Cover image for Origins of commercial banking in America, 1750-1800
Origins of commercial banking in America, 1750-1800
Wright, Robert E. (Robert Eric), 1969-
Publication Information:
Lanham, MD : Rowman & Littlefield, [2001]

Physical Description:
xii, 219 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
"A Madison House book."

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HG2466 .W75 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In The Origins of Commercial Banking in America, the first full analysis of the origins of American commercial banking since Bray Hammond's monumental study forty-five years ago, Robert E. Wright skillfully examines the political and economic forces that contributed to the origins and rise of banks in cities such as Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, as well as in smaller towns servicing rural America.

Author Notes

Robert E. Wright teaches at the University of Virginia.

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Choice Review

In this product of a doctoral dissertation, Wright (Univ. of Virginia) examines a 50-year period in US history when financial institutions that are taken for granted today were being formed. He seeks to determine why commercial banks arose when they did and what determined the form that they took. Employing an eclectic combination of causal approaches based on individuals, circumstances, and quantitative evidence, the author begins by noting that capital markets in the colonies were well formed but generally illiquid. The Seven Years' War and the Revolutionary War, he contends, demonstrated to businessmen the utility of a greater degree of liquidity and stimulated the development of commercial banking after the US gained its independence. Wright then describes how the early commercial banks were used and the characteristics of their customers. The conclusion and epilogue point out the political importance of money and commercial banks to the preservation of the union. Copious citations accompany each chapter. Recommended for graduate and research collections. E. L. Whalen Clark College

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. vii
List of Abbreviationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 Colonial Finance and the Lack of Liquidity, 1750-1775p. 19
Chapter 2 Revolutionary Change, 1750-1783p. 49
Chapter 3 Three Key Crises, 1783-1787p. 77
Chapter 4 Banking and Business in the 1790s and Beyondp. 111
Chapter 5 Businessmen and Banking, 1790-1800p. 149
Conclusionp. 187
Epilogue: The Political Importance of Early American Commercial Bankingp. 193
Indexp. 197
About the Authorp. 219