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Alexander Hamilton And The Origins Of Wall Street


  • Howard M. Wachtel

    (American University)


The origins of Wall Street are tied to Alexander Hamilton's plans for the financing of the new nation and the funding of its debt. The two hundredth anniversary of Wall Street in 1992 occasioned many retrospectives that owe more to mythology than to historical veracity. Wall Street's earliest history consists of market corners, insider trading, and financial scandal that implicated the high (Alexander Hamilton) and the low (William Duer). The 1792 Wall Street response was in the form of private self-regulation in order to hold off governmental regulation, setting a precedent for public policy that carries well into the twentieth century. Using new historical methodology, this article reinterprets the formative financial period of 1790-1792 and the origins of Wall Street.

Suggested Citation

  • Howard M. Wachtel, 1996. "Alexander Hamilton And The Origins Of Wall Street," Economic History 9610001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpeh:9610001
    Note: Type of Document - WordPerfect; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP; pages: 33; figures: none. We never published this piece and now we would like to reduce our mailing and xerox cost by posting it.

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    More about this item


    Wall Street; Alexander Hamilton; formative financial period;

    JEL classification:

    • N21 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913


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