- Election of 1868. Republicans nominated war hero Ulysses S. Grant. Democrats nominated Horatio Seymour (they were against military reconstruction, wanted more money in circulation and lower interest rates). Republicans "waved the bloody shirt" - reminded Union that the South/Democrats started the Civil War and Republicans were on the side of Lincoln and the side of the Union. Vote how you fought. Grant won (he got all the black votes).
- Attitude of the Civil War ("all's fair during war") bleeded into the Gilded Age => corruption.
- Jim Fisk and Jay Gould drove prices of gold up on "Black Friday" 1869 -> Treasury had to release gold. Grant wasn't crooked, just stupid.
- Tweed Ring. William Marcy (Boss) Tweed was the chairman of Democratic party (headquartered at Tammany Hall) - multimillionaire. He got immigrants, gave them food, shelter, got them jobs, and got them to vote Democrat. Tweed made a ton of money on public works projects (taxes). Blacklisted immigrants if they voted Republican. Cartoonist Thomas Nast published evidence against Boss Tweed, and he was prosecuted by Samuel J. Tilden.
- Credit Mobilier scandal 1872 - Railroad construction company for federal government, hired themselves at inflated prices. Distributed shares to congressmen and VP so government wouldn't blow the whistle.
- 1874-75 Whiskey Ring: Someone in treasury department took bribe and allowed whiskey producers to rob Treasury of excise tax revenues (not pay taxes).
- 1876 Secretary of War William Belknap guilty of pocketing bribes from suppliers to Indian reservations, Grant reluctantly made him resign.
- Factions in the Republican party: "Stalwart" led by Roscoe Conkling embraced civil-service for votes (spoils system). "Half-breeds" led by James G. Blaine for civil-service reform (liberal republicans)
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