Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Access
  • Print publication year: 2017
  • Online publication date: October 2017

3 - Financing U.S. Economic Growth, 1790–1860: Corporations, Markets, and the Real Economy

  • View HTML
    • Send chapter to Kindle

      To send this chapter to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Available formats

      Send chapter to Dropbox

      To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Available formats

      Send chapter to Google Drive

      To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Available formats
Acemoglu, Daron, and Robinson, James A.. (2012). Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. New York: Crown.
Adams, Donald R. (1978). Finance and Enterprise in Early America: A Study of Stephen Girard’s Bank, 1812–1831. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Alberts, Robert C. (1969). The Golden Voyage: The Life and Times of William Bingham, 1752–1804. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Allen, David Grayson. (2015). Investment Management in Boston: A History. Boston: University of Massachusetts Press.
Anon. (1837). A Familiar View of the Operation and Tendency of Usury Laws. New York: John Gray.
Arbuckle, Robert D. (1975). Pennsylvania Speculator and Patriot: The Entrepreneurial John Nicholson, 1757–1800. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Banner, Stuart. (1998). Anglo-American Securities Regulation: Cultural and Political Roots, 1690–1860. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Bodenhorn, Howard. (2000). A History of Banking in Antebellum America: Financial Markets and Economic Development in an Era of Nation-Building. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Bodenhorn, Howard. (2003). State Banking in Early America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Brooke, John L. (1989). The Heart of the Commonwealth: Society and Political Culture in Worcester County, Massachusetts, 1713–1861. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
Brooks, Charles E. (1996). Frontier Settlement and Market Revolution: The Holland Land Purchase. New York: Cornell University Press.
Calomiris, Charles W., and Haber, Stephen H.. (2014). Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises & Scarce Credit. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Cameron, Rondo. (1967). Banking the Early Stages of Industrialization: A Study of Comparative Economic History. New York: Oxford University Press.
Cochran, Thomas C. (1979). “An Analytical View of Early American Business and Industry.” In Frese, J. R. and Judd, J. (eds.), Business Enterprise in Early New York, pp. 115. Tarrytown, NY: Sleepy Hollow Press.
Cottrell, Philip L. (1980). Industrial Finance, 1830–1914: The Finance and Organization of English Manufacturing Industry. London: Methuen.
Cowen, David J. (2000). The Origins and Economic Impact of the First Bank of the United States, 1791–1797. New York: Garland Publishing.
Coxe, Tench. (1794). A View of the United States of America. Philadelphia: William Hall.
Craig, Lee. (1993). To Sow One Acre More: Childbearing and Farm Productivity in the Antebellum North. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Crothers, A. Glenn. (1999). “Public Culture and Economic Liberalism in Post-Revolutionary Northern Virginia, 1780–1820.” Canadian Review of American Studies 29(3):6190.
Crothers, A. Glenn. (2001). “Agricultural Improvement and Technological Innovation in a Slave Society: The Case of Early National Northern Virginia.” Agricultural History 75(2):135–67.
Cunningham, Noble E. (1987). In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson. New York: Ballantine Books.
D’Arista, Jane W. (1994). The Evolution of US Finance, Volume II: Restructuring Institutions and Markets. New York: M. E. Sharpe.
Davis, Joseph H. (2004). “An Annual Index of U.S. Industrial Production, 1790–1815.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 119(4):177215.
Davis, Lance E. (1958). “Stock Ownership in the Early New England Textile Industry.” Business History Review 32(2):204222.
Davis, Lance E. (1960). “The New England Textile Mills and the Capital Markets: A Study of Industrial Borrowing 1840–1860.” Journal of Economic History 20(1):130.
Davis, Lance E. et al. (1972). American Economic Growth: An Economist’s History of the United States. New York: Harper & Row.
Dickson, Peter G. M. (1967). The Financial Revolution in England: A Study in the Development of Public Credit, 1688–1756. London: Macmillan.
Douglass, Elisha P. (1971). The Coming of Age of American Business: Three Centuries of Enterprise, 1600–1900. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Einhorn, Robin. (2006). American Taxation, American Slavery. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Epstein, Gerald. (2006). Financialization and the World Economy. New York: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Fenstermaker, J.. (1965). The Development of American Commercial Banking, 1782–1837. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press.
Forbes, John. D. (1953). Israel Thorndike, Federalist Financier. New York: Exposition Press.
Gallatin, Albert. (1831). Considerations on the Currency and Banking System of the United States. Philadelphia: Carey & Lea.
Gerschenkron, Alexander. (1962). Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective: A Book of Essays. New York: Frederick A. Praeger.
Goldsmith, Raymond W. (1969). Financial Structure and Development. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Haeger, John D. (1981). The Investment Frontier: New York Businessmen and the Economic Development of the Old Northwest. Albany: State University Press of New York.
Hammond, Bray. (1957). Banks and Politics in America: From the Revolution to the Civil War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Hilt, Eric. (2009). “Rogue Finance: Life and Fire Insurance Company and the Panic of 1826.” Business History Review 83(1):87112.
Karmel, James. (1999). “Banking on the People: Banks, Politics, and Market Evolution in Early National Pennsylvania, 1781–1824.” Ph.D. Diss., State University of New York, Buffalo.
Kilbourne, Richard H. Jr. (1995). Debt, Investment, Slaves: Credit Relations in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, 1825–1885. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
Kilbourne, Richard H. Jr. (2006). Slave Agriculture and Financial Markets. London: Pickering & Chatto.
King, Robert G., and Levine, Ross. (1993). “Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 108(3):713737.
Klein, Daniel B. (1990). “The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods? The Turnpike Companies of Early America.” Economic Inquiry 28(4):788812.
Klein, Daniel B., and Majewski, John. (1992). “Economy, Community and Law: The Turnpike Movement in New York, 1797–1845.” Law & Society Review 26(3):469512.
Knowles, Anne K. (2013). Mastering Iron: The Struggle to Modernize an American Industry, 1800–1868. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Knowlton, Evelyn H. (1948). Pepperell’s Progress: History of a Cotton Textile Company, 1844–1945. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Krooss, Herman E., and Blyn, Martin R.. (1971). A History of Financial Intermediaries. New York: Random House.
Kulikoff, Allan. (1992). The Agrarian Origins of American Capitalism. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.
Lamoreaux, Naomi. (1994). Insider Lending: Banks, Personal Connections, and Economic Development in Industrial New England. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Levine, Ross. (1997). “Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda.” Journal of Economic Literature 35(2):688726.
Levine, Ross. (2005). “Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence.” In Aghion, P. and Durlauf, S. N. (eds.), Handbook of Economic Growth, Vol. 1A, pp. 865934. New York: Elsevier North Holland.
Lindert, Peter H., and Williamson, Jeffrey G.. (2013). “American Incomes Before and After the Revolution.” Journal of Economic History 73(3):725765.
Lindstrom, Diane. (1978). Economic Development in the Philadelphia Region, 1810–1850. New York: Columbia University Press.
Livesay, Harold C., and Porter, Glenn. (1972). “The Financial Role of Merchants in the Development of U.S. Manufacturing, 1815–1860.” Explorations in Economic History 9(1):6387.
Lockard, Paul A. (2000). “Banks, Insider Lending and Industries of the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts, 1813–1860.” Ph.D. Diss., University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Lucas, Robert E. Jr. (1988). “On the Mechanics of Economic Development.” Journal of Monetary Economics 22(1):342.
Madison, James. (1792). Papers of James Madison. Hutchinson, William T. et al. (eds.), vol. 1, ch. 16, doc 23. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Majewski, John. (2000). A House Dividing: Economic Development in Pennsylvania and Virginia before the Civil War. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Majewski, John. (2006). “Toward a Social History of the Corporation: Shareholding in Pennsylvania, 1800–1840.” In Matson, C. (ed.), The Economy of Early America: Historical Perspectives and New Directions, pp. 294316. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Mason, Matthew. (2006). Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Mayer, Robert. (2010). Quick Cash: The Story of the Loan Shark. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press.
McCraw, Thomas K. (2012). The Founders and Finance: How Hamilton, Gallatin, and Other Immigrants Forged a New Economy. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.
McKinnon, Ronald I. (1973). Money and Capital in Economic Development. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
Michener, Ron, and Wright, Robert E.. (2006). “Development of the U.S. Monetary Union.” Financial History Review 13(1):1941.
Murphy, Sharon A. (2010). Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Navin, Thomas R., and Sears, Marian V.. (1955). “The Rise of a Market for Industrial Securities, 1887–1902.” Business History Review 29(2):105138.
Neal, Larry. (1990). The Rise of Financial Capitalism: International Capital Markets in the Age of Reason. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Neem, Johann N. (2008). Creating a Nation of Joiners: Democracy and Civil Society in Early National Massachusetts. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Nettels, Curtis P. (1962). The Emergence of a National Economy, 1775–1815. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Obstfeld, Maurice, Shambaugh, Jay, and Taylor, Alan M.. (2005). “The Trilemma in History: Tradeoffs Among Exchange Rates, Monetary Policies, and Capital Mobility.” Review of Economics and Statistics 87(3):423438.
Olmstead, Alan L. (1976). New York City Mutual Savings Banks, 1819–1861. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Olmstead, Alan L., and Rhode, Paul W.. (2002). “The Red Queen and the Hard Reds: Productivity Growth in American Wheat, 1800–1940.” Working Paper No. 8863, National Bureau of Economic Research.
Olmstead, Alan L., and Rhode, Paul W.. (2008). Creating Abundance: Biological Innovation and American Agricultural Development. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Opal, J. M. (2008). Beyond the Farm: National Ambitions in Rural New England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Palley, Thomas I. (2013). Financialization: The Economics of Finance Capital Domination. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Papenfuse, Edward C. (1975). In Pursuit of Profit: The Annapolis Merchants in the Era of the American Revolution, 1763–1805. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Patterson, John A. (1971). “Ten and One-Half Years of Commercial Banking in a New England Country Town: Concord, Massachusetts, 1832–1842.” Unpublished manuscript, Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA.
Payne, Peter and Davis, Lance E.. (1956). The Savings Bank of Baltimore, 1816–1866: A Historical and Analytical Study. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Perkins, Edwin J. (1994). American Public Finance and Financial Services, 1700–1815. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
Peskin, Lawrence A. (2003). Manufacturing Revolution: The Intellectual Origins of Early American Industry. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Ratner, Sidney, Soltow, James H., and Sylla, Richard. (1993). Evolution of the American Economy: Growth, Welfare, and Decision-Making. New York: Basic Books.
Redlich, Fritz. (1947). Molding of American Banking: Men and Ideas. New York: Hafner Publishing Co.
Rilling, Donna J. (2000). Making Houses, Crafting Capitalism: Master Builders in Philadelphia, 1790–1850. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Robinson, Joan. (1952). The Rate of Interest and Other Essays. London: Macmillan.
Rothenberg, Winifred B. (1992). From Market-Places to a Market Economy: The Transformation of Rural Massachusetts, 1750–1850. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rousseau, Peter L. and Sylla, Richard. (2005). “Emerging Financial Markets and Early U.S. Growth.” Explorations in Economic History 42(1):126.
Sanderlin, Walter S. (1946). The Great National Project: A History of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Schoen, Brian D. (2010). The Fragile Fabric of Union: Cotton, Federal Politics, and the Global Origins of the Civil War. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Schumpeter, Joseph A. (1942). Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. New York: Harper & Row.
Scranton, Philip. (1983). Proprietary Capitalism: The Textile Manufacture at Philadelphia, 1800–1885. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Shaw, Edward S. (1973). Financial Deepening in Economic Development. New York: Oxford University Press.
Spalding, Robert V. (1963). “The Boston Mercantile Community and the Promotion of the Textile Industry in New England, 1813–1860.” Ph.D. Diss., Yale University.
Stadnitski, Peter. (1792). Advance Information on an American Land Speculation. Amsterdam. Translated by R. W. G. Vail in University of Rochester Library Bulletin, vol. XXIV, no. 2 and 3 (Winter–Spring 1969).
Stealey, John Edmund III. (2000). Kanawhan Prelude to Nineteenth-Century Monopoly in the United States: The Virginia Salt Combinations. Richmond: Virginia Historical Society.
Stickle, Mark. (2011). “The Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company: Eastern Capital and Mortgage Credit in Ohio, 1834–1845.” Unpublished manuscript, Ohio State University.
Sturm, James L. (1977). Investing in the United States, 1798–1893: Upper Wealth-Holders in a Market Economy. New York: Arno Press.
Sylla, Richard E. (1972a). “American Banking and Growth in the Nineteenth Century: A Partial View of the Terrain.” Explorations in Economic History 9(1):197227.
Sylla, Richard E. (1972b). “The United States, 1863–1913.” In Cameron, R. (ed.), Banking and Economic Development: Some Lessons of History, pp. 232262. New York: Oxford University Press.
Sylla, Richard E. (1976). “Forgotten Men of Money: Private Bankers in Early U.S. History.” Journal of Economic History 36(1):173188.
Sylla, Richard E. (1977). “Financial Intermediaries in Economic History: Quantitative Research on the Seminal Hypotheses of Davis and Gerschenkron.” In Gallman, R. (ed.), Recent Developments in the Study of Business and Economic History, pp. 5580. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Sylla, Richard E. (1982a). “Monetary Innovation in America.” Journal of Economic History 42(1):2130.
Sylla, Richard E. (1982b). “Monetary Innovation and Crises in American Economic History.” In Wachtel, Paul (ed.), Crises in the Economic and Financial Structure, pp. 2340. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath.
Sylla, Richard E. (1985). “Early American Banking: The Significance of the Corporate Form.” Business and Economic History 14(1):105123.
Sylla, Richard E. (1998). “U.S. Securities Markets and the Banking System, 1790–1840.” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review 80(3):83103.
Sylla, Richard E. (1999). “Emerging Markets in History: The United States, Japan, and Argentina.” In Sato, R., Ramachandran, R. V., and Mino, K. (eds.), Global Competition and Integration, pp. 427446. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Sylla, Richard E. (2001). “The United States: Financial Innovation and Adaptation.” In Bordo, M. D. and Cortes-Conde, R. (eds.), Transferring Wealth & Power from the Old to the New World: Monetary and Fiscal Institutions in the 17th through the 19th Centuries, pp. 231258. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sylla, Richard E. (2002). “Financial Systems and Economic Modernization.” Journal of Economic History 62(2):277292.
Sylla, Richard E. (2003). “Financial Systems, Risk Management, and Entrepreneurship: Historical Perspectives.” Japan and the World Economy 15(1):447458.
Sylla, Richard E. (2007). “Reversing Financial Reversals: Government and the Financial System Since 1789.” In Fishback, P. et al. (eds.), Government and the American Economy: A New History, pp. 115147. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Sylla, Richard, Legler, John B., and Wallis, John J.. (1987). “Banks and State Public Finance in the New Republic, 1790–1860.” Journal of Economic History 47(2):391403.
Sylla, Richard, Wilson, Jack W., and Wright, Robert E.. (2006). “Trans-Atlantic Capital Market Integration, 1790–1845.” Review of Finance 10(4):613644.
Sylla, Richard, Wright, Robert E., and Cowen, David J.. (2009). “Alexander Hamilton, Central Banker: Crisis Management and the Lender of Last Resort in the US Panic of 1792.” Business History Review 83(1):6186.
Taylor, George R. (1951). The Transportation Revolution, 1815–1860. New York: Harper & Row.
Thornton, Tamara. (2007). “‘A Great Machine’ or a ‘Beast of Prey’: A Boston Corporation and Its Rural Debtors in an Age of Capitalist Transformation.” Journal of the Early Republic 27(4):567597.
Todd, Charles L., and Sonkin, Robert. (1977). Alexander Bryan Johnson: Philosophical Banker. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.
Tracy, James D. (1985). A Financial Revolution in the Habsburg Netherlands: Renten and Renteniers in the County of Holland, 1515–1565. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Trescott, Paul B. (1963). Financing American Enterprise: The Story of Commercial Banking. New York: Harper & Row.
Turner, John D. (2014). Banking in Crisis: The Rise and Fall of British Banking Stability, 1800 to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Van Winter, Pieter J., and Riley, James C.. (1977). American Finance and Dutch Investment, 1780–1805. 2 vols. New York: Arno Press.
Vitiello, Domenic, and Thomas, George E.. (2010). The Philadelphia Stock Exchange and the City It Made. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Wade, Richard C. (1959). The Urban Frontier: The Rise of Western Cities, 1790–1830. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wallis, John, Sylla, Richard E., and Legler, John B.. (1994). “The Interaction of Taxation and Regulation in Nineteenth Century U.S. Banking.” In Goldin, C. and Libecap, G. D. (eds.), The Regulated Economy: A Historical Approach to Political Economy, pp. 122–44. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Wang, Ta-Chen. (2006). “Courts, Banks, and Credit Markets in Early American Development.” Ph.D. Diss., Stanford University.
Ware, Norman. (1924). The Industrial Worker, 1840–1860: The Reaction of American Industrial Society to the Advance of the Industrial Revolution. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Weiss, Thomas J. (1991). “Long Term Changes in U.S. Agricultural Output Per Worker, 1800 to 1900.” Historical Working Paper No. 23, National Bureau of Economic Research.
Whartenby, Franklee G. (1977). Land and Labor Productivity in United States Cotton Production, 1800–1840. New York: Arno Press.
Wilkins, Mira. (1989). The History of Foreign Investment in the United States to 1914. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wright, Robert E. (1997). “Banking and Politics in New York, 1781–1829.” Ph.D. Diss., State University of New York, Buffalo.
Wright, Robert E. (1999). “Bank Ownership and Lending Patterns in New York and Pennsylvania, 1781–1831.” Business History Review 73(1):4060.
Wright, Robert E. (2001). Origins of Commercial Banking in America, 1750–1800. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.
Wright, Robert E. (2002a). Hamilton Unbound: Finance and the Creation of the American Republic. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Wright, Robert E. (2002b). The Wealth of Nations Rediscovered: Integration and Expansion in American Financial Markets, 1780–1850. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Wright, Robert E. (2005). The First Wall Street: Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and the Birth of American Finance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Wright, Robert E. (2008). One Nation Under Debt: Hamilton, Jefferson, and the History of What We Owe. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Wright, Robert E. (2009). “Corporations and the Economic Growth and Development of the Antebellum Ohio River Valley.” Ohio Valley History 9(1):4770.
Wright, Robert E. (2010). “Insuring America: Market, Intermediated, and Government Risk Management since 1790.” In de las Cagigas, L. C. (ed.), Encuentro Internacional Sobre la Historia del Seguro, pp. 239298. Madrid: Fundacion MAPFRE.
Wright, Robert E. (2011a). “Corporate Entrepreneurship in the Antebellum South.” In Delfino, S., Gillespie, M., and Kyriakoudes, L. (eds.), Southern Society and Its Transformation, 1790–1860, pp. 195214. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.
Wright, Robert E. (2011b). “Governance and the Success of U.S. Community Banks, 1790–2010: Mutual Savings Banks, Local Commercial Banks, and the Merchants (National) Bank of New Bedford, Massachusetts.” Business History Online 9(1):134.
Wright, Robert E. (2014a). Corporation Nation. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Wright, Robert E. (2014b). “The Pivotal Role of Private Enterprise in America’s Transportation Age, 1790–1860.” Journal of Private Enterprise 29(2):120.
Wright, Robert E. (2014c). “Specially Incorporated Transportation Companies in the United States to 1860: A Comprehensive Tabulation and Its Implications.” Journal of Business and Economics 5(7):972989.
Wright, Robert E., and Cowen, David J.. (2006). Financial Founding Fathers: The Men Who Made America Rich. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Wright, Robert E., and Kingston, Christopher. (2012). “Corporate Insurers in Antebellum America.” Business History Review 86(3):447476.
Wright, Robert E., and Sylla, Richard. (2011). “Corporate Governance and Stockholder/ Stakeholder Activism in the United States, 1790–1860: New Data and Perspectives.” In Koppell, J. (ed.), Origins of Shareholder Advocacy, pp. 231251. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.