The causes of the Depression of 1893 were manifold, but one major element was the speculation in railroads over the previous decades. As will be seen in a subsequent chapter, the reformist zeal took on new forms as the twentieth century unfolded. His secretary of war sold Indian land to investors and pocketed public money. Kelly believed that farmers could best help themselves by creating farmers’ cooperatives in which they could pool resources and obtain better shipping rates, as well as prices on seeds, fertilizer, machinery, and other necessary inputs. However, he did make a few overtures towards civil service reform. In the wake of President Hayes’ failure, Republicans began to battle over a successor for the 1880 presidential election. The Republican party dominated the Presidency and the Congress for most of these years. The loss of his meager public support due to the Compromise of 1877 and the declining Congressional faction together sealed Hayes fate and made his reelection impossible. Despite its early efforts to regulate railroad rates, the U.S. Supreme Court undermined the commission in Interstate Commerce Commission v. Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific Railway Cos. in 1897. However, problems associated with the tremendous economic growth during this time continued to mount. Although his political history was largely composed of appointments of friends, the tragedy that befell his predecessor led him to believe that the system had gone bad. In addition to civil service, President Arthur also carried the reformist spirit into the realm of tariffs, or taxes on international imports to the United States. Amid a growing national depression where Americans truly recognized the importance of a strong leader with sound economic policies, McKinley garnered nearly two million more votes than his Republican predecessor Benjamin Harrison. In short, Bryan could have been the ideal Populist candidate, but the Democrats got to him first. First, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 sought to prohibit business monopolies as “conspiracies in restraint of trade,” but it was seldom enforced during the first decade of its existence. Such bold attempts at reform further convinced Republican Party leaders, as the 1884 election approached, that Arthur was not their best option to continue in the White House. Lower tariffs, on the other hand, would reduce prices and lower the average American’s cost of living, and were therefore favored by many working-class families and farmers, to the extent that any of them fully understood such economic forces beyond the prices they paid at stores. In some states, the unemployment rate soared even higher: over 35 percent in New York State and 43 percent in Michigan. The Gilded Age and the Second Industrial Revolution, Misunderstanding evolution: a biologist's perspective on Social Darwinism, Misunderstanding evolution: a historian's perspective on Social Darwinism, Immigration and migration in the Gilded Age. The Farmers’ Alliance, a conglomeration of three regional alliances formed in the mid-1880s, took root in the wake of the Grange movement. He was in the unique position to usher in a wave a civil service reform unlike any other political candidate, and he chose to do just that. In fact, he accomplished little during his four years in office other than granting favors, as dictated by Republic Party handlers. Rising tariffs on industrial products made purchased items more expensive, yet tariffs were not being used to keep farm prices artificially high as well. While farmers had their own challenges, including that of geography and diverse needs among different types of famers, they believed this model to be useful to their cause. Hayes’ first target in his meager reform effort was to remove Chester A. Arthur, a strong Conkling man, from his post as head of the New York City Customs House. Under this plan, the federal government would store farmers’ crops in government warehouses for a brief period of time, during which the government would provide loans to farmers worth 80 percent of the current crop prices. He received the Democratic presidential nomination in 1896, and, at the nominating convention, he gave his most famous speech. They turned to William McKinley, former congressman and current governor of Ohio, as their candidate. Not only had the ongoing economic depression convinced many Americans—farmers and factory workers alike—of the inability of either major political party to address the situation, but also the Populist Party, since the last election, benefited from four more years of experience and numerous local victories. Such a stance greatly benefitted prominent businessmen engaged in foreign trade while forcing more farmers and working-class Americans into greater debt. Political infighting between the Stalwart and Half-Breed factions in the Republican Party prevented the passage of significant legislation. (2). Facing such harsh treatment, all of the Pullman workers went on strike to protest the decisions. However, most creative among the solutions promoted by the Farmers’ Alliance was the call for a subtreasury plan. He polled nearly one million more votes than did the previous Democratic victor, Grover Cleveland; however, his campaign also served to split the Democratic vote, as some party members remained convinced of the propriety of the gold standard and supported McKinley in the election. The man who is employed for wages is as much a business man as his employer; the attorney in a country town is as much a business man as the corporation counsel in a great metropolis; the merchant at the cross-roads store is as much a business man as the merchant of New York; the farmer who goes forth in the morning and toils all day, who begins in spring and toils all summer, and who by the application of brain and muscle to the natural resources of the country creates wealth, is as much a business man as the man who goes upon the Board of Trade and bets upon the price of grain; … We come to speak of this broader class of business men. Two powerful Republican leaders attempted to control the president. Led by several midwestern Republican leaders and newspaper editors, this party provided the impetus for other reform-minded Republicans to break free from the party and actually join the Democratic Party ranks. As the government continued to fail in its efforts to address the growing problems, more and more Americans sought relief outside of the traditional two-party system. When the railroads began to fail due to expenses outpacing returns on their construction, the supporting businesses, from banks to steel mills, failed also. When Debs and the American Railway Union refused to obey the court injunction prohibiting interference with the mail, the troops began operating the trains, and the strike quickly ended. When market prices rose sufficiently high enough, the farmer could withdraw his crops, sell at the higher price, repay the government loan, and still have profit remaining. The Gilded Age faced a lot of political corruption. He defended himself in court by saying, “The doctors killed Garfield, I just shot him.” While this in fact was true, it did not save him. His doctors and Alexander Graham Bell. Although he finished a distant third, Populist candidate Weaver polled a respectable one million votes. Economists of the day thought the plan had some merit; in fact, a greatly altered version would subsequently be adopted during the Great Depression of the 1930s, in the form of the Agricultural Adjustment Act. The rapid proliferation of railroad lines created a false impression of growth for the economy as a whole. Among several other powers, this law created the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to oversee railroad prices and ensure that they remained reasonable to all customers. Out of growing concern for the latter group, Arthur created the U.S. Gilded Age ist die Bezeichnung für die wirtschaftliche Blütezeit in den USA, die dem Sezessionskrieg folgte. However, they also nominated their own vice-presidential candidate, Georgia Senator Tom Watson, as opposed to the Democratic nominee, Arthur Sewall, presumably in an attempt to maintain some semblance of a separate identity. Put simply, the American electorate was energized to elect a strong candidate who could adequately address the country’s economic woes. Second, the impending Spanish-American War, which began in 1898, further fueled the economy and increased demand for American farm products. Clearly this was not a good time in Presidential history. In 1883, he signed into law the Pendleton Civil Service Act, the first significant piece of anti-patronage legislation. Very high voter turnout often exceeded 80% or even 90% in some states as the parties drilled the… Further undermining their efficacy was a Congress comprising mostly politicians operating on the principle of political patronage. The speech was an enormous success and played a role in convincing the Populist Party that he was the candidate for them. As a result of this relationship, the rare pieces of legislation passed were largely responses to the desires of businessmen and industrialists whose support helped build politicians’ careers. The American Railway Union was destroyed, leaving workers even less empowered than before, and Debs was in prison, contemplating alternatives to a capitalist-based national economy. His secretary of war sold Indian land to investors and pocketed public money. (2). As the Populist convention unfolded, the delegates had an important decision to make: either locate another candidate, even though Bryan would have been an excellent choice, or join the Democrats and support Bryan as the best candidate but risk losing their identity as a third political party as a result. A Republican-biased electoral commission awarded all 20 electoral votes to the Republican Hayes, and he won by just one electoral vote. Among the hardest-hit was the U.S. Therefore, farmers were paying inflated prices but not receiving them. But less than four months into his presidency, events pushed civil service reform on the fast track. Many members of his Administration were implicated in the Crédit Mobilier scandal, which defrauded the American public of common land. For example, upon assuming office in March 1829, President Jackson immediately swept employees from over nine hundred political offices, amounting to 10 percent of all federal appointments. Not surprisingly, almost nothing was accomplished on the federal level.