Matt Quay was called “the ablest politician this country has ever produced.” He served as a United States senator representing Pennsylvania from 1887 to 1904. His career as a Republican Party boss, however, spanned nearly half a century, during which numerous governors and one president owed their election success to his political skills. James A. Kehl was given the first public access to Quay's own papers, and herein presents the inside story of this controversial man who was considered a political Robin Hood for his alleged bribe-taking, misappropriations of funds, and concern for the underprivileged-yet he emerged as the most powerful member of the Republican Party in his state.
Nominating conventions were the highlight of presidential elections in the Gilded Age, an era when there were no primaries, no debates and nominees did little active campaigning. Unlike modern conventions, the outcomes were not so seemingly predetermined. Historians consider the late 19th century an era of political corruption, when party bosses controlled the conventions and chose the nominees. Yet the candidates nominated by both Republicans and Democrats during this period won despite the opposition of the bosses, and were opposed by them once in office. This book analyzes the pageantry, drama, speeches, strategies, platforms, deal-making and often surprising outcomes of the presidential nominating conventions of the Gilded Age, debunking many wildely-held beliefs about politics in a much-maligned era.
Four men played leading roles in the political drama that unfolded in South Texas during the first decades of this century: James B. Wells, who ruled as boss of Cameron County and served as leading conservative spokesman of the Democratic Party in Texas; Archer (Archie) Parr, whose ruthless tactics and misuse of public funds in Duval County established him as one of the most notoriously corrupt politicians in Texas history; Manuel Guerra, Mexican American rancher and merchant whose domination of Starr County mirrored the rule of his Anglo counterparts in the border region; John Nance Garner, who served the interests of these bosses of South Texas as he set forth on the road that would lead him to the United States vice-presidency. Evan Anders' Boss Rule in South Texas tells the story of these men and the county rings they shaped in South Texas during the Progressive Era. Power was the byword of the bosses of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and Anders explores the sources of that power. These politicos did not shirk from using corrupt and even violent means to attain their goals, but Anders demonstrates that their keen sensitivity to the needs of their diverse constituency was key to their long-term success. Patronage and other political services were their lifeblood, and the allies gained by these ranged from developers and businessmen to ranchers and Mexican Americans, wealthy and poor. Besides examining the workings of the Democratic machines of four South Texas counties, Anders explores the role of the Hispanic populace in shaping the politics of the border region, the economic development of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and its political repercussions, the emergence and nature of progressive movements at both local and state levels, and the part played by the Texas Rangers in supporting bossism in South Texas.
How U.S. senators were chosen prior to the Seventeenth Amendment—and the consequences of Constitutional reform From 1789 to 1913, U.S. senators were not directly elected by the people—instead the Constitution mandated that they be chosen by state legislators. This radically changed in 1913, when the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving the public a direct vote. Electing the Senate investigates the electoral connections among constituents, state legislators, political parties, and U.S. senators during the age of indirect elections. Wendy Schiller and Charles Stewart find that even though parties controlled the partisan affiliation of the winning candidate for Senate, they had much less control over the universe of candidates who competed for votes in Senate elections and the parties did not always succeed in resolving internal conflict among their rank and file. Party politics, money, and personal ambition dominated the election process, in a system originally designed to insulate the Senate from public pressure. Electing the Senate uses an original data set of all the roll call votes cast by state legislators for U.S. senators from 1871 to 1913 and all state legislators who served during this time. Newspaper and biographical accounts uncover vivid stories of the political maneuvering, corruption, and partisanship—played out by elite political actors, from elected officials, to party machine bosses, to wealthy business owners—that dominated the indirect Senate elections process. Electing the Senate raises important questions about the effectiveness of Constitutional reforms, such as the Seventeenth Amendment, that promised to produce a more responsive and accountable government.
The Gilded Age was an important three-decade period in American history. It was a time of transition, when the United States began to recover from its Civil War and post-war rebuilding phase. It was as a time of progress in technology and industry, of regression in race relations, and of stagnation in politics and foreign affairs. It was a time when poor southerners began farming for a mere share of the crop rather than for wages, when pioneers settled in the harsh land and climate of the Great Plains, and when hopeful prospectors set out in search of riches in the gold fields out West. The Historical Dictionary of the Gilded Age relates the history of the major events, issues, people, and themes of the American "Gilded Age" (1869-1899). This period of unprecedented economic growth and technical advancement is chronicled in this reference and includes a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries.
A fresh look at President William McKinley from New York Times bestselling author and political mastermind Karl Rove—“a rousing tale told by a master storyteller whose love of politics, campaigning, and combat shines through on every page” (Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Team of Rivals). The 1896 political environment resembles that of today: an electorate being transformed by a growing immigrant population, an uncertain economy disrupted by new technologies, growing income inequality, and basic political questions the two parties could not resolve. McKinley’s winning presidential campaign addressed these challenges and reformed his party. With “a sure touch [and] professional eye” (The Washington Post), Rove tells the story of the 1896 election and shows why McKinley won, creating a governing majority that dominated American politics for the next thirty-six years. McKinley, a Civil War hero, changed the arc of American history by running the first truly modern presidential campaign. Knowing his party needed to expand its base to win, he reached out to diverse ethnic groups, seeking the endorsement of Catholic leaders and advocating for black voting rights. Running on the slogan “The People Against the Bosses,” McKinley also took on the machine men who dominated his own party. He deployed campaign tactics still used today, including targeting voters with the best available technology. Above all, he offered bold, controversial answers to the nation’s most pressing problem—how to make a new, more global economy work for every American—and although this split his own party, he won the White House by sticking to his principles, defeating a champion of economic populism, William Jennings Bryan. Rove “brings to life the drama of an electoral contest whose outcome seemed uncertain to the candidate and his handlers until the end” (The New York Times Book Review) in a “lively and…rigorous book” (The Wall Street Journal) that will delight students of American political history.
If the railroads won the Gilded Age, the coal industry lost it. Railroads epitomized modern management, high technology, and vast economies of scale. By comparison, the coal industry was embarrassingly primitive. Miners and operators dug coal, bought it, and sold it in 1900 in the same ways that they had for generations. In the popular imagination, coal miners epitomized anti-modern forces as the so-called “Molly Maguire” terrorists. Yet the sleekly modern railroads were utterly dependent upon the disorderly coal industry. Railroad managers demanded that coal operators and miners accept the purely subordinate role implied by their status. They refused. Fueling the Gilded Age shows how disorder in the coal industry disrupted the strategic plans of the railroads. It does so by expertly intertwining the history of two industries—railroads and coal mining—that historians have generally examined from separate vantage points. It shows the surprising connections between railroad management and miner organizing; railroad freight rate structure and coal mine operations; railroad strategy and strictly local legal precedents. It combines social, economic, and institutional approaches to explain the Gilded Age from the perspective of the relative losers of history rather than the winners. It beckons readers to examine the still-unresolved nature of America’s national conundrum: how to reconcile the competing demands of national corporations, local businesses, and employees.
A dynamic collection of inspirational poetry, which stimulates the imaginative awareness of universal experiences. This book deals with the inner most personal thoughts and emotions associated with growth and change. A book that offers encouragement through four sections of continuous pages of powerful and poignant selections. Gift of Expression is a contemporary poetry book, that transcends time, with relative subject matter, that encompasses all facets of life. This book is a reflection of the Universal Soul and truly a gift of expression.
This book is a new scholarly edition of Lincoln Steffens’ classic, “muck-raking” account of Gilded Age corruption in America. It provides the broader political background, theoretical and historical context needed to better understand the social and political roots of corruption in general terms: the social and moral nature of corruption and reform. Steffens enjoyed the support of a multitude of journalists with first-hand knowledge of their localities. He interviewed and came to know political bosses, crusading district attorneys and indicted corruptionists spanning a cast of hundreds. He also benefited from the support of a large-scale, nationally prominent network of anti-corruption specialists and luminaries, including President Theodore Roosevelt. Steffens explored in detail the high Gilded Age corruption of New York City, Chicago, “corrupt and contented” Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Minneapolis. His work culminated in a well-documented record of Gilded Age corruption in the cities; and, with the addition of the editorial annotations, Chronology and Introduction of this edition, the reader is placed in a position to gain an overview and considerable insight into the general, moral and social-political phenomenon of corruption. This book will be of interest for students and professionals in political philosophy, political science, American history and American studies.
The Civil War and Reconstruction were characterized by two lasting legacies -- the failure to bring racial harmony to the South and the failure to foster reconciliation between the North and South. The nation was left with a festering race problem, as a white-dominated society and political structure debated the +proper role for blacks. At the national level, both sides harbored bitter feelings toward the other, which often resulted in clashes among congressmen that inflamed, rather than solved, the race problem. No Congress expended more energy debating this issue than the Fifty-First, or "Billion Dollar," Congress of 1889-1891. The Congress debated several controversial solutions, provoking discussion far beyond the halls of government and shaping the course of race relations for twentieth-century America. Legislating Racism proposes that these congressional debates actually created a climate for the first truly frank national discussion of racial issues in the United States. In an historic moment of unusual honesty and openness, a majority of congressmen, newspaper editors, magazine contributors, and the American public came to admit their racial prejudice against not only blacks, but all minority races. If the majority of white Americans -- not just those in the South -- harbored racist sentiments, many wondered whether Americans should simply accept racism as the American way. Thomas Adams Upchurch contends that the Fifty-First Congress, in trying to solve the race problem, in fact began the process of making racism socially and politically acceptable for a whole generation, inadvertently giving birth to the Jim Crow era of American history.
After the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin’s response: “A Republic—if you can keep it.” This book argues: we couldn’t keep it. A true republic privileges the common interest above the special interests. To do this, our Constitution established an elaborate system of checks and balances that disperses power among the branches of government, which it places in conflict with one another. The Framers believed that this would keep grasping, covetous factions from acquiring enough power to dominate government. Instead, only the people would rule. Proper institutional design is essential to this system. Each branch must manage responsibly the powers it is granted, as well as rebuke the other branches when they go astray. This is where subsequent generations have run into trouble: we have overloaded our government with more power than it can handle. The Constitution’s checks and balances have broken down because the institutions created in 1787 cannot exercise responsibly the powers of our sprawling, immense twenty-first-century government. The result is the triumph of special interests over the common interest. James Madison called this factionalism. We know it as political corruption. Corruption today is so widespread that our government is not really a republic, but rather a special interest democracy. Everybody may participate, yes, but the contours of public policy depend not so much on the common good, as on the push-and-pull of the various interest groups encamped in Washington, DC.
This book investigates the creation of the first truly nationalized party organizations in the United States in the late nineteenth century, an innovation that reversed the parties' traditional privileging of state and local interests in nominating campaigns and the conduct of national campaigns. Between 1880 and 1896, party elites crafted a defense of these national organizations that charted the theoretical parameters of American party development into the twentieth century. With empowered national committees and a new understanding of the parties' role in the political system, national party leaders dominated American politics in new ways, renewed the parties' legitimacy in an increasingly pluralistic and nationalized political environment, and thus maintained their relevance throughout the twentieth century. The new organizations particularly served the interests of presidents and presidential candidates, and the little-studied presidencies of the late nineteenth century demonstrate the first stirrings of modern presidential party leadership.
by United States. Congress. Senate. Historical Office
How southern members of Congress remade the United States in their own image after the Civil War No question has loomed larger in the American experience than the role of the South. Southern Nation examines how southern members of Congress shaped national public policy and American institutions from Reconstruction to the New Deal—and along the way remade the region and the nation in their own image. The central paradox of southern politics was how such a highly diverse region could be transformed into a coherent and unified bloc—a veritable nation within a nation that exercised extraordinary influence in politics. This book shows how this unlikely transformation occurred in Congress, the institutional site where the South's representatives forged a new relationship with the rest of the nation. Drawing on an innovative theory of southern lawmaking, in-depth analyses of key historical sources, and congressional data, Southern Nation traces how southern legislators confronted the dilemma of needing federal investment while opposing interference with the South's racial hierarchy, a problem they navigated with mixed results before choosing to prioritize white supremacy above all else. Southern Nation reveals how southern members of Congress gradually won for themselves an unparalleled role in policymaking, and left all southerners—whites and blacks—disadvantaged to this day. At first, the successful defense of the South's capacity to govern race relations left southern political leaders locally empowered but marginalized nationally. With changing rules in Congress, however, southern representatives soon became strategically positioned to profoundly influence national affairs.
Unprecedented in its scope, Rainbow's End provides a bold new analysis of the emergence, growth, and decline of six classic Irish-American political machines in New York, Jersey City, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Albany. Combining the approaches of political economy and historical sociology, Erie examines a wide range of issues, including the relationship between city and state politics, the manner in which machines shaped ethnic and working-class politics, and the reasons why centralized party organizations failed to emerge in Boston and Philadelphia despite their large Irish populations. The book ends with a thorough discussion of the significance of machine politics for today's urban minorities.
Arthur's greatest success was in cutting the surplus, although it was a modest reduction, maintaining the protectionist tariff system, achieving civil service reform, and rebuilding the navy. Like every president he did disappoint and he carefully crafted his politics to achieve his ends. The years of Arthur's administration were ones of great changes. Industrial growth and consolidation led to massive economic changes. Companies were no longer local entities, but now competed in the international marketplace. Single companies took over entire industries. John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and John P. Morgan ushered in the era of the trust. In North Carolina, James Duke began mass producing cigarettes, the first significant step on the way to a national economy based on consumption.