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The Crédit Mobilier scandal of 1872–1873 transpired during the building of America's first transcontinental railroad. Leading Republican members of Congress were bribed for political favors by investors of Crédit Mobilier of America, a private construction company associated with the Union Pacific Railroad. The repercussions reverberated for several years afterward, during which the careers of several members of Congress were ruined and the only Democratic president between 1868 and 1912 was elected.

In 1862, Congress chartered the Union Pacific Railroad to build a transcontinental railroad, building westward from Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska. Congress had supplied the Union Pacific with federal bond subsidies to finance the line's construction, and it had granted the railroad tens of millions of acres in the public domain to dispose of as it ...

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