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Money, Marriage, and MadnessThe Life of Anna Ott$
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Kim E. Nielsen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043147

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043147.001.0001

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Anna Ott, Economic Agent

Anna Ott, Economic Agent

(p.90) 7. Anna Ott, Economic Agent
Money, Marriage, and Madness

Kim E. Nielsen

University of Illinois Press

The Wisconsin State Hospital for the Insane was a significant economic enterprise whose daily workings generated immense income for the local community. Even while an asylum inmate, Ott remained a consumer of local businesses. The economies inside the asylum were highly tied to and interwoven with economic systems outside of the asylum. This chapter argues that nineteenth-century insane asylums altered communities. They became huge economic markets, provided goods to the local economy, created employment opportunities and also provided laborers, generated a demand for attorneys and new legal processes, and medicalized behaviors sometimes not previously considered pathological.

Keywords:   Wisconsin State Hospital for the Insane, capitalism, community development, institutionalization, legal incompetency

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