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LECTURES NINETY-THREE TO NINETY-FIVE
The Era of Industrial Reorganization, 1877–1898
93. Political Affairs
94. Industrial, Commercial and Financial Conditions
95. Foreign Relations
THE UNITED STATES
PRESIDENT HAYES'S ADMINISTRATION.
The President's Cabinet Civil Service Reform-Failure to pass appropriation bills Extra session called but no action taken-The great railway strike - The Nez Percé war-Chief Joseph surrenders Negotiations with Sitting Bull - His final acceptance of amnesty-Shoshones and Bannocks exterminated - Trouble with the Utes - The Halifax Fishery Commission - Review of dispute Attempts to secure appointment of third commissioner - Failure of Blaine to exclude Delfosse from commission — Finally appointed —Great Britain awarded $5,500,000 — United States astonished at terms of award — Amount paid when due - - Measures for resumption of specie payments Effort of opponents to hinder it — The Bland-Allison Coinage act Stanley Matthews resolution Resumption successfully accomplished - General prosperity of country - Failure of foreign crops - Large exports - Business revival-Gold imports - Rise in Treasury gold reserve -Political changes Elections of 1880 Party platforms - Garfield and Arthur elected · - Refunding bill introduced - Fails to pass over veto - New apportionment of Representatives. OLLOWING his inauguration President Hayes made his Cabinet selections known. These officers were nominated and immediately confirmed by the Senate. They were as follows: William M. Evarts, of New York, Secretary of State; John Sherman, of Ohio, Secretary of the Treasury; George W. McCrary, of Iowa, Secretary of War, followed by Alexander Ramsey, of Minnesota, in 1880; Richard W. Thompson, of Indiana, Secretary of the Navy followed
by Nathan Goff, Jr., of West Virginia, in 1881; Carl Schurz, of Missouri, Secretary of the Interior; David M. Key, of Tennessee, Postmaster-General, followed by Horace Maynard, of Tennessee, in 1880; and Charles Devens, of Massachusetts, Attorney-General.
After he had settled the disputes in South Carolina and Louisiana, previously mentioned, President Hayes turned his attention to making a reform in the civil service, and on June 22, 1877, addressed the following cir
cular letter to all the government given to the passing of appropriation office-holders:*
"Sir:- I desire to call your attention to the following paragraph addressed by me to the Secretary of the Treasury, on the conduct to be ob
served by officers of the General Government, in
relation to the elections: No officer should be required or permitted to take part in the management of political organizations, caucuses, conventions, or election campaigns. Their right to vote and to express their views on public questions either orally or through the public press, is not denied, provided it does not interfere with the discharge.of their official duties. No assessments for political purposes on officers or subordinates should be allowed.' This rule is applicable to every department of the Civil Service. It should be understood by every officer of the General Government that he is expected to conform his conduct to its requirements."
Had this order been adhered to the office-holders would have been relieved of a burden that they should not have been called upon to bear. But the leaders of both parties would not willingly allow such an enormous source of income to slip from their grasp and consequently did everything within their power to contravene the effect of the order. While the President was unable to accomplish much in the way of reform because of this opposition, he brought the need of such reform most forcibly to the attention of the nation.†
The last session of the Forty-fourth Congress had been given almost entirely to the struggle over the Presidency between Hayes and Tilden and consequently no consideration was
* Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. vii., p. 450.
Schurz, Reminiscences, vol. ii., pp. 377-383; Andrews, Last Quarter-Century, vol. i., pp. 242247.
bills. President Hayes was now compelled to call a special session of Congress to provide means for carrying on the government, but as summer was drawing near he called the session for October. In his message of October 15,* the President stated that the deficiencies amounted to about $37,000,000 and asked that Congress pass the necessary legislation. But that body occupied itself with other measures and failed to make the appropriations asked for even though the session was prolonged until the regular December session.
While business conditions were
fairly prosperous during 1877, the industrial world was somewhat upset by several strikes. The most noted of these was the railroad strike, which occurred during the summer. The employees of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad struck because of a reduction in their wages, and in the Northern States the employees of the Pennsylvania, the Erie and the New York Central railroads - the chief trunk lines between East and West- tied up the freight traffic for several weeks. At Martinsburg, West Virginia, the strike could not be controlled by the State authorities and Governor Matthews called upon President Hayes for troops, which were sent. The President also issued a proclamation calling upon the strikers to disperse. A serious riot broke out at Baltimore on
* Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. vii., pp. 452-454.