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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

Chapter:
(p.90) 7. Anna Ott, Economic Agent
Source:
Money, Marriage, and Madness
Author(s):

Kim E. Nielsen

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252043147.003.0008

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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