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Encyclopedia > Tulipmania

The term tulipomania (alternatively tulip mania) is used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble. The term originally came from the period in the history of the Netherlands during which demand for tulip bulbs reached such a peak that enormous prices were charged for a single bulb. It took place in the first part of the 17th century. In language, a metaphor is a rhetorical trope where a comparison is made between two seemingly unrelated subjects. ... An economic bubble occurs when speculation in a commodity causes the price to increase, thus producing more speculation. ... The Conspiracy of Julius Civilis, completed in 1661 by Rembrandt, the best-known painter of the Dutch Golden Age. ... Species See text Tulips are plants of the genus Tulipa, in the lily family, Liliaceae. ... A bulb is an underground vertical shoot that has modified leaves (or thickened leaf bases) that are used as food storage organs by a dormant plant. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ...


The tulip, introduced to Europe in the middle of the 16th century, experienced a strong growth in popularity in Holland, boosted by competition between members of the middle classes to outcompete each other in possession of the rarest tulips. Competition escalated until prices reached unsustainable levels. Species See text Tulips are plants of the genus Tulipa, in the lily family, Liliaceae. ... World map showing location of Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is geologically and geographically a peninsula, forming the westernmost part of Eurasia. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ...


Tulip cultivation in the Netherlands is thought to have started in 1593, when Charles de L'Ecluse first bred tulips able to tolerate the harsher conditions of the Low Countries from bulbs sent to him from Turkey by Ogier de Busbecq. The flower rapidly became a coveted luxury item and a status symbol. Special breeds were given exotic names or named after Dutch naval admirals. The most spectacular and highly sought after tulips had vivid colors, lines, and flames on the petals as a result of being infected with a tulip-specific virus known as the Mosaic Virus. In 1623, a single bulb of a famous tulip breed could cost as much as a thousand Dutch florins (the average yearly income at the time was 150 florins). Tulips were also exchanged for land, valuable livestock, and houses. Allegedly, a good trader could earn sixty thousand florins a month. Events May 18 - Playwright Thomas Kyds accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe. ... Nymphea from Rariorum plantarum historia Charles de LEcluse, LEscluse, or Carolus Clusius (Arras, February 19, 1526 - Leiden April 4, 1609), seigneur de Watènes, was the Flemish doctor and pioneering botanist, perhaps the most influential of all 16th century scientific horticulturists. ... Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq from a 17th century engraving Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq (1520 or 1521-October 28, 1592; Latin: Augerius Gislenius Busbequius; sometimes Augier Ghislain de Busbecq) was the illegitmate son of the Seigneur de Busbecq, Georges Ghiselin and his mistress Catherine Hespiel. ... A status symbol is something that indicates the social status of its owner. ... Events August 6 - Pope Urban VIII is elected to the Papacy. ... The guilder (Dutch gulden), represented by the symbol ƒ, was the name of the currency used in the Netherlands from the 15th century until 1999, when it was replaced by the euro (coins and notes were not introduced until 2002). ...


By 1635, a sale of 40 bulbs for 100,000 florins was recorded. By way of comparison, a ton of butter cost around 100 florins and "eight fat swine" 240 florins. A record was the sale of the most famous bulb, the Semper Augustus,[1] (http://www.nortonsimon.org/collections/browse_artist.asp?name=Anonymous+Dutch+Artist&resultnum=11) for 6,000 florins in Haarlem. Events February 10 - The Académie française in Paris is expanded to become a national academy for the artistic elite. ... The guilder (Dutch gulden), represented by the symbol ƒ, was the name of the currency used in the Netherlands from the 15th century until 1999, when it was replaced by the euro (coins and notes were not introduced until 2002). ... Haarlem is a city in the west of the Netherlands, capital of the North Holland province. ...


By 1636, tulips were traded on the stock exchanges of numerous Dutch towns and cities. This encouraged trading in tulips by all members of society, with many people selling or trading their other possessions in order to speculate in the tulip market. Some speculators made large profits as a result. Events February 24 - King Christian of Denmark gives an order that all beggars that are able to work must be sent to Brinholmen Island to build ships or as galley rowers March 26 - Utrecht University founded in The Netherlands. ... Speculation is the buying, holding, and selling of stocks, commodities, futures, currencies, collectibles, real estate, or any valuable thing to profit from fluctuations in its price as opposed to buying it for use or for income - dividends, rent etc. ...


Some traders sold tulip bulbs that had only just been planted or those they intended to plant (in effect, tulip futures). This phenomenon was dubbed windhandel, or "wind trade", and took place mostly in the taverns of small towns using an occult slate system to indicate bid prices. State edict in 1610 made that trade illegal by refusing to enforce the contracts, but the legislation failed to curtail the activity. A bulb is an underground vertical shoot that has modified leaves (or thickened leaf bases) that are used as food storage organs by a dormant plant. ... A futures contract is a form of forward contract, a contract to buy or sell an asset of any kind at a pre-agreed future point in time, that has been standardised for a wide range of uses. ... Events January 7 - Galileo Galilei discovers the Galilean moons of Jupiter. ...


In February 1637 tulip traders could no longer get inflated prices for their bulbs, and they began to sell. The bubble burst. People began to suspect that the demand for tulips could not last, and as this spread a panic developed. Some were left holding contracts to purchase tulips at prices now ten times greater than those on the open market, while others found themselves in possession of bulbs now worth a fraction of the price they had paid. Thousands of Dutch, including businessmen and dignitaries, were financially ruined. Events February 3 - Tulipmania collapses in Netherlands by government order February 15 - Ferdinand III becomes Holy Roman Emperor December 17 - Shimabara Rebellion erupts in Japan Pierre de Fermat makes a marginal claim to have proof of what would become known as Fermats last theorem. ... A stock market bubble is a type of economic bubble in which an exaggerated bull market where the value of stocks listed on a stock exchange rise dramatically upon a wave of public enthusiasm. ...


Attempts were made to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of all parties, but these were unsuccessful. Ultimately, individuals were left in the situation they found themselves in at the end of the crash—no court would enforce payment of a contract, since judges regarded the debts as contracted through gambling, and thus not enforceable in law. This article is about courts of law. ... A contract is any legally-enforceable promise or set of promises made by one party to another. ... A judge or justice is an appointed or elected official who presides over a court. ... Gambling (or betting) is any behavior involving risking money or valuables (making a wager or placing a stake) on the outcome of a game, contest, or other event in which the outcome of that activity depends partially or totally upon chance or upon ones ability to do something. ... Law (a loanword from Old Norse lag), in politics and jurisprudence, is a set of rules or norms of conduct which mandate, proscribe or permit specified relationships among people and organizations, provide methods for ensuring the impartial treatment of such people, and provide punishments for those who do not follow...


Lesser versions of the tulipomania also occurred in other parts of Europe, although matters never reached the state they had in the Netherlands. In England in 1800, it was common to pay fifteen guineas for a single tulip bulb. This sum would have kept a labourer and his family in food, clothes and lodging for six months. Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area  - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population  - Total (2001)  - Density Ranked 1st UK 49,138,831 377/km² Religion... --66. ...


Further reading

Mike Dash, Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused (1999) ISBN 0575067233


Anna Pavord, The Tulip (2004) ISBN 0747571902


External links

  • The Tulipomania (http://www.litrix.com/madraven/madne004.htm), from Charles Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds — online edition
  • Tulipomania (http://www.historyhouse.com/in_history/tulip/), from History House, "an irreverent history magazine"
  • Wageningen Tulip Portal (http://library.wur.nl/tulip/), an extensive collection of historical resources, including scanned images of seventeenth century Dutch tulip books and pamphlets, from Wageningen UR Library"
  • Illustrated pages from a 17th-century Dutch book on tulips at the Norton Simon Museum. (http://www.nortonsimon.org/collections/browse_artist.asp?name=Anonymous+Dutch+Artist&resultnum=11) Some pages may be unavailable. The current link goes directly to Semper Augustus.

  Results from FactBites:
 
New Economy, TulipMania, Dotcoms and Thereafter (2333 words)
This story of, what has come to be known as, Tulipmania is very much reminiscent of the recent dotcom mania, and rush for tech stocks.
Tulips have no intrinsic value:  the period when Tulipmania gripped the country was when plants and flowers were cultivated for their medicinal or herbal properties.
During the peak of Tulipmania (1634-37), their value changed from day to day, and prices were quoted like shares and stock (the term "bourse" has its origin from the fact that the speculators held their meetings in the house of the noble family of Von Bourse).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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