The Hard Economic Times of the 1890s





The Hard Economic Times of the 1890s

The period of the 1890s experienced an economic depression that affected a majority of the workforce. The economic contraction led to an increase in unemployment rates. This led to demands for the state politicians to take action and protect citizens. The dominance of the agricultural sector had also declined because of the prevailing economic conditions. Poverty levels were also heightened as families lacked income for self-sufficiency. Violent demonstrations and strikes became a common phenomenon. In addition, people were unanimously demanding the establishment of a new political system that was balanced. However, the political system was slow in its response to the demands of workers and farmers.

Major political parties were the primary focus of the union’s demands to respond to the pertinent issues facing the citizens. Political conditions at the time were influenced by party membership and maintenance of the status quo. The Democrats and Republicans dominated the national political forum and exercised their influence over national policies. Both parties were also competitive on policies and office positions (Brinkley 48). These policies acted as instruments that enhanced the harsh economic period. Tariff and currency policies by the regime also heightened the level of deflation. Some of the main policies included stopping the use of silver for currency exchange.

The populist movement had successfully highlighted the issues that faced Americans. However, their approach was undermined by their lack of fundamental support and strategic alliance (Murrin 56). The coalition also had issues maintaining unity and cooperation because of the divergent interests that required conciliation. Their limited rural approach for changing the system was their primary disadvantage. Demand for change towards social responsibility by the government by abandoning the laissez faire policy was also unpopular compared to the policies of the two dominant parties.



















Works Cited

Brinkley, Alan. The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.

Murrin, John. Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2005. Print.

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