A serious economic depression during the Gilded age.
The Panic of 1893 was a serious economic depression during the Gilded age. The panic was marked by the collapse of shaky railroad financing which set off a series of bank failures. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, along with the protectionist McKinley Tariff of 1890, have been blamed for the panic.
Farms failed because of the fall in commodities prices. The railroad industry was turned upside down, killing off at least 25% of competition. Many people abandoned their homes and came west. Many of the western silver mines closed and a large number were never re-opened. The U.S. treasury reserve also fell to a dangerously low level and forced the government to seek aid from business.