The Other Great Depression

In 1937 the American economy, which had been slowly rising from the depths it had reached in 1933, suddenly reversed course and sank once more. While this new economic trend enlarged the misery of the American people, it also gave the economists a new problem: what to call it. Read more »

The Front Porch Campaign

While Bryan stumped up and down the land, McKinley let the voters come to his lawn in Canton—and they came

In 1896, the depression which had followed the Panic of ’93 was in its third year. Debt, business failure, unemployment, and labor unrest were spreading; to many, revolution seemed just a step away. This was the setting for the bitter presidential contest between Republican William McKinley and Democrat William Jennings Bryan, and the great debate between the advocates of “sound money” and the supporters of the inflationary panacea, free silver.Read more »

When The President Disappeared

While panic gripped the nation in 1893, Grover Cleveland suffered his own secret ordeal on a yacht in Long Island Sound.

When Charles Francis Adams called what happened to the United States in 1893 its “most deep-seated financial storm,” his metaphor was weak. More than a storm, it was a major earthquake, a violent onset of national growing pains which upheaved the young country’s financial crust and shook the whole continental economy along major fault lines.