Financial crises have happened before, and - if history is any guide - they will happen again. One year after the subprime mortgage crisis, this Baker Library Historical Collections exhibit documents four major crises that occurred in an earlier, particularly volatile century of economic history. These four crises were so far-reaching that they affected virtually everyone involved in the U. S. market economy. Yet each was so complex that their causes and consequences remain subjects of debate generations later.
Baker Library holdings reveal the voices, actions, and experiences of individuals who played a role in precipitating a crisis, those who suffered its ill effects, and those who seized an opportunity to profit from it. Historical material can also yield quantitative data that illuminate underlying conditions of which contemporaries may have been unaware. It can challenge traditional interpretations of past crises and may help in understanding our present choices.Caitlin E. Anderson earned a Ph.D. in history at the University of Cambridge. She has published on legal and economic history in the British Empire and the Atlantic World. She has taught at Harvard and Cambridge, and is a Visiting Fellow at Harvard's Center for History and Economics.