Monetary Lessons from America’s Past

Several days ago I reposted one of Tom Woods’s articles from and mentioned that I rather wished he would address older financial crises like the various Panics of the 1800s (mainly because I never know what to say about them when people with whom I’m attempting to argue economics bring them up). As I should have known, he has already done just that, and very obligingly left a comment on my post linking to this video from January:

Yes, it’s 40 minutes long, but I guarantee you sit through longer classes at college all the time — and this is a lecture which is actually interesting and worthwhile, for a change. It definitely merits a complete watch. Woods comments:

When you look through the history of American panics, we’ve got panics going from 1819 all the way to 1907. Then the economy was made panic-proof by basically not using the word panic anymore.

He runs through the major panics within the time period specified, explaining the connections between the failures of central banking and fiat currency throughout.

For more on the Panic of the 1870s — the depression that wasn’t — check out this post from Woods on the Mises blog.

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