Banks and Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War

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Princeton University Press, 1991 - Business & Economics - 784 pages
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This is a book about politics and banks and history. Yet politicians who read it will see that the author is not a politician, bankers who read it will see that he is not a banker, and historians that he is not an historian. Economists will see that he is not an economist and lawyers that he is not a lawyer.

With this rather cryptic and exhaustive disclaimer, Bray Hammond began his classic investigation into the role of banking in the formation of American society. Hammond, who was assistant secretary of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1944 to 1950, presented in this 771-page book the definitive account of how banking evolved in the United States in the context of the nation's political and social development.

Hammond combined political with financial analysis, highlighting not only the in.uence politicians exercised over banking but also how banking drove political interests and created political coalitions. He captured the entrepreneurial, expansive, risk-taking spirit of the United States from earliest days and then showed how that spirit sometimes undermined sound banking institutions. In Hammond's view, we need central banks to keep the economy on an even keel. Historian Richard Sylla judged the work to be "a wry and urbane study of early U.S. financial history, but also a timeless essay on how Americans became what they are." Banks and Politics in America won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1958.

  

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User Review  - gmicksmith - LibraryThing

In this magisterial work Hammond describes banks and politics from the Revolution to the Civil War. Jeffersonian Albert Gallatin could lament in 1836: "the bank paper mania has extended itself so ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jmcilree - LibraryThing

Brilliant, particularly Bank of US vs. Jackson fight. Read full review

Contents

The Setting 16941781
3
The First American Bank Philadelphia 17811787
40
The Start in New York Boston and Baltimore 17841790
65
Money Banking and the Federal Constitution 17871791
89
The Bank of the United States 17911811
114
Politics and the Growth of Banking 17911816
144
Failures and Restraints 17911820
172
The Federal Bank in Operation and Extinction 17911811
197
Panic Suspension Resumption 18371838
451
The Foundering of the United States Bank of Pennsylvania 18391841
500
The Suffolk Bank the Safety Fund Briscoe v Bank of Kentucky 18191865
549
Free Banking in New York and Michigan 18351865
572
The West Monopoly Prohibition Laisser Faire and Regulation 18301865
605
20 Banking in Canada before Confederation 17921867
631
Practice and Panic 18531857
671
Federal Monetary Control Restored 18631865
718

War Suspension and Resumption 18121816
227
The New Federal Bank 18161822
251
Nicholas Biddle 18221828
286
The Jacksonians 18291841
326
The Assault on the Federal Bank 18291832
369
The Federal Bank Destroyed 18321836
405
Retrospect
740
Acknowledgements
746
Works Cited
747
Index
761
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Bray Hammond (1886-1968) was Assistant Secretary of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1944 to 1950.

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