History Repeats Itself - Again and Again and Again
Most of the global population is feeling the effects of the current economic malaise that has spread like a virus to the world's economies. We keep hearing statistics that we are currently facing the worst economic situation since the end of World War II but this has happened numerous times - even before 1945. I did some investigating and found that our new country had one of its first economic failures in 1797 while even the "Founding Fathers" were still wet behind the ears.
The list of recessionary periods erupted for a variety of reasons; weak economic base, greed, war, governmental regulation, and a lack of confidence due to a variety of issues. This is by no means a comprehensive listing of the weak/recessionary economic periods that have been faced by our nation but let's take a look at a few. I think you'll find this interesting.
Panic of 1797 -
The effects of deflation of the Bank of England crossed the Atlantic to the new United States and upset commercial and Real Estate markets as far south as the Caribbean. Britain was affected greatly because they war fighting a war with France.
Depression of 1807 -
The Embargo Act of 1807 was passed by the U.S. Congress during the term of President Thomas Jefferson. It devastated the shipping industry. But as a result, the Federalists fought back at the embargo and began smuggling into New England triggering an economic depression.
Panic of 1819 -
This is the first major financial crisis in the U.S. and featured widespread foreclosures, bank failures, unemployment, and a slump in manufacturing and farming. It also marked the conclusion of economic expansion following the War of 1812.
Panic of 1837 -
A sharp downturn in the U.S. economy was caused by bank failures and a lack of confidence in paper currency. Speculative markets were affected when U.S. banks stopped payment of specie (gold and silver coins).
And It Continues
Between 1837 and the turn of the century; there were a number of economic maladies that included the Panic of 1857, Panic of 1873 and the Long Depression (yes, I said depression) between the years of 1873 to 1896. By the way, the Long Depression was caused when the Vienna Stock Exchange collapsing which caused an economic depression that spread around the world. It occurred during a time when the world's industrial output had expanded fourfold.
There was a Panic of 1907 that happened because of the failure of Reading Railroad and withdrawal of European investments led to a stock market and banking collapse. The Post-World War I recession from 1918 to 1921; the Great Depression of 1929; Recession of 1953 and 1957; 1973 Oil Crisis, a recession in the early 1980's, 1990's, and 2000's which brings us to today.
This Too Shall Pass
As you can see, the effects of a negative economy on Americans (and the world) have happened many times before. I counted 19 separate weak economic periods that we have endured since the inception of this nation and there's probably a few I missed. The point is this is nothing new.
The world's economy is actually rather fragile and can be upset by the most innocent of motives. No matter what the reason, one thing is certain - we have always recovered from these devastating periods over and over again to experience positive economic growth on the other side. While there's no time frame that can be guaranteed as to when we will exit from this current economic state of affairs, one thing is for sure, at some point, things will start to improve. In the meantime, keep a positive attitude and work toward a positive and useful future. What choice do you have? It's time to make lemonade out of these lemons.