UNITED STATES CITIES--1870-1900
The financial crisis and its municipal reaction--The search for Constitutional remedies--Growth in municipal activity under a flexible revenue system and local autonomy--The advisory tradition Of central boards established--Increasing Power of the mayor--State interference and unsound political dogma handicap good government--The struggle for city emancipation renewed--This struggle is again local in its origin, and much of it is directed toward re-establishment of local self-government--Democracy fights economic privilege --There is a lack of comprehensive appreciation of the municipal problem, but a number of isolated aspects are disentangled--The beginnings of municipal thought.
§ 1. 1870-1880. In the middle '70's the United States seemed to awaken for a brief time from the materialism of the years following the Civil War--but it awoke only to lose faith in the old political dogmas. With the recurrence of prosperity the old ways returned. Underlying this cycle were economic forces.
The era of speculation had been exaggerated by the paper inflation following the Civil War, and had culminated in the panic of 1873. The cities were among the first to feel the effects. With the rapid fall in the money income of the people, the taxes for the extravagant expenditures and the huge debt services pressed heavily. The effects of the Civil War and the 'carpet bag' governments aggravated the suffering in the South.
Labour and anti-monopoly issues (particularly in the