Berlin, 1873: A New Imperial Center and a Transatlantic Financial Crisis

Global Urban History

Catherine Davies, FernUniversität in Hagen

When thinking about the interrelationship between the urban and the global, stock exchanges may yield valuable insights. A quintessentially urban locale, they were often seen as institutions that brought global events home with much force and immediacy. Describing British society during the Napoleonic Wars, the narrator in William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair (1847/48) observes that the City of London, work place of stock broker William Sedley, was a ‘stirring place in those days, when war was raging all over Europe, and empires were being staked … Old Sedley once or twice came home with a very grave face; and no wonder, when such news as this was agitating all the hearts and all the stocks of Europe.’

The World's Exchanges Print «The World’s Exchanges» from 1886 displaying the stock exchanges in New York, Paris, Chicago, London, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Brussels (from top left to bottom right)

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