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World Economics

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    • Corn laws: Topic Page
      In Britain until 1846, laws used to regulate the export or import of cereals in order to maintain an adequate supply for consumers and a secure price for producers. MORE
    • Dutch West India Company: Topic Page
      Trading and colonizing company, chartered by the States-General of the Dutch republic in 1621 and organized in 1623. Through its agency New Netherland was founded. MORE
    • Hanseatic League: Topic Page
      Mercantile league of medieval German towns. It was amorphous in character; its origin cannot be dated exactly. Originally a Hansa was a company of merchants trading with foreign lands. MORE
    • Industrial Revolution: Topic Page
      cceleration of technical and economic development that took place in Britain in the second half of the 18th century. The traditional agricultural economy was replaced by one dominated by machinery and manufacturing, made possible through technical advances such as the steam engine. MORE
    • Mississippi Scheme: Topic Page
      Plan formulated by John Law for the colonization and commercial exploitation of the Mississippi valley and other French colonial areas. MORE
    • Opium Wars
      From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
      Two wars, the First Opium War (1839-42) and the Second Opium War (1856-60), waged by Britain against China to enforce the opening of Chinese ports to trade in opium. Opium from British India paid for Britain's imports from China, such as porcelain, silk, and, above all, tea. MORE
    • Poor law: Topic Page
      English system for relief for the poor, established by the Poor Relief Act of 1601. Each parish was responsible for its own poor, paid for by a parish tax. MORE
    • Potato famine
      From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
      Famine in Ireland, historically dated 1845-49, although now believed to have lingered until 1852, caused by the failure of the potato crop, the staple of the Irish diet, over four consecutive seasons. MORE
    • South sea bubble: Topic Page
      Popular name in England for the speculation in the South Sea Company, which failed disastrously in 1720. The company was formed in 1711 by Robert Harley, who needed allies to carry through the peace negotiations to end the War of the Spanish Succession. MORE
    • The Mississippi Bubble
      From Webster's New World Finance and Investment Dictionary
      A market bubble that derives its name from the Mississippi Company, a French trading company. The Mississippi Bubble occurred from August 1719 to May 1720, growing out of France’s terrible economic situation in the early 18th century. MORE
    • Tulip Mania
      From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
      A reckless mania for the purchase of tulip bulbs that arose in the Netherlands in the 17th century and was at its greatest height about 1633–7. MORE

    U.S. Economics

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      • Atlantic slave trade: Topic Page
        The business of trading in slaves, especially the transportation of Black Africans to America from the 16th to 19th centuries. MORE
      • Bootlegging: Topic Page
        In the United States, the illegal distribution or production of liquor and other highly taxed goods. First practiced when liquor taxes were high, bootlegging was instrumental in defeating early attempts to regulate the liquor business by taxation. MORE
      • Boston Tea Party: Topic Page
        American patriots, disguised as Mohawks, dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773, in protest against the British Tea Act. MORE
      • California Gold Rush: Topic Page
        In US history, the influx of prospectors to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, following the discovery of gold in the American River by US surveyor James Marshall in January 1848. MORE
      • Great Depression: Topic Page
        In U.S. history, the severe economic crisis supposedly precipitated by the U.S. stock-market crash of 1929. MORE
      • Internet Bubble
        From Webster's New World Finance and Investment Dictionary
        The period in the late 1990s that was one of the biggest periods of market euphoria ever seen. Venture capitalists raced to fund Internet companies before their competitors. MORE
      • Navigation Acts: Topic Page
        In English history, name given to certain parliamentary legislation, more properly called the British Acts of Trade. The acts were an outgrowth of mercantilism, and followed principles laid down by Tudor and early Stuart trade regulations. MORE
      • New Deal: Topic Page
        In U.S. history, term for the domestic reform program of the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; it was first used by Roosevelt in his speech accepting the Democratic party nomination for President in 1932. The New Deal is generally considered to have consisted of two phases. MORE
      • Prohibition: Topic Page
        In US history, the period 1920-33 when the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was in force, and the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcohol was illegal. MORE
      • Stamp Act: Topic Page
        A law passed by the British Parliament requiring all publications and legal and commercial documents in the American colonies to bear a tax stamp (1765). MORE
      • Wall Street Crash: Topic Page
        In U.S. history, the severe economic crisis supposedly precipitated by the U.S. stock-market crash of 1929. Although it shared the basic characteristics of other such crises (see depression), the Great Depression was unprecedented in its length and in the wholesale poverty and tragedy it inflicted on society. MORE
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