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The Gilded Age, 1876-1900, was not the best time for Americas Congress. At this time the Congress was known for being a bit “rowdy” and they had a difficult time working together on issues because most of them were either too drunk or were too busy with Government affairs. From 1875 to 1896 only five major bills ever made it to the president’s desk because of this. 
The two major political parties in the Gilded Age were the Republicans and the Democrats. Most of the presidents in this time period were Republicans, in fact there were only two that were not. The Republican Party claimed that the Democratic Party were the ones that had caused the Civil War. Republican were also known as “the party of business”. They supported things such as protective tariffs and a tight money policy. The Democratic Party was very strongly southern based. Only two presidents that were a Democrat were voted into the office between 1860 and 1900, 1884 and 1892 to be exact. The Democratic Party consisted mainly of a few anti-tariff businessmen and some merchants. 
Some of the main political issues during the Gilded are were currency reform, tariff, and civil service reform. Currency reform was a main political issue because “the more money in circulation, the lower it’s value” (SageAmericanHistory). In early American history, America’s money system was based on a bimetallic system. A bimetallic system is wen both silver and gold were considered a hard currency. All of the paper money in circulation was basically worthless whenever American had a little gold or silver. The American dollar only had a value of about two cents. When Alexander Hamilition brought the governments finances together, the government used land sales, tariffs, and excise taxes to support themselves. Then the American dollar started to retain most of its face value back.
The next major political issue that people faced in the Gilded age were tariffs. What people fail to realize is that there were two different types of tariffs placed in effect during this time. The first tariff was the ordinary revenue tariff, This tariff was a modest tax, placed on items that were imported to fund agencies that “were responsible for goods, and people entering the United States” (SageAmericanHistory). Then there were the protective tariffs. These tariffs were put into place to help support American industries and businesses. These tariffs actually helped to make Americans products a lot more attractive to other nations.
The next political issued that America faced in the Gilded age was civil service reform, “President Andrew Jackson had argued that the “spoils system” actually enhanced the democratic process” (SageAmericanHistory). Andrew Jackson also thought that any intelligent, average citizen would be able to preform jobs of the government clerks and the officials. In 1883 President Arthur passed the Civil Service Reform. This act ended the spoils system, classified certain jobs, and worked to cause people to become hired because merit instead of just having political connections. 
Rutherford B. Hayes served as the 19th President of American, during 1822-1893. Hayes had also served as a major general in the Union army during the Civil War. “Rutherford B. Hayes helped to restore prestige to the office and to heal the deep wounds left by the Civil War” (HistoryOnTheNet).

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