Panic of 1819
Panic of 1837
Panic of 1857
Then the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co. collapsed after an embezzlement scandal at its New York City branch. The fall of this major financial force triggered the Panic of 1857, as investors in other companies withdrew their money.
Panic of 1873
A second transcontinental railway called the Northern Pacific Railroad collapsed in 1873. Soon after, Sept. 18, the Philadelphia banking firm of Jay Cooke and Co., which had invested heavily in the Northern Pacific, announced it would suspend payment on notes. That set off a chain of events culminating in the Long Depression, which lasted until 1879.
The railroad industry, the nation’s largest employer outside of agriculture, had become oversized after years of
Panic of 1893
Panic of 1907
The Great Depression
The Roaring ’20s brought rollicking prosperity for many Americans, who enjoyed smoking, drinking, dancing to jazz, buying new appliances and other luxuries on credit, and investing freely in a largely unregulated stock market.
Do the labels “panic” and “depression” make you think of psychology instead of the economy? Grasping these key economic classifications will not only make you feel smarter, but it’ll give you a better perspective on the times your ancestors lived through. Click here for even more economic definitions.
- depression: a cyclical period of serious decline in a national economy, with decreased business activity across most sectors, a decline in gross domestic product (GDP), higher levels of unemployment, rising business bankruptcies, and in the most severe instances, falling prices (deflation)
- economic downturn: negative change in the economy, such as a move from growth to recession
- panic: sudden, widespread fear of economic collapse, leading to massive bank withdrawals and/or falling stock prices
- recession: a period of general economic decline lasting longer than a few months, measured by indicators such as GDP, employment, real income and sales