Prior to the third Great Awakening in America in 1857-58 there was a collapse of the banking system in America that also spread to Europe. Due to the long, hard winter of 1856-1857, transportation and trade transactions were delayed. The spring of 1857 brought some relief, but by the end of summer, businesses had begun to collapse. Before September 1857, the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company of Cincinnati, with a branch in New York City collapsed causing panic.
Some banks refused to redeem their promissory notes, while others suspended operations altogether, including eighteen of New York City's leading banks. On 14th October, 1857, the extensive banking system of the United States collapsed bringing ruin to hundreds of thousands of people in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and the industrial centres of the nation.
The Panic caused rich men to go broke literally overnight. Suicide and murder increased, and people roamed the streets of the cities destitute.
May there be a parallel with our times and 1857 in more than just a banking crisis. May the Revival that followed this banking crisis in America and which came across to Ireland come again in the aftermath of the financial crisis that is presently being experienced in 2009.