Spring 20174 / 63

  • Carl Wennerlind, Associate Professor of History, Barnard College
  • Charly Coleman, Assistant Professor of History, Columbia University
  • Pierre Force, Professor, Department of French and Romance Philology, Columbia University
  • Erik Goldner, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge
  • Arnaud Orain, Professor, University of Paris 8
  • John Shovlin, Associate Professor of History, New York University
  • David Bell, Professor, Princeton University

In an effort to marshal resources to meet the escalating demands of war, empire, and state formation, European governments developed a set of sophisticated financial mechanisms around the turn of the eighteenth century. Soon, however, the already impressively complex financial architecture nearly crumbled due to a series of cataclysmic stock market crashes. The South Sea Bubble in England and the Mississippi Bubble in France left the newly formed modern culture of credit in complete disarray. In this one-day workshop, six French historians explore the conditions that led to the creation of John Law’s financial scheme, the intellectual context in which it became possible for people to believe in modern finance, the role that political ideology played during the bubble, the experience of living during the immediate aftermath of the crash, and the overall geopolitical context of the rise and fall of Law’s system.

View the full history of lectures for The Money Series.


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