The United States and the Problem of Recovery after 1893

By Gerald T. White | Go to book overview

Chapter IX
Recovery in 1898

In 1898 recovery was increasingly recognized as a reality. Never again was it such a subject for comment as when the significance of the wheat crop of 1897 first impressed itself upon the public mind. At the close of 1898 a major proof of the extent of recovery was that it was taken for granted. Also, the Spanish-American War had helped divert public attention away from economic affairs.

As the year 1897 ended, recovery had not been so widely apparent, particularly in the industrial East. 1 The cotton textile industry of New England, suffering severely from the new competition in the South, was especially depressed. 2 Business generally was still in a slump.

Perhaps the still rather dubious state of recovery caused President McKinley to tell the convention of the National Association of Manufacturers in January 1898:

The country is now emerging from trying conditions. It is only just beginning to recover from the depression in certain lines of business long continued and altogether unparalleled. Progress, therefore, will naturally be slow, but let us not be impatient. Rather let us exercise a just patience and one which in time will surely bring its own high reward. 3

He had spoken of recovery in even more general and veiled terms in his message to Congress of December 1897. Of the Dingley tariff McKinley had merely noted that "while its full effect has not yet been realized, what it has already accomplished assures us of its timeliness."4 His message was to a greater degree concerned with the problem of securing a stable currency. The president urged upon Congress a far-reaching currency reform plan outlined in the Annual Report of the new secretary of the Treasury, Lyman J. Gage. McKinley's attitude upon the question differed from the earnest, almost anguished, pleading of Cleveland: "If we are to have an

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The United States and the Problem of Recovery after 1893
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter I- The Panic of 1893 1
  • Chapter II- A First Answer of Government 8
  • Chapter III- The Problem of Belief and the Unemployed 21
  • Chapter IV- The Tariff of 1894 33
  • Chapter V- The Bond Issues 41
  • Chapter VI- A Second Answer of Government 56
  • Chapter VII- Agriculture and Recovery 71
  • Chapter VIII- Exports of Manufactures and Recovery 82
  • Chapter IX- Recovery in 1898 91
  • Chapter X - An Overview and a "Legacy" 102
  • Notes 117
  • Bibliography 145
  • Index 157
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