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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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Rochester is known as both the Flour City and the Flower City. The community is home to the first abolitionist group, bloomers, marshmallows, Jell-O, French's Mustard, baby shoes, gold teeth and the mail chute.



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Crises are designated as financial, commercial, and Industrial. These qualifying phrases mark the places in the economic organism where the disturbance is felt. In a purely financial crisis the stock market is the storm-centre, the disturbance affecting but slightly commercial or productive enterprises. A commercial crisis is of wider area, and embraces the trading classes, while an industrial crisis extends its baneful influence to producers in all lines of agriculture, manufactures, and the like. These expressions do not designate so much different classes of crises as crises of different degrees of intensity, inasmuch as an industrial disturbance will market, though a financial panic does not necessarily imply the others.

While crisis and depression are usually associated, this is not always the case. Panic and crises may occur, and after a brief interval affairs may prosper as before. This is particularly true of the purely financial crises, which are not deep-rooted enough to affect wider areas. The crisis in its larger sense, however, is invariably followed by hard times. On the other hand, depression may occur without a panic. It is hardly correct to say that it is ushered in without a crisis, for the phenomena of such a period can usually be observed even if they lack the spectacular elements which so frequently accompany them. It should be observed, moreover, that crises may be local or general, and while they have many points in common, it is particularly the latter with which we have to deal.

General crises affecting the economic situation of an entire country, and extending themselves to other countries which have trade relations with the former, are peculiarly a mark of the modern organization of business. A century ago bad harvest or other calamities might cause local distress, or speculation such as was exhibited in the days of the South Sea Bubble and the Mississippi Scheme might cause a panic, but such occurrences did not show the pertinacity and wide-reaching effects which characterize the modern industrial disturbances. That such crises are inevitable consequences of modern methods of doing business and inseparable from the economic activities of our times, seems to be well established by their frequent recurrence and by their greater severity in the most advanced nations.

Crises more or less pronounced occurred in England in the years 1815, 1825-26, 1836,37, 1847, 1857, 1866, 1873, and 1890, while in the United States like disturbances were felt in 1814, 1818-1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1884, and 1893. The periodicity of these occurrences is marked, and certain writers have gone so far as to establish a normal interval of ten or twelve years between crises. The facts as far as we know them do not warrant us in fixing any absolute rule, though the history of these crises reveals many common features.

It will further be observed that the dates given for Great Britain and our own country coincide in several instances, and if space permitted us to draw upon the history of Belgium, Holland, France, and Germany further coincidences would be obvious. Certain crises, notably that of 1873, were felt quite generally. The Actual crash did not occur in the same month, or even in the same year, in all the countries involved, but it is a frequent occurrence that local circumstances may hasten or postpone an event for which the general conditions are preparing.

The concrete manifestations of a crisis can best be studied in an historical instance, and none is better adapted for this purpose than the crisis of 1873 in the United States. With the close of the Civil War an extraordinary activity in all lines of enterprise was manifested. The public lands had been thrown open to settlement, and large tracts had been granted to the Pacific railroads. This, together with the return of the army to the pursuits of peace, and an enormous increase in immigration was the condition for an era of speculative development in the Western States. The impulse which had been given to manufactures, not only by the highly protective duties which marked the war tariffs, but also by the depreciation of the currency, which acted as a check upon foreign competition, caused a similar activity in the manufacturing States of the East. 

Business prospered; prices and profits were high. The census of 1870 showed in every branch of industry a great advance over that of 1860, and the greater part of this advance was in the latter half of the decade. Nowhere was this confidence in the future shown more than in railroad building and in the iron industry. In 1867 there were 2249 miles of railway constructed ; in 1869, 4615 ; in 1871,7379. A like expansion of railways had marked the approach of the panic of 1857. In like manner, the outlay for constructing railways rose from $271,310,000 in 1864-68 to $841,260,000 in 1869-73. 
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