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Apr 24

APR 24

2:00 PM–7:00 PM

MAISON FRANçAISE EAST GALLERY, BUELL HALL

The Architecture, Experience, and Aftermath of a Financial Disaster: John Law and the Mississippi Bubble

2:00 PM–7:00 PM    Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall

Conference/Panel Discussion:

The Architecture, Experience, and Aftermath of a Financial Disaster: John Law and the Mississippi Bubble

A history workshop with presentations by Charly Coleman, Pierre Force, Erik Goldner, Arnaud Orain, and John Shovlin, commentary by David Bell, moderated by Carl Wennerlind

Open to the public, no RSVP necessary

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.

Event co-sponsored by The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Department of French, and Columbia Maison Française.

Workshop Agenda

Chair: Carl Wennerlind, Barnard College

Presentations:

Charly Coleman, Columbia University: The Spirit of Speculation: John Law and Economic Theology in the Age of Lights

Pierre Force, Columbia University: Two Days of Financial Panic in the French Countryside: The Mississippi Bubble in the Notarial Archives of La Bastide Clairence (October 30-31, 1720)

Erik Goldner, Cal State, Northridge: The Chamber of Justice and the Rise of John Law

Arnaud Orain, Université Paris 8: Magical Politics: John Law's System and State propaganda (1717-1720)

John Shovlin, NYU: The Geopolitics of Global Trade and Public Credit: The South Sea, Mississippi, and Ostend Companies, 1711–1731.”

Comments:  David Bell, Princeton University

 

The Architecture, Experience, and Aftermath of a Financial Disaster: John Law and the Mississippi Bubble