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Late 1800s Politics - Election of 1880

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Autor:   •  January 6, 2017  •  Essay  •  730 Words (3 Pages)  •  248 Views

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Nathan Buffington & Matt Diamond

APUSH 4th 


Late 1800s Politics

Election of 1880

The election of 1880 held no major issues aside from tariffs. The Republican candidate, James A. Garfield, supported higher tariffs whereas the Democratic candidate, Winfield S. Hancock, supported lower tariffs. Both parties were in support of limiting Chinese immigration and in favor of civil service reform. A third party candidate was James B. Weaver of the Greenback party who supported agrarian radicalism. Garfield managed to secure the election, capturing 214 of the current 369 total electoral votes, but winning by less than 2000 popular votes (to date, the smallest margin of popular vote victory in American history).

Election of 1884

        The election of 1884 was marked by a large degree of political mudslinging and personal acrimony as opposed to actual issues. The Republican candidate, James G. Blaine, received the nomination through the party’s disarray following President Arthur’s inability to rally the party behind him for a second term. Blaine was known to be of ill-repute following a scandal involving railroad stock years prior. The Democratic candidate, Grover Cleveland, was revealed to have been having an affair with a widow in Buffalo. The Republicans on the other hand, faced factionalism when a number of their party left for support of Cleveland due to their belief that Blaine was corrupt – these were referred to as Mugwumps by the press. John P. Saint John was nominated by the Prohibition party, who supported (shockingly enough) the prohibition of alcohol. Cleveland won the popular vote by a narrow margin due to his scandal but still won the electoral vote 218 to 182, winning the state of New York by little more than a thousand votes to claim the election.

Election of 1888

  • The Tariff policy was a major issue in the election. While Harrison (R) took the side of industrialists who wanted to keep tariffs high and support domestic business, Cleveland (D) accused high tariffs as unjust to consumers. Cleveland also opposed civil war pensions, and was very popular with Mugwumps who were Republicans who rejected the financial corruption of their party. Mugwumps almost helped Cleveland win states in the North, and win the election.
  • The Republican candidate was Benjamin Harrison, and he supported protective tariffs as well as repeal of taxes on tobacco. He also supported pensions for veterans and was openly opposed to polygamy.
  • The Democratic candidate was Grover Cleveland who supported lower tariffs. He was also famed for his stout presidency where he vetoed 414 bills and cut wasteful spending.
  • A third party candidate was Clinton B. Fisk of the Prohibition Party. The Prohibition Party was founded on the belief in prohibition. They wanted the ban of alcohol throughout the United States, as they believed it corrupted morals and led to laziness and other sins.
  • Benjamin Harrison actually won the election with a vast majority of the electoral votes, but it was Grover Cleveland who won the popular vote by 0.8%

Election of 1892

  • The major issues in the Election of 1892 were economic. While the Populists and Republicans supported bimetallism, which is the use of silver and gold to back currency, the Democrats stuck with only gold. The Democrats did not want to cause inflation within the country. The Democrats still wanted to lower the protective tariffs, and opposed the “Lodge Bill” which was to help blacks vote safely and freely in the South. The Republicans supported the lodge Bill of 1890 because the majority of Blacks were Republicans.
  • The Republican candidate was the incumbent president Benjamin Harrison who supported bimetallism, just like the populists. He supported the Lodge Bill, and wanted to protect African American voting rights.
  • The Democratic Candidate was the former president Grover Cleveland. He supported only gold be backed by the US government, claiming the introduction of silver would cause mass inflation. He also renounced the Lodge Bill as unnecessary.
  • A third party candidate was the populist nominee James B. Weaver, who actually won 5 states and took 8.5% of the popular vote. He was supported by the agrarians in the west, and was a large proponent of bimetallism. He also wanted to weaken the power of railroads, so that farmers could ship their crops more cheaply.
  • The winner was Grover Cleveland, by a margin of 3%. He became the first ever president to serve two nonconsecutive terms.


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