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What Caused the Crisis of 1839?

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  • John Joseph Wallis
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    Abstract

    The 1830s were a decade of enormous importance in American economic history. A disproportionate amount of attention has been paid to the Panic of 1837. The Crisis of 1839, however, led to four years of deflation and depression. This paper shows that events in 1839 followed a different path than events in 1837. Domestic, rather than international forces, played a key role in the origins and duration of the crisis. The critical element was the massive increase in state borrowing after 1836, and the subsequent collapse of internal improvement projects in the west and south in the summer 1839. This was an American cycle of events.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Historical Working Papers with number 0133.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0133

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    Cited by:
    1. Wallis, John Joseph, 2003. "The property tax as a coordinating device: Financing Indiana's Mammoth Internal Improvement System, 1835-1842," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 223-250, July.
    2. Joseph H. Davis & Douglas A. Irwin, 2007. "The Antebellum U.S. Iron Industry: Domestic Production and Foreign Competition," NBER Working Papers 13451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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