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A History of Banking in Antebellum America

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  • Bodenhorn,Howard

Abstract

Previous banking histories have focused on the money supply function of early American banks and its connection to the recurrent boom-bust cycle of the antebellum era. This history focuses on the credit generating function of American banks It demonstrates that banks aggressively promoted development rather than passively followed its course. Using previously unexploited data, Professor Bodenhorn shows that banks helped to advance the development of incipient industrialization. Additionally, he shows that banks formed long-distance relationships that promoted geographic capital mobility, thereby assuring that short-term capital was directed in socially desirable directions, that is, where it was most in demand. He then traces those institutional and legal developments that allowed for this capital mobility. The result was that America was served by an efficient system of financial intermediaries by the mid-nineteenth century.

Suggested Citation

  • Bodenhorn,Howard, 2000. "A History of Banking in Antebellum America," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521669993, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521669993
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew Jaremski & Peter L. Rousseau, 2013. "Banks, Free Banks, And U.S. Economic Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1603-1621, April.
    2. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2008. "Agrarian Structure and Endogenous Financial System Development," MPRA Paper 11538, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. John Joseph Wallis, 2006. "The Concept of Systematic Corruption in American History," NBER Chapters,in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 23-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Klein, Daniel & Majewski, John, 2003. "America’s Toll Roads Heritage: The Achievements of Private Initiative in the 19th Century," Ratio Working Papers 30, The Ratio Institute.
    5. Jon R. Moen & Ellis W. Tallman, 2003. "New York and the politics of central banks, 1781 to the Federal Reserve Act," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-42, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    6. John Joseph Wallis, 2004. "The Concept of Systematic Corruption in American Political and Economic History," NBER Working Papers 10952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Colvin, Christopher L., 2015. "The past, present and future of banking history," QUCEH Working Paper Series 15-05, Queen's University Belfast, Queen's University Centre for Economic History.
    8. Cull, Robert & Davis, Lance E. & Lamoreaux, Naomi R. & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2006. "Historical financing of small- and medium-size enterprises," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 3017-3042, November.
    9. Shambaugh, Jay C., 2006. "An experiment with multiple currencies: the American monetary system from 1838-60," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 609-645, October.
    10. Wallis, John & Weingast, Barry, 2005. "The Financing of 19th Century Internal Improvements," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7nh1c6df, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    11. John Joseph Wallis, 2004. "Constitutions, Corporations, and Corruption: American States and Constitutional Change," NBER Working Papers 10451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Jaremski, Matthew, 2014. "National Banking's Role in U.S. Industrialization, 1850–1900," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(01), pages 109-140, March.

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