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Jump Back in Time Western Expansion & Reform (1829-1859)
Poster of 'The War of Wealth' from 1895
Americans ran to withdraw their money from the failing banks in this poster called "The War of Wealth"

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The Panic of 1857 Began
August 24, 1857

Adding to the troubles of the banks, the sailing ship full of gold lost its battle with the hurricane and sank to the bottom of the ocean. With their failed investments, it was impossible for the banks to gather all the gold their customers demanded.

On August 24, 1857, the New York branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company failed. Soon all across the nation, banks began to collapse. The Panic of 1857 led to a severe economic depression in the United States that lasted three years. Many people lost their jobs. Can you think of another time in American history when there was another financial panic?

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