*Party division totals are based on election day results.
Gilded Age political deadlock ended with the 51st Congress (1889–1891). Republicans won control of both houses of Congress and the presidency after the 1888 election, breaking a remarkable period of divided-party government. Speaker Thomas Brackett Reed of Maine streamlined House rules and prevented the minority party from obstructing the legislative process. The rules changes and unified government produced the “Billion Dollar Congress,” as the new majority passed generous military pensions and approved long-stalled naval expansion. New economic pressures also resulted in the Sherman Silver Purchase Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act.