Party Government in the United States of America

By William Milligan Sloane | Go to book overview

XXX
THE SPANISH WAR 1893-1901

The panic of 1893 and the repeal of the Sherman Act--Disordered finance--Bond sales--Discredit of the administration's fiscal measures--The Venezuela dispute--The silver question--The Dingley Bill--The Cuban War--The colonial question--The Isthmian Canal--Cuba free and independent--Continuity of party doctrines.

THE fallacy of a closed economic state was never more clearly exhibited than in the effect of our currency and money heresies. Behind a swollen paper and silver issue with slight intrinsic value was the national credit only. It shrank just in proportion as the national obligations increased; foreigners and Americans alike began to turn securities into gold; the reserve fund diminished just as gold was hoarded, and fell to ninety-seven millions. Cleveland, at the very opening of his second administration, was confronted with a disastrous panic which caused widespread distress. American optimism, however, was such that the Columbian Exposition at Chicago, a most elaborate and costly enterprise, suffered not at all in resources or public attendance. To allay the panic the Fifty-third Congress was called in special session (August 7-November 3, 1893) for the purpose of ending the purchase of silver. The struggle was long and bitter, because as a substitute the influential Representatives from the silver-mining States demanded free coinage of the metal on which

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