This chapter examines the consequences of the panics that occurred in and after 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, in a minor way in 1884, with great severity in 1893 and again in 1907, and of the stock market crash of October 1929. The late years of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth were a good time to be rich. For one, there was no income tax. Historians refer to these years as the Gilded Age, but they might as well be called the age of gold. The chapter considers recognizable constants in the panics of the latter part of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth, including the expansion in business activity, particularly investment in the construction of canals and railroads. It also discusses speculation in railroads and common stocks, financed by money from banks, and the resulting bank failures.
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