Bob's Reviews > From Bloody Shirt to Full Dinner Pail: The Transformation of Politics and Governance in the Gilded Age

From Bloody Shirt to Full Dinner Pail by Charles W. Calhoun
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's review
Nov 01, 2010

really liked it
Read from October 21 to 27, 2010

The Gilded Age is never anyone's favorite time period to study in American history. The political figures of the time were not as charismatic as those before the Civil War or those of the 20th Century. It was an era when political parties were far stronger than they were today. Calhoun is an expert in this field. He presents a concise history of the era, going over the major themes of the time (tariffs, government spending, party loyalty, the gold standard, and civil rights) without belaboring them.

The Gilded Age started out with the Republicans dominant after the Civil War. Then the Republicans barely held on to the White House for eight years. Then the Democrats regained the White House with Grover Cleveland. But the Democrats couldn't hold on to power and the Republicans came back in with Benjamin Harrison, only to suffer one of the biggest midyear Congressional wipeouts in 1890. Cleveland regained the White House, the economy tanked, and the Republicans returned the favor of the wipeout in 1894.

The Gilded Age: a time when Republicans stood for big government, protective tariffs, and civil rights. The Democrats stood for small government, free trade and weren't adverse to suppressing the black vote.

It would change

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message 1: by David (new)

David I like the Gilded Age. Also, the 1980s.

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