against creditor, West and South against
the East, silver backers against gold backers and farmers against industrialists.
a. Republicans kept control of both Houses of Congress
b. McKinley received 271 electoral (7,104,799 popular) votes to Bryan's
176 electoral (6,502,925 popular) votes.
J. Election of 1900
- Spanish-American War (See below)
- McKinley the man
a. A major in the Civil War
b. As Governor of Ohio, he won the support of labor by advocating arbitration
in labor disputes and fines for employers who would not let workers join
c. He served twelve years in the House of Representatives and was Governor
of Ohio when nominated for President.
- Vice-President Hobart died on 21 November 1899.
a. Republicans in Philadelphia renominated William McKinley for President
and, at the urging of NY political bosses added for Vice-President their
reform-minded Governor, Theodore Roosevelt
b. Democrats in Kansas City renominated William Jennings Bryan for President
and added Adalai Stevenson (IL) for Vice-President
c. Social Democrat Party nominated Eugene Debs (IN) and
Job Harrison (CA)
a. Republicans supported the gold standard, an isthmian canal to be built
and run by Americans, and McKinley's foreign policy, following the speedy
victory over Spain.
b. Democrats denounced the Gold Standard Act 1900 and condemned the rise
of American imperialism under McKinley.
a. McKinley won 292 electoral (7,219,530 popular) votes to Bryan's 155 electoral
(6,358,071 popular) votes
b. Wooley received 208,914 votes, Debs 87,814 and Barker, 50,373.
c. Republicans retained control of both Houses of Congress.
- McKinley's Assassination
a. 6 Sept 1901 - McKinley visited the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo
b. Leon Czolgosz , an anarchist, shot McKinley, who died
on 14 September.
c. Ironically, at the Pan American Exposition, a new medical invention was
introduced which might have saved McKinley, if it had been used -- the X-ray
- Theodore Roosevelt the man
a. The youngest President at age 43, he jogged daily around the Washington
b. The first President to ride in an automobile and in a submarine, to travel
outside the US as Pres-ident (to Panama) and to invite a Black man to the
White House for dinner, Booker T. Washington