sep 3, 1873 - Panic of 1873
A financial crisis that triggered an economic depression in Europe and North America that lasted from 1873 until 1877, and even longer in France and Britain. In Britain, for example, it started two decades of stagnation known as the "Long Depression" that weakened the country's economic leadership. In the United States the Panic was known as the "Great Depression" until the events of the early 1930s set a new standard.
The Panic of 1873 and the subsequent depression had several underlying causes, of which economic historians debate the relative importance. American inflation, rampant speculative investments (overwhelmingly in railroads), the demonetization of silver in Germany and the United States, ripples from economic dislocation in Europe resulting from the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), major property losses in the Chicago (1871) and Boston (1872) fires, and other factors put a massive strain on bank reserves, which plummeted in New York City in September and October 1873 from $50 million to $17 million.
The first symptoms of the crisis were financial failures in Vienna, which spread to most of Europe and North America by 1873.
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