Fisk and Gould cornered the gold market but were stopped
The infamous Tweed Ring (AKA, “Tammany Hall) of NYC, headed
by “Boss” Tweed, employed bribery, graft, and fake
elections to cheat the city of as much as $200 million.
Railroad company that tried to pay themselves
too many railroads and factories being formed than existing markets
could bear and the over-loaning by banks to those projects
Debtors now cried that silver was under-valued (another call for
inflation), but Grant refused to coin more silver dollars
robbed the Treasury of millions in
“Let no guilty man escape,”
declared President Grant. But when his own private
secretary turned up among the culprits, he volunteered a written statement to the jury that helped
exonerate the thief
pledged the government to the further withdrawal
of greenbacks from circulation and to the redemption of all paper currency in gold at face value,
beginning in 1879.
Grant almost ran for a third term before the House derailed that
proposal, so the Republicans nominated Rutherford B. Hayes, dubbed the
“Great Unknown” because no one knew much about him, while
the Democrats ran Samuel Tilden.
The election was very close, with Tilden getting 184 votes out of a
needed 185 in the Electoral College, but votes in four states,
Louisiana, South Carolina, Florida, and part of Oregon, were unsure and
The disputed states had sent in two sets of returns, one Democrat, one Republican.
In 1877, the presidents of the nation’s four largest
railroads decided to cut wages by 10%. Workers struck back, stopping
work, and when President Hayes sent troops to stop this, violence
erupted, and more than 100 people died in the several weeks of chaos.
The failure of the railroad strike showed the weakness of the labor
movement, but this was partly caused by friction between races,
especially between the Irish and the Chinese.
Military rule ended in the south
abandoned the Blacks in the South by
withdrawing troops, and their last attempt at protection of Black
rights was the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which was mostly declared
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the 1883 Civil Rights cases.
The Republican hard-money policy, unfortunately for it, led to the
election of a Democratic House of Representatives in 1874 and spawned
the Greenback Labor Party in 1878.
instructed the Treasury to buy and
coin between $2 million and $4 million worth of silver bullion each
Close, but Garfield squeaked by
After Hayes left office, the Chinese Exclusion Act, passed in 1882,
was passed, barring any Chinese from entering the United
States—the first law limiting immigration.