The turn of the century from 1800-1900 was considered the Gilded Age. During this age it was not uncommon for politics to be corrupt. Congress was known as the “rich man’s club” and political favors where traded. Even the President once elected had barely enough power to repay the favors they owed the individuals who got them into office. Their years in office consisted of repaying favors and trying to manage the powerful relationships that they had put into office as repayment for being elected as President. During this time there was no voting regulation. Party names could be easily dropped or added on the ballot. Important issues could easily loose due to manipulation of the ballots. Fraudulent or bogus ballots were not uncommon.
The largest women’s suffrage group called National American Woman Suffrage Association was developed during this age. They did public rallies and took their cases to the streets and demanded to vote. In 1918 Woodrow Wilson endorsed the woman’s suffrage and Congress adapted the 19th Amendment that was ratified in 1920. This was the final victory for woman to vote. Although this Amendment included all women regardless of race, African American women were granted voting right in name only and they continued to fight for the right to vote. After women were enfranchised, candidates catered to women in order to get elected and women took advantage, advocating for laws that would allow them to have economic security like divorce and inheritance.
In 1870, the 15th Amendment was ratified. This was the right for US citizens of all citizens to vote including minorities. More than half million blacks became voters during the 1870. They cast their votes Republican, the party of Abraham Lincoln. Even though blacks voted freely and in large numbers, whites were still elected to a large majority of state and local offices.
Keene, Jennifer D., Saul T. Cornell and Edward T. O’Donnell. Visions of America: A History of the United States, Combined Volume, 3/e. Boston: Pearson, n.d.
Politics in the Gilded Age:Retrieved from https//www.SageAmericanHistory>topics>gildedage.