Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Western Region @ Metropolitan State University of Denver

Panic of 1893: War of Wealth

War of Wealth The War of the Wealth

This is a picture from the Theatrical Poster Collection of the Library of Congress.  Go ahead and click on the picture or the title to go to the Library of Congress website to view it in a larger format.

The War of Wealth was a play written by Charles Turner Dazey in February of 1896.  Here he is:CharlesTDazey

The play was inspired by the Panic of 1893.  It was an extension of the Panic of 1873 and was caused by “railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing which set off a series of bank failures. Compounding market overbuilding and a railroad bubble was a run on the gold supply and a policy of using both gold and silver metals as a peg for the US Dollar value. The Panic of 1893 was the worst economic crisis to hit the nation in its history to that point.”

Due to the crash many people decided to move west and many developing cities including “Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles took in the populations, as did many smaller centers.”

For even more information regarding the Panic of 1893, here is an entry from Archive.org on the causes of the Panic.  To the left are links to an entire book that gets to the heart of the matter:

Causes of the Panic of 1893

And lastly, here are a few primary sources from the Library of Congress talking about the Panic in Cleveland in 1893.

It is interesting to note on the first page of information, the article states, “For the first time in almost forty years the Presidency and both branches of Congress passed into the hands of the Democratic Party.  This revolution was the result in large part of widespread discontent with existing social conditions, was of so sweeping a character, and threatened such radical changes in legislation, that thoughtful business men, including many who had supported the successful party, at once became alarmed.”

How familiar does that sound?  Keep reading, it gets even more uncanny.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *