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The First Wall StreetChestnut Street, Philadelphia, and the Birth of American Finance$
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Robert E. Wright

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226910260

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226910291.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 03 June 2020

Legacy of Growth

Legacy of Growth

Chapter:
(p.164) 11 Legacy of Growth
Source:
The First Wall Street
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226910291.003.0011

This chapter concludes with a discussion of the role that the dethroned Chestnut Street played in the economic development of the Delaware Valley in the decades leading to the Civil War. Unlike other commercial “has-beens,” however, Philadelphia thrived rather than shriveled. It did so by industrializing, by transforming itself from an American London into “the Manchester of America.” One moving force behind that profound transition was Chestnut Street, which remained the center of Philadelphia's financial district as well as its most “fashionable” street, and whose hotels, such as the Girard House, still attracted Europe's well-heeled tourists. Its rows of mature trees, fancy shops, and handsome buildings still drew Philadelphia's finest for their daily “promenade.” Most importantly for our story here, Chestnut Street's financial institutions still attracted both buyers and sellers of IOUs. Despite its demise as the nation's financial leader, Chestnut Street still existed, and was large and smart enough to finance good projects.

Keywords:   economy, economic development, finance, Chestnut Street

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