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Banks and Economic Development in Post-Revolutionary Northern Virginia, 1790–1812

  • A. Glenn Crothers (a1)

In order to facilitate commercial transactions and economic investment after the American Revolution, many inhabitants of northern Virginia became convinced that the region needed financial institutions. Indeed, most politically active residents of the region—at least after the 1790s—saw banks as crucial agents of economic development. Thus, the philosophy of “agrarian republicans” such as Thomas Jefferson and John Taylor of Carolina—who saw banks as monopolistic and anti-republican institutions—had limited appeal in the region. Moreover, the banks of northern Virginia were not controlled by planters who sought capital to finance the purchase of slaves and land. Instead, banks supported a wide range of economic endeavors—agriculture, industry, internal improvement projects, and commercial activities. The broadening access to bank capital in northern Virginia reveals that in the South—as in the northern states—there was a “democratization” of banking in the years after Revolution.

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Paul A. Gilje , “The Rise of Capitalism in the Early Republic,” Journal of the Early Republic 16 (Summer 1996): 162164

Douglas Egerton , “Markets without a Market Revolution: Southern Planters and Capitalism,” Journal of the Early Republic 16 (Summer 1996): 207221.

Cathy D. Matson , “Capitalizing Hope: Economic Thought and the Early National Economy,” Journal of the Early Republic 16 (Summer 1996): 283285

Robert M. Blackson , “Pennsylvania Banks and the Panic of 1819: A Reinterpretation,” Journal of the Early Republic 9 (Fall 1989): 345346.

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Business History Review
  • ISSN: 0007-6805
  • EISSN: 2044-768X
  • URL: /core/journals/business-history-review
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