You are on page 1of 18

It is not the plodding, methodical, gradual pursuit of

wealth that unfolds in the succeeding pages;


instead, the history of bank notes, both real and
counterfeit, captures the get-rich-quick scheme, the
confidence game, and the mania for speculation
that obsessed Melville and the nation during this
era. This alchemical vision of wealth creationthe
magical transformation of flimsy paper into
concrete capitalis part of the hidden history of the
nations economic development, and to see the
counterfeit economy is to gain a glimpse of that
spirit.
Mihm, Stephen (2009-05-01). A Nation of
Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the
Making of the United States
1865 1873 1907 1920 1863 1929
A Nation of
Counterfeiters
Stephen Mihm until:
National bank charter
(end of free banking
era)
Banking panic of 1873
Leading up to 1884:
national and
international
speculation in stocks,
unstable railroad
corporations and banks,
panics.
Prohibition
And The Age of
Innocence is published
1861-1865
The first industrialized war, war
on our soil, 10% of Northern
men, %30 of Southern men,
steamships and mass produced
weapons but no pennicilliin.
Panic of 1907
Following serious
depressions in 1890,
1893.
The Great Depression
This crisis is the worst of the
series, and prompts The New
Deal. Major change. Fear Itself,
Ira Katznelson
19 C Timeline
The turn of the 19
th
century into the 20
th
century in American was a time of
rapid change, at a pace its hard to imagine. The last covered wagons were still
crossing the country when the light bulb was invented and waves of
industrialization marched forward.
1914-17 1907
The Great War
World War I, trench
warfare before modern
medicine.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION TIMELINE
BREAD LINES IN THE 1930S
More Images
GLOOM OF INCOMPARABLE FORCE THE
NEW DEAL AND HOPE
July 1932: Mussolini celebrates that the liberal state is destined to
perish.
The New Deals rearrangement of values and institutions, and its support
for the Western liberal political tradition, answered this challenge.
OBJECTIVES: Defeat Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, maintain internal solidarity
all at once.
From the early days of the New Deal, the democratic world watched with great
curiosity. Many were convinced that there was a nearly perfect coincidence
between the particular causes of the United States and the universal causes of
humanity

The New Deal proved Mussolini wrong. The Gods of liberalism did not die.
The dictatorships vortex of violence and brutality was not only met but also
trumped by a model of constitutionalism and law.
BOTH waged and won war AND brought real economic safety
THREE BIG FEARS
Dictatorships
War and global violence and the advent
of atomic weapons
The explosive racial realities of the
South

KATZNELSON: MEASURABLE RISK GENERATES
WORRY. UNMEASURABLE RISK ABOUT THE
DURATION AND MAGNITUDE OF UNCERTAINTY
SPAWNS FEAR.

Try to recreate the contingency of that moment in time, the sense that
the country might not recover.
Fascism was TEMPTING, HEROIC
Dictatorships on the Left and the Right
American had been torn in half within a lifetime, Europe was torn in
half in 1914
The United States possessed many of the same features that
Hannah Arendt was soon to associate with the rise of totalitarianism.
These included racism as a robust ideology, imperial expansion, and
the control of subject populations.
(p. 14 Katznelson)
A LONG SHADOW
The New Deal today is often seen as the WPA and a set of banking
regulations.

We live with a sense of inevitability
our democracy, our economy
Intertwined and natural
The end of history
Perfect identity between: humanistic, liberal values and the basic
arrangement of our society.

This reality was once in jeopardy, contingent, and the New Deal is the name
we give for a truly remarkable set of circumstances that in a real way
allow us to take for granted this arrangement.


FEAR WAS NOT BANISHED AFTER 4 YEARS:
UNTIL 1953: UNREMITTING SENSE OF
FRAGILITY

Difficult alliances, at home and abroad

Crucial reality of The New Deal: the Democrats had a coalition that included
white Southern Democrats
Republicans were more purely conservative, against change in the system as it
stood. Party of business that objected on the grounds of growth.
Dixie Democrats were veto players
content and moral tenor of the New Deal were profoundly affected
that paradoxically violated widely accepted moral norms, a precedent that
continues today.
No black and white
Wall Street Journal
BEST IMAGES FROM THE CRISIS

CULTURE = WHAT QUESTIONS WE ASK