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Panics, Depressions and Economic Crisis Prior to 1930
 
The Panic of 1819
 
Panic and Depression 1832

Panic and Depression 1836

The Panic of 1837

Six Year Depression 1837-1843

The Panic of 1857

Panic and Depression 1869-1871

The Panic of 1873

The Panic of 1893-Financial World

The Panic of 1893-Presidential Papers

The Panic of 1901-Market Fails, Panic Reigns-Part I

The Panic of 1901-Market Fails, Panic Reigns-Part II

The Panic of 1901- At The Stock Exchange

Panic and Depression of 1929

Brief Financial Notes based on 1875-1907

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The "New York Post" established in 1803 by Alexander Hamilton is the oldest running newspaper in the United States.

 

 

Those most disastrous have usually followed general injudicious speculation in lands or inflated securities. The crisis of 1816-1819 in the United States, it is claimed was due to the speculation and disorder following the War of 1812. The next occurred in 1825. A very memorable panic was that of 1837.

The few years preceding had been marked by extraordinary speculation, carried on with an unsound banking system. Jackson's "specie circular" caused many banks to suspend, and credit was generally impaired throughout the country. Governmental aid was invoked by many financial institutions, but without avail, as Van Buren, who had succeeded to the Presidency, insisted upon individuals righting their own affairs. In 1857 another period of inflation was followed by another panic. Again in 1873 there was a severe monetary crisis. Just 20 years later occurred the last panic from which the country has suffered. (See also Black Friday).

Depression
Massive collapse of the economy that normally follows a period of prosperity. A depression is usually accompanied by a financial panic or a crash of the stock market as investors lose confidence and refuse to buy stocks or make loans. A staggering level of unemployment is the most immediate and debilitating result. Not all crashes reach the level of national depression, however. If the down turn in the economy is short lived and relatively mild, it is called a "recession." Three major depressions, so defined because of the depth and duration of the collapse have occurred in American history: 1837, 1893, and 1929. Some historians add to the list the downturns in 1857, 1873, and 1907. There is a lot of dispute among economic historians and economists as to the causes of economic depressions.

Economic Crisis
A term employed by economic writers somewhat loosely to designate either the acute phase or the whole course of the disturbances in economic life which have characterized the last century, and which have recurred with such frequency as to make them appear inevitable results of the modern industrial order. The phenomena involved are so complex that they must be described rather than defined.

The salient fact in the economic history of recent times is the alternation of prosperity and depression, of good times and bad. A period of prosperity with expanding business, great activity in production and commerce, is brought suddenly to a close, generally by the failure of a prominent banking house, bringing with it the fall of other financial and mercantile concerns. 

Business is paralyzed, creditors demand the payment of claims, and debtors find it next to impossible to secure the means of payment. Panic rules, and for a time the whole mercantile structure threatens to collapse. From such a shock business recovers but slowly, its activity is reduced to the lowest ebb, and some time elapses before the restoration of confidence takes place. 

This period of depression is much more prolonged than the acuter phase which precedes it. After a time business revives and begins to expand. Prices rise and activity becomes greater. A wave of prosperity again appears which seems to carry everything before it until it, in turn, is checked suddenly, and a new "crisis" is at hand. Lord Overstone, in an oft-quoted passage, describes these successive phases as follows: "State of quiescence, improvement, growing confidence, prosperity, excitement, overtrading, convulsions, pressure, stagnation, distress ending again in quiescence."

In the absence of any general term to designate this related sequence of phenomena, the term crisis has frequently been used to embrace them all. Strictly speaking, it should doubtless be confined to the acute stage when the collapse which has been slowly preparing actually takes place. In like manner, the term panic applies to the same movement, but expresses it more subjectively, emphasizing how men feel and act rather than the conditions which give birth to those feelings and actions. But as we cannot well break the sequence and discuss in isolated fashion one of its members, it will not be deemed inappropriate to discuss in this article crises, their antecedents, and their consequences. 
 
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