Labor History Seminar: Scott Nelson, College of William and Mary

Friday, May 7, 2010

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Labor History Seminar

“The War of the Monkey Jackets: Anglo-American Trade, Cheap Goods, and the Panic of 1819”
Scott Nelson, College of William and Mary
Commentators:  Bruce Levine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and James Schmidt, Northern Illinois University

Since its inception the New Labor history has relied on the so-called “market revolution” to account for America’s industrialization post-1815. This reified “revolution” centers on the factory floor, deferring discussion of international trade to the late twentieth century. This will not do. This paper explores cheap British woolens “dumped” on American shores after the Napoleonic wars, an 1816-19 Anglo-American trade war, and how both contributed to the Panic of 1819. This paper examines global commodity chains, American banking practices, Schumpeterian crash theory, and 19th century haberdashery. Part of the author’s forthcoming book, Crash: An Uncommon History of America’s Financial Disasters.