John Law's Mississippi Company collapses

(434 words)

Historical Context Note

John Law’s Mississippi Company, its vertiginous rise and spectacular collapse, have gone down in history as among the most famous “bubbles” of all time. The events run parallel to the creation of the South Sea Bubble in England (on which see Colin Nicholson’s essay on the Financial Revolution).

John Law was born in 1671 with the expectations of a man of substance, son of a goldsmith and heir to Lauriston Castle. However, he turned out a gambler, a womanizer, and a murderer (in a duel), and a fugitive from English law. He fled to Amsterdam, then the nascent capital of world trade and Bethlehem of such modern financial institutions as stock markets, …

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Clark, Robert. "John Law's Mississippi Company collapses". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2009
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]