Wall Street and the Fruited Plain James T. Wall Money, Expansion, and Politics in the Gilded Age

Wall Street and the Fruited Plain delves deep into the parody known today as the "Gilded Age." The last decades of the 19th century saw both industrial and agricultural explosions in the United States. However, the base metal beneath this glittering fa ade was comprised of sweat-soaked, underpaid laborers, many of whom had just splashed ashore from Europe's seething cauldrons. In the early years of the period, the nation underwent the wrenching challenge of Reconstruction, nominally resolved in the compromise of 1877. In the Gilded Age, America expanded both internally and externally. The frontier moved from Kansas to California. Trappers, miners, cattlemen, and--finally-homesteaders, with the help of a burgeoning railroad network, fanned out across the central plains and the western plateaus. Wall Street dominated not only the economic and social life of the country, but the politics as well. A series of lackluster presidents between Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt facilitated this dominion and by the end of Roosevelt's first Administration, America had become an adolescent headliner on the world stage.
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