Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The First Wall StreetChestnut Street, Philadelphia, and the Birth of American Finance$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 29 March 2020

Colonial Precedents

Colonial Precedents

Chapter:
(p.14) 2 Colonial Precedents
Source:
The First Wall Street
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226910291.003.0002

In the colonial period, Philadelphia was a leading financial innovator. Nascent banks, insurers, and securities market thrived in the Delaware Valley even before independence. Those institutions were but pale imitations of what the revolution would bring forth. Pennsylvania's people and institutions outweighed the Delaware's ice and sand. Financial flexibility was part of that “Philadelphia freedom,” a term that admittedly today has a somewhat gayer connotation. “Liberty to manage their affairs their own way,” Adam Smith argued, was just as responsible for colonial wealth as “plenty of good land” was. In fact, Philadelphia's financiers found freedom as fertile as farmers found the rich red soils of Lancaster County. Early financiers in Philadelphia were quite happy because they had some room to maneuver, and maneuver they did. By the time the revolution erupted in 1775, Philadelphia was North America's most financially advanced city.

Keywords:   Colonial period, innovation, revolution, finance, Philadelphia's

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.