The Bubble Project - BP
From "The Bubblers Medley,
"Thomas Bowles (1720)
Description: The Bubble Project (BP) is a collaborative and interdisciplinary research initiative on the subject of the South Sea Bubble (SSB), the 1720 English episode in what might be called the first great international financial crisis (i.e., the SSB follows upon the collapse of Law's Mississippi scheme in France). The BP involves a team of scholars who analyze various aspects of the "Bubble," under the broad areas of cultural history, popular art and social psychology.
Objectives: There are two main objectives of the project: 1) to disseminate the results of the research to a scholarly audience in a series of essays, some of which have already appeared (click here for information); and 2) to produce a WWW-package for broader educational purposes.
Sketch of Main Events:
Click here for a five-page historical sketch of the main events.
Or watch an excellent short film at the Harvard
"Financial Bubbles" website.
The BP intends to reverse the position held by many that the SSB did not attract much direct attention from the arts, and to document the cultural history that accompanies what might be called one of the most important, but least understood, events in modern Western civilization.
Hogarth's "Emblematical Print on the South Sea"
The BP originated at Dalhousie University in 1994. For more information, follow the links above or contact the Coordinator.
- Charles Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds, which includes Chapters on the Mississippi Scheme and the Bubble
Harvard Magazine article on SSB, by Christopher Reed
South Sea Bubble Resources in the Kress Collection at the Baker
Library, includes excellent online images of graphic art
Contemporary Song and Poem on the SSB [Anne Finch ?]
- Dianne Dugaw sings three South Sea ballads.
- A Conspiracy of Paper, an historical thriller set in London in 1719 about rivalries between the South Sea Company and Bank of England; while the story is primarily fictional, it explores the eighteenth-century understanding of financial mechanisms.
- Guildhall Gallery, Prints on London's financial history , including Stockjobbers, 'Change Alley and Bowles's "Medley" prints. Click on "Trade & Industry" / "stock market" (the latter is under "Finance"). The "Medley" prints (some coloured) are on page 4.
- Financial Scandals in Literature
The Second Part of the South Sea Bubble, 1721
Research Report on the History of London's Financial District,Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research
- The Collapse of Wall Street and the Lessons of History
Bubble Project (BP) Coordinator /
Last Updated, January 15, 2010