A Changing America 1865 to 1945
When the Civil War ended, the United States began a period of tremendous growth. One of the largest financial contributors to both the Civil War and continued expansion of the railroad was Jay Cooke and Company, which was a large banking company. This period of rapid growth could not be sustained and in 1873 there was a general panic followed by a three year depression. The fall out from this period was a catalyst for people to move further west to attempt to start over. The population of urban America grew from 6 million in 1860 to 42 million in 1910. With this growth came an influx of industry into cities. Politics began impacting many facets of American life. The growth of the country was spiraling into what seemed to be a never ending upward spin. This growth came crashing to a halt in 1929 with the beginning of what was to become known as The Great Depression. The depression ended when the United States entered World War II.
The year was 1873. The banking house of Jay Cooke and Company has been financing the construction of the railroad after contributing heavily to the Civil War expenses. Jay Cooke and Company found itself over-extended and declared bankruptcy on September 8, 1873. The United States entered a three year depression and it is estimated that more than 10,000 businesses failed. The problems that led to this day included a declining market and overproduction. The New York Stock Exchange was forced to close its doors for ten days. Railroad construction was halted which resulted in some railroads defaulting on their loans. One of the consequences of this panic was an increase in the number of people who moved westward to find a new and better life.
The Panic of 1873 and the resulting depression were followed by an upswing in the industrial growth of the United States. Immigration was on the rise which led to an increase in the number of people who lived in cities. Industries were growing and there...