North America

American History: Socio-Economic Development and Its Influence on Politics

In the meantime, that grandiose process of economic development had begun in the North which was to take place almost uninterrupted for many decades. Already under the presidency of Grant, who turned out to be a politician not equal to his military glory, speculation and corruption had been given the green light, a phenomenon that has constantly accompanied the economic rise, by its very tumultuous nature. The energies released by the end of the conflict and its aftermath spilled, unleashed, in economic activities, with the triumph, for better or for worse, of the typically American “rude individualism”. These were the decades of industrial expansion, of the “kings” of steel or railways, of ever-increasing protectionism, of the formation of large monopolies, of the affirmation of banks and financial capitalism. Workers, who most of all paid the price for this savage growth, responded with strikes that the bosses’ reaction caused more than once to degenerate into bloody clashes; and they responded above all with the trade union organization, which, after various experiments, among which the most important was that of “Knights of Labor”, he found the right formula in the American Federation of Labor, founded in 1886 by S. Gompers, which still exists today as the largest American trade union organization. The government tried to put a stop to the overwhelming power of the trusts with the Sherman law of 1890, which however proved to be ineffective. But the government, in general, could only be the ally of the economic potentates, almost always sitting in the White House a president of the Republican Party, the party that was rightly considered the political arm of big business.Only in 1885-89, with the first presidency of S. Cleveland, the Democrats returned to power, which then ceded to Republican B. Harrison (grandson of William Henry Harrison, president in 1841), to take it back, again with Cleveland, in 1893-97.

According to a2zdirectory, the nineties of the nineteenth century were characterized, internally, by the development of the protest movement of farmers (who could not sell their products at profitable prices), who organized themselves into the “populist party”. This, in the decisive election of 1896, sided with the Democratic candidate WJ Bryan; but the victory fell to the Republican McKinley (1897-1901), powerfully supported by industrial and financial interests, which thus ensured dominance. On the international level, the nineties were those in which American imperialism arose and developed vigorously, prompted by specific internal thrusts, but also corresponding to the address assumed by the great powers in what is called, precisely, the “age of imperialism “. The internal pressures derived from the massive growth of the American economy, which needed – so it was believed – foreign markets for its products, especially for the exuberance of agricultural production. In terms linked to the American tradition, this thrust took the form of a projection beyond the borders of the “frontier” which the census of 1890 had officially noted the closure on the metropolitan territory. This had already been enriched, in 1867, by an offshoot, albeit not contiguous, Alaska, acquired by Russia. The directives of the American expansion were two: towards Latin America and towards the Far East. On this second path, the United States made the first extra-continental acquisitions: in 1898 the Hawaiian Islands, which had already been in the American sphere for half a century; in 1899 part of the islands American expansion were two: towards Latin America and towards the Far East. On this second path, the United States made the first extra-continental acquisitions: in 1898 the Hawaiian Islands, which had already been in the American sphere for half a century; in 1899 part of the islands American expansion were two: towards Latin America and towards the Far East.

On this second path, the United States made the first extra-continental acquisitions: in 1898 the Hawaiian Islands, which had already been in the American sphere for half a century; in 1899 part of the islands Samoa. Further on, on the threshold of the Asian continent, they arrived with the taking of possession of the Philippines, following the Spanish-American war of 1898. It broke out due to Washington’s interference in the Cubans’ struggle for independence from Spain, this war was quickly resolved. with the success of the United States, which at the Peace of Paris (10 December 1898) had Cuba, which became independent, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, both of which passed under American domination (Puerto Rico is still present there, the Philippines became independent in 1946). Meanwhile, the great Western powers were trying to carry out the policy of dividing China into areas of influence; in contrast to the United States, which for a long time had interests in the Celestial Empire, argued, with the notes of 1899 and 1900, Open door policy) in China equally to all powers. Beyond the specific case, the doctrine of the “open door” represents, in general, a new version of the “frontier” theory, in the sense that, for the very maintenance of democracy inside, Americans believe they need of the widest possibilities of expansion: first inside the continent, then outside; first only economically, then also politically and militarily.

American History