The Florida Land Boom: Speculation, Money, and the Banks

The Florida Land Boom: Speculation, Money, and the Banks

The Florida Land Boom: Speculation, Money, and the Banks

The Florida Land Boom: Speculation, Money, and the Banks

Synopsis

The Florida land boom was an outgrowth of the industrialization of America, the onset of World War I, and the special natural environment of the state. A place for forts and ports since the days of the Spanish Empire, the presence of military aviation in Florida served to bring attention to the state. Florida came to attract tourists, winter residents, as well as promoters, developers, and speculators. Rich in documentation and illustrated with photographs, this work is an effort to give serious theoretical and factual treatment to one of the great speculation booms in history.

Excerpt

In the broad context of the great speculative booms of history, we give special attention to the Florida land boom 1915 to 1925. I first became aware of the Florida boom during my childhood visits from Alabama, and later from early post-World War II observations of infrastructure and uncompleted 1920s developments which still lingered in the late 1940s. Along the way to encountered asides to the Florida boom in books on the stock market crash of 1929, I gained considerable background in monetary and speculative matters. This included graduate study at Columbia University, work at Federal Reserve Banks, later study of the Bank of England and the Deutsche Bundesbank, and research for numerous books (most recently under the Praeger imprint).

Having completed my Power and Ideas project in 1988, I started to inquire about sources of data and other details which would indicate the feasibility of the present work. At this time John Guthrie, then a graduate student in history, joined me to assist in an archival search that we began in earnest during the summer of 1988. And, to be sure, it revealed better, unanalyzed data than I had been led to expect. It also revealed (1) considerable misunderstanding of boom phenomena and banks among those who had attempted some overall assessments of Florida in the 1920s, and (2) excessive reliance upon a two-part article in economics which was written in 1927 (now over 68 years ago).

Consequently, I proceeded on the present project with Guthrie's assistance. By the summer of 1990, we had put together a first draft. At the end of that year, Joseph F. Wall biography, Alfred I. duPont, appeared. In 1991 Gene M. Burnett had completed his three-volume collection, and more recently the University of Alabama Press publishedRaymond B. Vickers Panic In Paradise: Florida's Banking Crash of 1926. All of these works added often colorful, and reinforcing detail for our project, The Florida Land Boom: Speculation, Money, and the Banks. Although Wall, Burnett, and Vickers each . . .

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