Forty Years of American Finance: A Short Financial History of the Government and People of the United States since the Civil War, 1865-1907

By Alexander Dana Noyes | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
THE "INDUSTRIAL BOOM"

OUR narrative is now about to enter upon a very remarkable chapter in American finance. It is a chapter which, so far as regards its general tendencies, may possibly be said merely to have repeated history; but which, when judged by the dramatic change in the country's financial condition, and by the portentous character of the phenomena of the day, stands quite by itself. What we have to consider, in our review of the five or six years which followed 1896, is such reversal of its position by the United States that, instead of the crippled industrial and financial state of 1894, with the country's principal industries declining, its great corporations drifting into bankruptcy, and its Government forced to borrow on usurious terms from Europe to maintain the public credit, there was presented, in the short space of half a dozen years, a community whose prosperity had become the wonder of the outside world; whose productive industries had developed such strength that the "American invasion" was discussed abroad as threatening

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