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Republicans claimed that tariffs benefitted workers because they created jobs, blocked low-wage foreign competition, and safeguarded America from the kind of industrial poverty that had arisen in Europe○Tariffs helped American men earn enough to support their families ○Allowed wives to devote themselves to homemaking ○Allowed children to go to school, and a not a factory to work●Both sides were paritally right○Tariffs played a role in economic growth and helped transform the US into a global industrial power○Tariffs did not prevent industrial poverty■Corporations accumulated massive benefits, but failed to pass them along to workers○Tariffs allowed some corporations to dominate whole sectors of the economy and wield near-monopoly power○The Role of Courts■Republicans did not give government enough power over the new corporations●State legislatures passed hundreds of regulatory laws after the Civil War, but interstate companies challenged them in federal courts
○Munn v. Illinois■Supreme Court affirmed that states could regulate key businesses (railroads and grain elevators) that were in the public interest■Justices feared too many state and local regulations would impede business and fragment the national marketplace■Interpreted “due process” clause of the 14th amendment (no state could deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process [fair treatment through normal judicial system] of law) asshielding corporations from excessive regulation■Federal courts promoted economic development at the expense of racial justice●New Mexican and Arizonian land remained in the hands of Mexican farmers and ranchers ○Many lived as peones, under longstanding agreements with landowners who held large tracts originally granted by the Spanish crown ○After the Civil War and with the increase in railroads in the area, land-hungry anglos came ■Mexican shepherds were “asked” to leave their ranges●Congress set up special courts to rule on land titles ○1891-1904: court invalidated most traditional claims■Mexican Americans lost 64 percent of the contestedlands■Land was sold or appropriated through legal machinations known as the Santa Fe Ring●Result: displacement of thousands of Mexican American villagers and farmers ○Some became railroad builders or min workers ○Others moved and developed sheepraising into a major enterprise○Silver and Gold■Industrializing nations tried to develop an international system of standard
measurement and a unified currency ●Proposals failed becasue of nations’ self-interest●But governments agreed that mone should be based on gold○Great Britian long held the gold standard■The practice of backing a country’s currency with itsreserves of gold. In 1873 the United States, following Great Britain and other European nations,began converting to the gold standard.