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Chapter 29: The Revolt of the Debtor 1889-1900 Esther Park & Nataliya Sulyik.

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1 Chapter 29: The Revolt of the Debtor 1889-1900 Esther Park & Nataliya Sulyik

2 The Republicans Return Under Harrison Benjamin Harrison, a Republican, was inaugurated president under weeping heavens on March 4, 1889. (image right) Benjamin Harrison, a Republican, was inaugurated president under weeping heavens on March 4, 1889. (image right) He was an honest and earnest party man, but he was also brusque and abrupt. He was an honest and earnest party man, but he was also brusque and abrupt. After their four-year out of the White House, the Republicans were seeking federal offices; James G. Blaine became the secretary of state and Theodore Roosevelt was named to the Civil Service of Commission. After their four-year out of the White House, the Republicans were seeking federal offices; James G. Blaine became the secretary of state and Theodore Roosevelt was named to the Civil Service of Commission. A new Republican Speaker of the House, Thomas B. Reed of Maine, with his hulking figure and as a masterful debater, undertook single-handedly to change the House rules; He believed that the majority should legislate, in accord with democratic practices, and not be crippled by the minority. A new Republican Speaker of the House, Thomas B. Reed of Maine, with his hulking figure and as a masterful debater, undertook single-handedly to change the House rules; He believed that the majority should legislate, in accord with democratic practices, and not be crippled by the minority. After three days, Reed prevailed and the Fifty-first or “Billion Dollar” Congress was established; When the Democrats won control of the House two years later, they paid Reed the compliment of adopting some of his reforms for speedier action. After three days, Reed prevailed and the Fifty-first or “Billion Dollar” Congress was established; When the Democrats won control of the House two years later, they paid Reed the compliment of adopting some of his reforms for speedier action.

3 Political Gravy for All President Harrison, himself a Civil War general, was disposed to deal generously with his old comrades-in-arms; He appointed as commissioner of pensions a Civil War amputee used federal surplus to give out pensions. President Harrison, himself a Civil War general, was disposed to deal generously with his old comrades-in-arms; He appointed as commissioner of pensions a Civil War amputee used federal surplus to give out pensions. The Pension Act of 1890 gave pensions to all Union Civil War veterans who had served for ninety days and who were now unable to do manual labor The Pension Act of 1890 gave pensions to all Union Civil War veterans who had served for ninety days and who were now unable to do manual labor Thus, between 1891 and 1895 the host of pensioners was thus raised from 676,000 to 970,000, and by the time Harrison left office in 1893, the annual bill had shot up from $81 million to $135 million. Thus, between 1891 and 1895 the host of pensioners was thus raised from 676,000 to 970,000, and by the time Harrison left office in 1893, the annual bill had shot up from $81 million to $135 million. This policy attracted the Republican support of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) and the GOP (Grand Old Party). This policy attracted the Republican support of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) and the GOP (Grand Old Party). The Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 was unsuccessful The Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 was unsuccessful However, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 appealed those who disliked the Bland-Allison Law of 1878; The Sherman Silver Purchase Act allowed the Treasury to buys a total of 4.5 million ounces monthly and pay for it in notes redeemable in either silver or gold However, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 appealed those who disliked the Bland-Allison Law of 1878; The Sherman Silver Purchase Act allowed the Treasury to buys a total of 4.5 million ounces monthly and pay for it in notes redeemable in either silver or gold The McKinley Tariff Bill of 1890, also boosted rates to their highest peacetime level, 48.4% The McKinley Tariff Bill of 1890, also boosted rates to their highest peacetime level, 48.4% Mounting discontent against “Bill” McKinley and his McKinley Bill caused voters to rise in wrath, especially in the Midwestern farm belt. The congressional landslide of 1890 reduced the Republican membership of the House from 166 to a scant 88 members, as compared with 235 Democrats. Even the highly publicized McKinley lost his seat in the House. Ominously for conservatives, the new Congress also included nine members of the Farmers’ Alliance, the militant organization of southern and western farmers. Mounting discontent against “Bill” McKinley and his McKinley Bill caused voters to rise in wrath, especially in the Midwestern farm belt. The congressional landslide of 1890 reduced the Republican membership of the House from 166 to a scant 88 members, as compared with 235 Democrats. Even the highly publicized McKinley lost his seat in the House. Ominously for conservatives, the new Congress also included nine members of the Farmers’ Alliance, the militant organization of southern and western farmers.

4 The Populist Challenge in 1892 In the election of 1892, former president Grover Cleveland defeated the unpopular Harrison and became a conservative president, yet his reputation was such that he was nominated in Chicago on the first ballot. In the election of 1892, former president Grover Cleveland defeated the unpopular Harrison and became a conservative president, yet his reputation was such that he was nominated in Chicago on the first ballot. In the campaign of 1892, a newly formed People’s Party ( Populist), which was mainly made out of frustrated farmers in the West and the South. The majority was the members of the Farmers’ Alliance and they demanded free and unlimited coinage of silver at the ration of 16:1, a graduated income tax, and government ownership of the telephone and telegraph, as well as the railroad. In the campaign of 1892, a newly formed People’s Party ( Populist), which was mainly made out of frustrated farmers in the West and the South. The majority was the members of the Farmers’ Alliance and they demanded free and unlimited coinage of silver at the ration of 16:1, a graduated income tax, and government ownership of the telephone and telegraph, as well as the railroad. The nationwide strikes in the summer of 1892 also increased the popularity of the Populist Party to aggrieved workers and indebted farmers The nationwide strikes in the summer of 1892 also increased the popularity of the Populist Party to aggrieved workers and indebted farmers A violent strike happened at Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead steel plant near Pittsburgh, which called in 300 armed Pinkerton detectives from the U.S. army; Ten people were killed and some sixty were wounded; That same month, federal troops had to be dispatched to crush a strike among silver miners in Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene district. A violent strike happened at Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead steel plant near Pittsburgh, which called in 300 armed Pinkerton detectives from the U.S. army; Ten people were killed and some sixty were wounded; That same month, federal troops had to be dispatched to crush a strike among silver miners in Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene district. The Populist’s popularity continued to increase and they made a remarkable showing in the 1892 presidential election; They rolled up 1,029,846 popular votes and 22 electoral votes for General Weaver; They became on of the few third parties in US history to break into the electoral column; but they fell far short of an electoral majority – industrial laborers did not rally to the Populist banner in appreciable numbers. The Populist’s popularity continued to increase and they made a remarkable showing in the 1892 presidential election; They rolled up 1,029,846 popular votes and 22 electoral votes for General Weaver; They became on of the few third parties in US history to break into the electoral column; but they fell far short of an electoral majority – industrial laborers did not rally to the Populist banner in appreciable numbers.

5 The Populist Challenge in 1892 continued… The South, although a hotbed of agrarian agitation, did not support the Populist because of race. The South, although a hotbed of agrarian agitation, did not support the Populist because of race. More than a million southern black farmers were organized in the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance; They shared a host of grievances with the poor white farmers, and for a time the common economic goals of black and white farmers promised to overcome their racial differences; Populist leaders like Tom Watson reached out for the black community. More than a million southern black farmers were organized in the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance; They shared a host of grievances with the poor white farmers, and for a time the common economic goals of black and white farmers promised to overcome their racial differences; Populist leaders like Tom Watson reached out for the black community. The blacks were the real losers for the election of 1892. The populist-inspired reminder of potential black political strength led to the near-total extinction of what little African-American suffrage remained in the South. Literacy tests and poll taxes were used to deny blacks the ballot. The notorious “grandfather clause” exempted from those requirements anyone whose forebear had voted in 1860 – when, of course, black slaves had not voted at all. The blacks were the real losers for the election of 1892. The populist-inspired reminder of potential black political strength led to the near-total extinction of what little African-American suffrage remained in the South. Literacy tests and poll taxes were used to deny blacks the ballot. The notorious “grandfather clause” exempted from those requirements anyone whose forebear had voted in 1860 – when, of course, black slaves had not voted at all. Accompanying this disfranchisement were more severe Jim Crow laws, designed to enforce racial segregation in public places. Such were the bitterly ironic fruit of the Populist crusade in the south. Accompanying this disfranchisement were more severe Jim Crow laws, designed to enforce racial segregation in public places. Such were the bitterly ironic fruit of the Populist crusade in the south.

6 “Old Grover” Cleveland Again Cleveland won the election, but the Depression of 1893 out; it lasted for about four years, and it was the most devastating economic downturn of the century. As the first large-scale depression in the new urban and industrial age, it brought unprecedented hardships in the masses in the cities. Cleveland won the election, but the Depression of 1893 out; it lasted for about four years, and it was the most devastating economic downturn of the century. As the first large-scale depression in the new urban and industrial age, it brought unprecedented hardships in the masses in the cities. About eight thousand American business houses collapsed in six months, and dozens of railroad lines went into the hands of receivers. Soup kitchens were set up for the unemployed. Local charities did their feeble best, but the federal government, bound by the let-nature-take-its-course philosophy of the times, was unable to relieve the suffering masses. About eight thousand American business houses collapsed in six months, and dozens of railroad lines went into the hands of receivers. Soup kitchens were set up for the unemployed. Local charities did their feeble best, but the federal government, bound by the let-nature-take-its-course philosophy of the times, was unable to relieve the suffering masses. Cleveland was now burdened with a deficit. Under the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, the Treasury was required to issue legal tender notes of the silver bullion that was bought; the gold reserve in the Treasury dropped below $100 million, which was regarded as the safe minimum for supporting about $350 million in outstanding paper money. Cleveland was now burdened with a deficit. Under the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, the Treasury was required to issue legal tender notes of the silver bullion that was bought; the gold reserve in the Treasury dropped below $100 million, which was regarded as the safe minimum for supporting about $350 million in outstanding paper money. If Cleveland died during his surgery, which took place in a yacht with extreme secrecy, he could have been replaced by the “soft money” vice president, Adlai E. Stevenson. If Cleveland died during his surgery, which took place in a yacht with extreme secrecy, he could have been replaced by the “soft money” vice president, Adlai E. Stevenson. Also, a young advocate of “free silver,” William Jennings Bryan was gaining support. Also, a young advocate of “free silver,” William Jennings Bryan was gaining support.

7 Gold Shortages and Job Shortages The Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed but it only partially stopped the problem; by 1894, the gold reserve sank to a dismaying $41 million. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act was repealed but it only partially stopped the problem; by 1894, the gold reserve sank to a dismaying $41 million. The U.S. was now in danger of going off the gold standard; the nation was stinking into turmoil and ruining its international trade. The U.S. was now in danger of going off the gold standard; the nation was stinking into turmoil and ruining its international trade. Cleveland thus, turned to J.P. Morgan, “the bankers’ banker,” who agreed to have the Wall Street loan the government $65 million in gold; this angered the silverites and other debtors because they saw it as an evil and corrupted bargain with the “Jupiter” Morgan. Cleveland thus, turned to J.P. Morgan, “the bankers’ banker,” who agreed to have the Wall Street loan the government $65 million in gold; this angered the silverites and other debtors because they saw it as an evil and corrupted bargain with the “Jupiter” Morgan. Ragged armies of the unemployed, victims of the depression, were meanwhile staging demonstrations; “General” Jacob S. Coxey, a wealthy Ohio quarry owner, who started for Washington in 1894 with several score of supporters, accompanied by a swarm of newspaper reporters; The “Commonweal Army” of Coxeyites finally straggled into the nation's capital. But the “invasion” took on the aspects of a comic opera when “General” Coxey and his “lieutenants” were arrested for walking on the grass. Ragged armies of the unemployed, victims of the depression, were meanwhile staging demonstrations; “General” Jacob S. Coxey, a wealthy Ohio quarry owner, who started for Washington in 1894 with several score of supporters, accompanied by a swarm of newspaper reporters; The “Commonweal Army” of Coxeyites finally straggled into the nation's capital. But the “invasion” took on the aspects of a comic opera when “General” Coxey and his “lieutenants” were arrested for walking on the grass.

8 Cleveland Crushes the Pullman Strike In Chicago, there were violent flare-ups accompanied by labor protests; Most frightening was the crippling Pullman strike of 1894; it was led by Eugene V. Debs (image left) and he had helped organized the American Railway Union of about 150,000 members. In Chicago, there were violent flare-ups accompanied by labor protests; Most frightening was the crippling Pullman strike of 1894; it was led by Eugene V. Debs (image left) and he had helped organized the American Railway Union of about 150,000 members. The Pullman Palace Car Company was hit hard by the depression and cut wages about one-third, while holding the lone on rent for the company houses; The workers finally struck and paralyzed railway traffic from Chicago to the Pacific Coast. The Pullman Palace Car Company was hit hard by the depression and cut wages about one-third, while holding the lone on rent for the company houses; The workers finally struck and paralyzed railway traffic from Chicago to the Pacific Coast. Governor Altegeld of Illinois, who pardoned the Haymarket Square anarchists the year before, saw it as serious but not out of hand; however, Attorney General Olney urged the dispatch of the federal troops. Cleveland supported Olney, but this method lead to controversy. Governor Altegeld of Illinois, who pardoned the Haymarket Square anarchists the year before, saw it as serious but not out of hand; however, Attorney General Olney urged the dispatch of the federal troops. Cleveland supported Olney, but this method lead to controversy. This was the first time that such a legal weapon had been used conspicuously by Washington to break a strike, and it was all the more distasteful because defiant laborites who were held in contempt could be imprisoned without jury trial. This was the first time that such a legal weapon had been used conspicuously by Washington to break a strike, and it was all the more distasteful because defiant laborites who were held in contempt could be imprisoned without jury trial. They saw brutal Pullman episode further proof of an unholy alliance between big business and the courts. They saw brutal Pullman episode further proof of an unholy alliance between big business and the courts.

9 Democratic Tariff Tinkering The Democrats undertook to frame a tariff that would provide adequate revenue with moderate protection, as they had promised in the Cleveland-Harrison campaign of 1892. This new bill even included a tax of 2% on $4000 incomes. The Wilson-Gormon Bill was drastically revamped by the addition of over 630 amendments. As a result of such backstairs pressures, the Wilson-Gormon Tariff of 1894 fell scandalously short of establishing a low tariff, even though it did reduce the existing McKinley rates from 48.4% on dutiable goods. The Democrats undertook to frame a tariff that would provide adequate revenue with moderate protection, as they had promised in the Cleveland-Harrison campaign of 1892. This new bill even included a tax of 2% on $4000 incomes. The Wilson-Gormon Bill was drastically revamped by the addition of over 630 amendments. As a result of such backstairs pressures, the Wilson-Gormon Tariff of 1894 fell scandalously short of establishing a low tariff, even though it did reduce the existing McKinley rates from 48.4% on dutiable goods. As a result, the Democrats lost a lot of their seats in the House, and the Republicans regained its control. As a result, the Democrats lost a lot of their seats in the House, and the Republicans regained its control. Discontented debtors, especially the Populists, were turning in throngs to free silver as a cure-all. An enormously popular pamphlet entitled Coin’s Financial School (1894) were being distributed by the hundreds of thousands of copies. Written by William Hope Harvey, it was illustrated by clever woodcuts, one of which depicted the gold ogre beheading the beautiful silver maiden. Discontented debtors, especially the Populists, were turning in throngs to free silver as a cure-all. An enormously popular pamphlet entitled Coin’s Financial School (1894) were being distributed by the hundreds of thousands of copies. Written by William Hope Harvey, it was illustrated by clever woodcuts, one of which depicted the gold ogre beheading the beautiful silver maiden.

10 McKinley: Hanna’s Fair-Haired Boy The leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1896 was ex-congressman William McKinley of Ohio (image right), sponsor of the ill- starred tariff bill of 1890. The leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1896 was ex-congressman William McKinley of Ohio (image right), sponsor of the ill- starred tariff bill of 1890. McKinley was peculiarly the creation of a fellow Ohioan, Marcus Alonzo Hanna (image left). The latter had made his fortune in the iron business, and he now coveted the role of president-maker. McKinley was peculiarly the creation of a fellow Ohioan, Marcus Alonzo Hanna (image left). The latter had made his fortune in the iron business, and he now coveted the role of president-maker. Hanna, as a wholehearted Hamiltonian, believed that a prime function of government was to aid business. Honest, earnest, rough, and direct, he became the personification of big industry in politics. Hanna, as a wholehearted Hamiltonian, believed that a prime function of government was to aid business. Honest, earnest, rough, and direct, he became the personification of big industry in politics. McKinley’s platform also called for bimetallism, or worldwide gold-silver standard. McKinley’s platform also called for bimetallism, or worldwide gold-silver standard. The catch was that all the leading nations of the world would have had to agree to such a scheme, and this obviously they would not. The catch was that all the leading nations of the world would have had to agree to such a scheme, and this obviously they would not.

11 Bryan: Silverite Messiah The Democrats were in turmoil and was unable to come up with a candidate found William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, also known as “the Boy Orator of the Platte.” He radiated honesty, sincerity, and energy. The Democrats were in turmoil and was unable to come up with a candidate found William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, also known as “the Boy Orator of the Platte.” He radiated honesty, sincerity, and energy. At the Democratic convention in Chicago in July 1896, Bryan delivered a sensational speech known as “the Cross of Gold” speech. This speech made him the nominee of the fifth ballot the next day. At the Democratic convention in Chicago in July 1896, Bryan delivered a sensational speech known as “the Cross of Gold” speech. This speech made him the nominee of the fifth ballot the next day. The platform declared for the unlimited coinage of silver at the ration of 16 ounces of silver to 1 ounce of gold, though ration was about 32 to 1. The platform declared for the unlimited coinage of silver at the ration of 16 ounces of silver to 1 ounce of gold, though ration was about 32 to 1. Democrats who could not agree with Bryan left the party. Democrats who could not agree with Bryan left the party. The Democratic minority, including Cleveland, charged that the Populist-silverites had stolen both the name and the clothes of their party. They nominated a lost-cause ticket of their own, and many of them, including Cleveland, hope for McKinley victory. The Democratic minority, including Cleveland, charged that the Populist-silverites had stolen both the name and the clothes of their party. They nominated a lost-cause ticket of their own, and many of them, including Cleveland, hope for McKinley victory. During the election of 1896, the Democrat Party was essentially known as the “Demo-Pop” party. During the election of 1896, the Democrat Party was essentially known as the “Demo-Pop” party.

12 Hanna Leads the “Gold Bugs” Mark Hanna smugly assumed that he could make the tariff the focus of the campaign, but Bryan forced the free-trade issue into a back seat when he took the stump in behalf of free silver. Mark Hanna smugly assumed that he could make the tariff the focus of the campaign, but Bryan forced the free-trade issue into a back seat when he took the stump in behalf of free silver. Free silver became almost as much a religious as a financial issue. Hordes of fanatical free silverites hailed Bryan as the messiah to lead them out of the wilderness of debt. They sang, “We’ll All Have Our Pockets Lined with Silver” and “No Crown of Thorns, No Cross of Gold.” Free silver became almost as much a religious as a financial issue. Hordes of fanatical free silverites hailed Bryan as the messiah to lead them out of the wilderness of debt. They sang, “We’ll All Have Our Pockets Lined with Silver” and “No Crown of Thorns, No Cross of Gold.” Bryan created panic among eastern conservatives with his threat of converting their holdings overnight into fifty-cent dollars. Bryan created panic among eastern conservatives with his threat of converting their holdings overnight into fifty-cent dollars. Widespread fear of Bryan and the silverites enabled Hanna, now the man of the Republican national Committee, to shine as a money raiser. The Republicans amassed the most formidable political campaign chest thus far in American history. Widespread fear of Bryan and the silverites enabled Hanna, now the man of the Republican national Committee, to shine as a money raiser. The Republicans amassed the most formidable political campaign chest thus far in American history. Thus, many Bryanites accused Hanna of “buying” the election and of floating McKinley into the White House on a tidal wave of greenbacks. The Democrats only had $1 million for their campaign but in contrast, the Republican had about $16 million. Thus, many Bryanites accused Hanna of “buying” the election and of floating McKinley into the White House on a tidal wave of greenbacks. The Democrats only had $1 million for their campaign but in contrast, the Republican had about $16 million.

13 Appealing to the Pocketbook Vote With gold gushing into his money bags, Hanna waged a high-pressure campaign against silver; He distributed tens of millions of pamphlets, tracts, leaflets, and posters, many of them in the native languages of immigrant groups. With gold gushing into his money bags, Hanna waged a high-pressure campaign against silver; He distributed tens of millions of pamphlets, tracts, leaflets, and posters, many of them in the native languages of immigrant groups. There was a maximum of shouting and a minimum of thinking, primarily because only a few trained economists were able to grasp fully the implications of silver-and-gold bimetallism. There was a maximum of shouting and a minimum of thinking, primarily because only a few trained economists were able to grasp fully the implications of silver-and-gold bimetallism. Bryan’s cyclonic campaign, launched with irresistible enthusiasm, began to lose steam as the weeks passed. Just before the election, the price of wheat rose sharply, owing largely to crop failures abroad. Hostility to the Republican party in the vast wheat belt began to wane, even though agriculture generally remained depressed. Bryan’s cyclonic campaign, launched with irresistible enthusiasm, began to lose steam as the weeks passed. Just before the election, the price of wheat rose sharply, owing largely to crop failures abroad. Hostility to the Republican party in the vast wheat belt began to wane, even though agriculture generally remained depressed.

14 Class Conflict: Plowholders versus Bondholders Hanna’s campaign methods paid off, for on election day McKinley triumphed; The vote was 271 to 176 in the Electoral College, and 7,102,246 to 6,492,559 in the popular column; McKinley ran strongly in the populous East, where he carried every county of New England, and in the upper Mississippi Valley Hanna’s campaign methods paid off, for on election day McKinley triumphed; The vote was 271 to 176 in the Electoral College, and 7,102,246 to 6,492,559 in the popular column; McKinley ran strongly in the populous East, where he carried every county of New England, and in the upper Mississippi Valley Bryan’s states, concentrated in the debt-burdened South and the trans-Mississippi West, involved more acreage than McKinley’s but less population. Bryan’s states, concentrated in the debt-burdened South and the trans-Mississippi West, involved more acreage than McKinley’s but less population. The free-silver election of 1896 was probably the most significant since Lincoln’s victories in 1860 and 1864. The free-silver election of 1896 was probably the most significant since Lincoln’s victories in 1860 and 1864. The outcome was instead a resounding victory for big business, the big cities, middle-class values, and financial conservatism. The outcome was instead a resounding victory for big business, the big cities, middle-class values, and financial conservatism. The smashing Republican victory of 1896 also heralded a Republican grip on the White House for sixteen consecutive years. The smashing Republican victory of 1896 also heralded a Republican grip on the White House for sixteen consecutive years.

15 Republican Standpattism Enthroned McKinley took the inaugural oath in 1897. Unlike Cleveland, McKinley was able to work smoothly in party harness. With impeccable white vest, he seemed never to perspire, even in oppressively muggy Washington. McKinley took the inaugural oath in 1897. Unlike Cleveland, McKinley was able to work smoothly in party harness. With impeccable white vest, he seemed never to perspire, even in oppressively muggy Washington. McKinley continued to maintain intimate relations with Hanna, but he was by no means under the thumb of his mentor. McKinley continued to maintain intimate relations with Hanna, but he was by no means under the thumb of his mentor. The Dingley Tariff Bill was passed to replace the Wilson- Gorman law, and the new Bill raised the average rates to 46.5%. The Dingley Tariff Bill was passed to replace the Wilson- Gorman law, and the new Bill raised the average rates to 46.5%.

16 Inflation Without Silver Prosperity returned with a rush in 1897 after McKinley became president; the depression of 1893 had run its course, and farm prices rose. Prosperity returned with a rush in 1897 after McKinley became president; the depression of 1893 had run its course, and farm prices rose. The Gold Standard Act was not passed by the Republicans until 1900, when many silverites had left Congress; It provided that the paper currency was to be redeemed freely in gold. Las-ditch silverites fought the bill with bitterness but without success. The Gold Standard Act was not passed by the Republicans until 1900, when many silverites had left Congress; It provided that the paper currency was to be redeemed freely in gold. Las-ditch silverites fought the bill with bitterness but without success. A controlled expansion of American currency in the 1880s and 1890s was clearly desirable. Prices were depressed, money was tight, and the volume of currency in circulation lagged far behind the increasing volume of business. A controlled expansion of American currency in the 1880s and 1890s was clearly desirable. Prices were depressed, money was tight, and the volume of currency in circulation lagged far behind the increasing volume of business. Inflation later occurred when new gold deposits in Canada, Alaska, South Africa, and Australia were discovered. Nature and science gradually provided cheap cyanide process for extracting gold form low-grade ore. Inflation later occurred when new gold deposits in Canada, Alaska, South Africa, and Australia were discovered. Nature and science gradually provided cheap cyanide process for extracting gold form low-grade ore. Moderate inflation thus took care of the currency needs of an explosively expanding nation, as its circulatory system greatly improved. Moderate inflation thus took care of the currency needs of an explosively expanding nation, as its circulatory system greatly improved.


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