Overexcitement, Economic Collapse, and the Regulation of Business

John Corrigan

in Business of the Heart

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780520221963
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924321 | DOI:
Overexcitement, Economic Collapse, and the Regulation of Business

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Bostonians were anxious about social disorder prevalent in their city and thought the city's accomplishments and beauties were being exaggerated. To curb that, they enforced statutes that curtailed activities potentially rich in group enactments of emotion, such as preaching on the Common. The character of the revival as an occasion for carefully regulated public expression of emotion emerged out of Bostonians' experiences in several overlapping spheres of urban life where the issue of excitement and its regulation was conspicuous. As the economy collapsed in 1857, the Bostinians agreed that the economy had been overexcited and insufficiently regulated. The history of market volatility in the nineteenth century informed their attention to trading and investment. The crash disordered people's lives in its effect on the availability of food, shelter, and clothing. With the collapse of credit, very little money was in circulation, and consequently, there was very little commerce. The social role of the businessman was a most difficult performance as they were expected to excite the economy through investment and trade, through speculation on markets futures, and through the assumption of risk.

Keywords: economic collapse; Bostonians; the Common; nineteenth century; regulation of business; market volatility

Chapter.  9236 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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