• Weird History

Times the Economy Was on the Verge of Total Collapse

In the coming months and years, the term “economic recession” may become all too applicable to Americans' daily lives. After a decidedly short respite from economic concerns, several experts are suggesting that the economic plan laid out by President Trump may send the American economy into a tailspin. Thanks to the intricacies of banking, a major economic downturn in America could herald a worldwide economic collapse.

Before you start stockpiling canned goods and liquidating your assets, you should know that the world has weathered serious economic issues before. From the beginning of human civilization all the way through to just a few years ago, there are countless examples of times the world economy almost collapsed. In fact, to look at the numbers, you might get the impression that the world as a whole is always inching toward or recuperating from complete financial ruin. 

The world we live in is so remarkably intertwined on a monetary level that it's essentially a house of cards just waiting to collapse the moment some greedy a-hole or careless moron takes their eye off the ball. 

You just have to know where to look.

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  • Donating Money To The American Revolution Threw France Into A Revolution Of Its Own

    Photo: Jean Duplessis-Bertaux / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Properly begun in 1789, the French Revolution was a direct result of the economic collapse of the French Crown following the American Revolution. Thanks to the lavish spending of Louis XVI in support of the American army during the war (as well as on his own ridiculously opulent lifestyle), French citizens found themselves with little to no food or income and without support from the Crown itself. 

    The inability of the King to support his people financially gave rise to the Jacobin movement, which ultimately brought down the French Crown and thrust the country into more than a decade of blood-laced anarchy.

  • Though He Left Office With Record Approval, Reagan’s Early Years Were Tough On The Economy

    Photo: Michael Evans / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    From 1981 to 1982, the United States suffered through its worst economic depression since the big one of the 1930s. In spite of the country’s initial optimism that the new president, Ronald Reagan, would improve the economic situation, exactly the opposite proved to be true. Within 18 months of Reagan’s presidency, the country’s unemployment rate had risen to more than 10%.

    In September of 1982, 54% of Americans said that Reagan’s economic policies had made their situation worse. Miraculously, though, the public’s opinion remained hopeful throughout the downturn and into the following years.

  • The Economic Crisis Of The 14th Century Was Caused By A Royal Thirst For War

    Photo: Edmund Blair Leighton / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    From about 1300 until 1450, the Church suffered from a decline in power in Europe and England. Thanks to increasingly warlike kings in France and England, the Church became a target for taxation and outright plunder. Even more, the kings of Europe levied incredibly high taxes on the people of their countries in an attempt to fund their need for constant warfare. 

    Though most of the skirmishes were tiny, the result was the centralization and then dissipation of most of Europe’s funds just so the richest people on the Continent could wage meaningless non-wars against one another. One of the major repercussions of this depletion of funds was the rise of sub-human living conditions that helped brew up the Black Death.

  • The Oil Crisis Of 1973 Wrecked More Than Just A Trip To The Gas Pumps

    Photo: David Falconer / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In 1973, the United States decided to pitch in and help out Israel during a war they were fighting against... well, basically everyone else in the Middle East. When the Arabs on the other side of the Arab-Israeli War got wind of US interference, things got nasty. Most of those countries were part of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or, as they’re known on the street, OPEC. 

    In response to US aid, OPEC imposed an embargo on United States oil imports, which pretty much halted the US economy (and ruined the traffic flow around gas pumps nationwide). Without the United States pitching in and buying stuff, the rest of the world soon felt the ill effects of OPEC’s embargoes.