Paul E. Fenlon


A golden age of laissez-faire capitalism began throughout the United States within a few years after Appomattox. This was an age of economic expansion which, led by railroad developments, transformed the United States within a generation, changing this country from an essentially agricultural nation into one of the most powerful industrial nations in the world. This era of transformation is sometimes called the period of the greatest industrial revolution in the history of mankind, but it was also a time when skillful financial manipulators fleeced thousands of investors and when there was widespread corruption of many local, state and federal legislators and officials.