COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL DEMORALIZATION IN THE NORTH (1869-1873)
THE years during which the southern situation assumed the depressing aspect just suggested were to the rest of the Union years of exuberant economic prosperity. With the inauguration of Grant in 1869 and the apparent settlement of the vexatious question of political reconstruction, all restraint upon the spirit of optimism seemed to disappear. Every form of business enterprise displayed a restless activity; but side by side with impressive exhibitions of honorable and legitimate methods in successful commerce and industry appeared in disproportionate prominence the sordid and repulsive features of a wealth-getting era. The period of Grant's administrations was characterized by a conspicuously low tone of both public and private morality.
The problems of national finance, which had been so haltingly dealt with under Johnson, were taken up in a distinctly more hopeful spirit under his successor. Secretary Boutwell was as free as McCulloch