Election of 1896
Failure of Traditional Politics
- Republican and Democratic parties evenly matched, competitive
- 16 Republican, 14 Democratic states (including the "solid south")
- both parties anti-radical - failed to help farmers, blacks, labor
- Charles Guiteau shot Garfield July 2, 1881 - "I am a Stalwart"
- 1888 election B. Harrison def. G. Cleveland 233-268 (5.4m to 5.5m) and REp. won both houses of Congress - "Grand Old Party"
- Blaine's Half-Breeds allied with Garfield vs. Chet Arthur's Stalwarts
- big business, high tariff, spoils
- 1884 election - Cleveland def. Blaine by only 23,000 votes out of 10m
- Carl Schurz and Mugwumps defected from Republican party
- G. Cleveland public honesty but personal life tainted - 1876 illeg. son after affair with Maria Halpin - married 21-year-old Frances Folsom June 1886
- negative government, no leadership, vetoed 1887 Pension Bill, low tariff, gold standard
- "human iceberg" lost to high tariff B. Harrison 1888 in 1st "front porch" campaign, $3m raised by Republicans and John Wannamaker
- Congress controlled by "Czar" Thomas Reed - the "$ Billion" 51st Congress 1890-91 - Naval Act, Pension Act, Corp. James Tanner said "God bless the surplus" as commissioner of pensions
- Reed changed rules 1890 - ignored Dem. speakers - counted absent Democrats as present for quorum
- state and local issues more important than national
- Tammany Hall founded 1854 in New York City by Democrats to control local wards, help immigrants, deal with ethnocultural issues
- "Rum, Romanism, Rebellion - Democrats personal liberty vs. Republican piety
- George Washington Plunkitt was Irish boss of Tammany Hall
- Boss Richard Croker of Tammany Hall in NY opposed by Joseph Pulitzer's newspaper New York World after 1883
5. Election of 1896 - part 2
- labor violence - Pullman 1894 - E. Debs - socialism
- Depression 1893 - 20% unemployed - Jacob Coxey and 17 "armies"
- Simon Pingree "potato patches" in Detroit
- League for Protection of the Family - against child labor and for compulsory education
- Oliver Kelly and Grange 1867, then patrons of Husbandry 1873
- Granger laws against railroad - Munn vs. IL upheld state laws that set max. grain storage fees
- C.W. Macune and Farmers Alliance in Texas - 1875 Exchange
- Alliance won KA, NE, SD 1890, elected 44 to Congress
- Populist Party - 1890 Ocala Platform - subtreasury, income tax, direct election - 1st national movement ag. laissez faire
- Mary Lease of KA - 160 speeches in 1890 - raise "less corn and more hell"
- Sockless Jerry Simpson elected to Congress - only "princes wear silk socks"
- Ignatius Donnelly's novel Caesar's Column - anti-semitic - ignored urban industrial workers and immigrants
- Coin Harvey 1894 after Cleveland repealed Sherman Silver Purchase Act
- 1894 elections - 13 states went for silver, beginning of party realignment
revised 2/1/03 by Schoenherr | Election of 1896 links