This chapter demonstrates that although Philadelphia invested heavily in Pennsylvania's transportation system, it lost most of its trade to New York, Baltimore, and New Orleans. Philadelphia investors were therefore quick to invest in “internal improvement” concerns, companies incorporated to build turnpikes, canals, and, later, railroads. Alas, they could not prevent the inevitable—the trade of the continent flowed to New York via the Grand Canal (Erie Canal), and the trade of their own state flowed to Baltimore and New Orleans via mighty rivers. One of the three legs upholding Chestnut Street's financial ascendancy, deposits linked to its mercantile trade atrophied and eventually snapped. However, investors' efforts were not entirely in vain, as the improvements they funded laid the basic groundwork for Philadelphia's antebellum industrial revolution.
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