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Related Reading: A complex network of intersecting financial, legal, political, and cultural factors all contributed to the development of the South Sea Bubble, the eventual collapse of the South Sea Company in 1720, and the financial ruin left in its wake. The years leading up to the South Sea Bubble were a time of financial promise and enthusiasm for Britain. Following the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714), there was the increased potential of foreign trade and the turn toward a more global marketplace. Wealth and luxury were no longer reserved to the aristocracy. Consumerism was on the rise, and class and gender boundaries were increasingly blurred when it came to investing in the stock market.

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