8 Historical Events to Make Us Understand 2020


Nathaniel Whittemore’s podcast “The Breakdown” examined 8 historical events that will help us better understand the 2020 craze.

Inspired by Michael Batnik’s movie “All Wrapped In One,” this episode examines eight moments that can help us understand one of the most chaotic years of our lives. First of all, let’s look at what these moments are, and then let’s get to know these events with short summaries.

Income inequality of the Gilded Age

  • Election of 1896
  • 1918 epidemic
  • 1929 economy
  • Social movements of the 1960s
  • 1987 stock exchange
  • 1999 speculation
  • 2006 housing market

Income Inequality of the Gilded Age
The Gilded Age was a period in the US in the late 19th century, from the 1870s to the 1900s. The Gilded Age describes the period of rapid economic growth, especially in the North United States and the Western United States. While wages in the United States increased much faster than in Europe, especially for skilled workers, the region was flooded by millions of European immigrants during this period. The Gilded Age was also a period of poverty and inequality.

Election of 1896

The 1896 US presidential election took place between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan. This choice took place during the economic depression. The crisis that continued from 1873 to 1896 is accepted as the first general crisis of capitalism. This period is called the “Great Depression” by the writers of that time. The most important feature of this crisis is the profitability problem arising from the persistent deflation in product prices and unfavorable investment conditions.

1918 Outbreak

The epidemic, known as the Spanish flu or Spanish flu, is a deadly flu epidemic between 1918 and 1920 caused by a subtype of the H1N1 virus. The Spanish flu killed 50 million people within 18 months, infecting more than 500 million people. Nathaniel Whittemore emphasized on the podcast that we don’t know that such things will get us on our knees in a very short time. The epidemic in 1918 is often compared to the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic. Since the pandemic process is not over yet, it is not possible to make a clear comparison with basic statistical data on this issue, but the similarity of the situation is ideal for us to perceive the negative things we experienced in 2020.

1929 economy

The economy of 1929 experienced an economic crisis called the “Great Depression”. After the stock market crash from 1929 to 1939, it is considered the worst economic crisis in the history of the industrialized world. As it is known, the crisis environment created by the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic or continues to create is compared to the great depression.

Social Movements of the 1960s

A transformation started in the political and social field in the 1960s. Social movements based on hierarchical and central organizations have now been replaced by more flexible movements. The social and social movements of that time are associated with the Black Lives Matter movements that became even more serious in 2020. For this reason, these movements of the 60s contain anecdotes that will enable us to better understand 2020.

1987 Stock Market Crash

The stock market crash of 1987 was a rapid and drastic drop in US stock prices in a few days in late October 1987. While the accident occurred in the United States, the incident affected all other major stock markets in the world. The event known as Black Monday caused a major crisis. The “Black Thursday” incident in March 2020 is compared to the 1987 stock market crash. Black Thursday, which caused bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies to see sharp declines on March 12, saw the biggest losses of the New York stock exchange since 1987.

1999 Speculation

In March 1999, speculation over several billion dollar deals dominated European markets on Monday, prompting stock markets to rise by mid-morning. The agreement overnight neutralized the weak performance of Asian markets and the escalating crisis in Serbia and Kosovo.

2006 Housing Market

The United States (USA) housing bubble was a real estate bubble that affected more than half of the US states. This was the driving force of the mortgage crisis. House prices peaked in early 2006, began to decline in 2006 and 2007, and reached new lows in 2012. On 30 December 2008, Case-Shiller reported the biggest price drop in the history of the house price index. The credit crisis caused by the bursting of the housing bubble is a major cause of the Great Recession in the United States. Today, the housing price increases experienced in 2020 are compared with those experienced in this period.

Very important economic, political and social developments in history coincide with many events we experienced in 2020. In short, it would not be wrong at all to use the term “madness” for 2020, as Nathaniel Whittemore said. In the light of all this information, we can say that history consists of repetition.


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