The first known use of the term ‘bourse’ to mean a stock market is attributed to the opening of Belgian stock market in the 13th Century. That time was a particularly explosive one in stock market history, with markets also opening in Italy. Insofar as tracing the stock market history of some of today’s more famous markets, the London Stock Exchange opened for business in the early 17th Century, shortly followed by stock markets in America - including the New York Stock Exchange - in the 18th Century.
Whether the stock exchanges were opened in Europe, America, Asia or Africa, the underlying reason for stock markets is the same - as a way for entrepreneurs to raise capital. As a result, from their inception, stocks traded on stock market have been susceptible to volatile movements in stock prices.
The net result of this has meant that while most stock exchanges around the world have managed to stay in business, a brief look will show you that the overall stock market history has not been all plain sailing. Indeed, on more than one occasion, stock markets around the world have crashed, resulting in prolonged periods of economic depression.