America in 1890 was turbulent, although the subsequent decade is known as the “Gay Nineties.” The robber baron empires had largely been built by that time. Monopolies were the rage, and their excesses became so overt that the era of “trust-busting” began early in the early 20th century, with limited effectiveness. Modern medicine was to becoming the racket that it is today. By the 1890s, surgery vaulted from to . In the South, the Ku Klux Klan, which was originally formed by Southern elites to harass the Reconstruction government, quickly degenerated into poor, uneducated whites lynching blacks, who were their primary economic competitors. American lynchings peaked during the early 1890s, and were highly popular, as people were murdered in a carnival atmosphere, and the lynchers made postcards from the scenes, . The North was not noted for its , either.


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