ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL STATE OF THE NATION (1865-1869)
T HE financial and economic condition of the country at the close of the year 1868 was well adapted to promote the era of prosperity which the apparent termination of intense political strife brought to every one's attention. Both the purely speculative and the really substantial elements of wealth-making progress were active. It was felt by many conservative men that the speculative factors were unduly prominent, and that sound development was impossible without important changes in the system of currency and national finance; but the prevailing tone of popular feeling after the election was optimistic, and this spirit was manifest in all phases of industrial activity.
The readjustment of the national finances after the tension of the war had ceased was seriously impeded by the political conflict about reconstruction. President Johnson had little interest in finance, and even less knowledge of the subject, and accordingly the policy of the administration was left entirely