In college they taught me that central bankers and tariff protectionists caused the Panic of 1836. Government school textbooks reproduced cartoons of Andrew Jackson and Nicholas Biddle in a boxing ring, harped on the outrage of the Species Circular, and said not a word about what was happening elsewhere, like, in China.
The Chinese government decided in November 1836 that opium would not be legalized. The East India Company promptly complained to Lord Palmerston that “our property is in danger in China… you must protect us as British subjects.” In mid-February 1837, the Viceroy’s December 13th edict expelling the British and Indian opium dealers from China. An Australian paper picked this up after Martin Van Buren became President, as stock markets crashed and runs on banks became commonplace, and American papers contrived to take no notice British withdrawal of capital to fund an Opium War. Canadian papers complained of money problems, the size of the army and a Canada Coercion Bill!
When banks in Kingston, Canada suspended amid uprisings no less armed than in America, and China banned all gold and silver payments to foreigners, bickering American Whigs and Jacksonian Democratic-Republicans looked the other way. News coverage shifted to struggles in Iran and Afghanistan. The Opium War was noticed in America when sailors from the good ship Orwell (remember Orwell?) stopped a mob from crucifying some poor wretch. The very thought of a connection between America’s Panic of 1837 and wars that killed 25 million Chinese before the War Between The States is met with raised eyebrows. So how about a recent example?
To the extent that Republicans admit to even remembering the faith-based 2008 Crash, they shrug it off as “another ordinary business cycle.” Yet since the Civil War, the Republican Party has done little else but increase the market price of primitive drugs through the violence of laws equivocating vice into crime. This led to or exacerbated economic distress in 1837, 1893, 1907, 1914, 1920, 1928, 1929, 1933, 1971, 1987, 2008, 2010, and maybe now as in 1987.
Find out the juicy details behind the mother of all economic collapses. Prohibition and The Crash–Cause and Effect in 1929 is available in two languages on Amazon Kindle, each at the cost of a pint of craft beer.
Brazilian Sci-fi from 1926 featuring the usual beautiful daughter of a scientist touting prohibition and racial collectivism in America’s Black President 2228 by Monteiro Lobato, translated by J Henry Phillips (link)
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