Tulipomania is an event about how in 1636, the Dutch economy collapsed over the excessive and overhyped tulip trading market. In 1841 Scottish author Charles MacKay, wrote about how Dutch society went crazy over exotic tulips. In his writings, he stated how, “Nobles, citizens, farmers, mechanics, seamen, footmen, maid-servants, even chimney-sweeps, and old clothes-women, dabbled in tulips.” However, recent research suggests that although there was indeed a “tulip bubble,” which negatively affected quite a few influential people, the tulip market crash wasn’t as extensive.
The problem started when in the mid-1600s, the Dutch enjoyed a period of unmatched wealth and prosperity. Having recently broken away from Spain, Dutch merchants grew rich on trade through the Dutch East India Company. With so much much wealth infusing the economy, art and exotica became fashionable collector’s items. One of those trendy collector items eventually steered many toward “broken” tulips.
At first, the wealthy and affluent purchased these rare “broken” tulips as display pieces. Not long after, a tulip market developed, and tulip prices spiked from December 1636 to February 1637. Incredibly, some of the most prized tulips saw a 12-fold price jump. At one point, the most expensive tulip fetching 5,000 guilders, or the going rate for a lovely house in 1637.
Not surprising, the buyers who could afford such extravagances were people who could afford it. Eventually, the tulip bubble burst, and the price of tulips came crashing down. Although it didn’t financially crush everyone, researchers found evidence of reputations lost and relationships broken when people refused to pay their obligations.
This story reminds me of how man places greater value on this world’s things that perish rather than on kingdom treasures. Men spend a lifetime chasing only after wealth, fame and prestige, and other such endeavors only to find they’re not as valuable as they once thought. Today take the time to think about the “tulips” in your life and how you’re investing your talents, skills, and resources for treasures with eternal value.
Answer and Journal the Following
Read and meditate on Luke 16:13-15.
Pray for the desire to make His Kingdom a priority in your life.
Continue to meditate on the verse and think about how you will make God’s Kingdom a priority by incorporating it into your daily life? Be specific.
Bonus: Share this with a fellow brother.