Panic of 1819
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The Panic of 1819 was the first major financial crisis in the United States, which occurred during the end of the Era of Good Feelings. The new nation faced a depression in the late 1780s (which led directly to the establishment of the dollar and, perhaps indirectly, to the calls for a Constitutional Convention), and another severe economic downturn in the late 1790s following the Panic of 1797. In those earlier crises, however, the primary cause of economic turmoil originated in the broader Atlantic economy. These crises and others that resulted from international conflicts such as the Embargo Act and War of 1812, caused widespread foreclosures, bank failures, unemployment, and a slump in agriculture and manufacturing. However, things would change for the US economy after the Second Bank of the United States was founded in 1816, in response to the spread of bank notes across United States from private banks, due to inflation brought on by the debt following the war. In contrast, the causes of the Panic of 1819 largely originated within the U.S. economy. The panic marked the end of the economic expansion that had followed the War of 1812 and ushered in new financial policies that would shape economic development.
In Americaβs first depression, 1819β1821, four Western states (Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri) established state-owned banks, issuing fiat paper. They were backed by legal tender provisions in the states, and sometimes by legal prohibition against depreciating the notes. And yet, all these experiments, born in high hopes, came quickly to grief as the new paper depreciated rapidly to negligible value. The projects had to be swiftly abandoned. Later, the greenbacks circulated as fiat paper in the North during and after the Civil War. Yet, in California, the people refused to accept the greenbacks and continued to use gold as their money.
- Skaggs, Neil T. (1997). "Crisis of 1819". In Glasner, David; Cooley, Thomas F., eds. Business cycles and depressions: an encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing. pp. 124β25. ISBN 0824009444.
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- Murray N. Rothbard. What has government done to our money?, p. 66-67. Referenced 2013-04-12.