by Robert W. Cherny

The years between the end of the Civil War, in 1865, and the end of the century witnessed rapid and far-reaching change in the economic and social life of the United States. During those years, the nation was transformed from rural and agricultural to urban and industrial. Manufacturing developed at a rapid pace and on a dramatic scale. The number of miles of railroad tracks increased more than 600 percent, giving the US a nationwide transportation network; the new railroads also integrated the West into the national economy and accelerated that region’s economic development. Cities burgeoned as thousands of people moved from rural areas and many more thousands poured in from around the world, especially Europe, attracted by the promise (though not always the reality) of economic opportunity. By 1900, the United States had emerged as the most vigorous economy in the world—it was the world’s largest producer of steel, petroleum products, and food.More »

by Kelly A. Woestman

Blaming Wall Street for the nation’s economic woes is not a new idea in American history.More »