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Type: Journal article
Title: Making banks fit for the people: confidence, democracy, and the rise of banking alternatives in America, 1880–1914
Author: Mackay, T.
Citation: American Nineteenth Century History, 2015; 16(3):307-328
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1466-4658
Statement of
Thomas Ashley Mackay
Abstract: At the turn of the twentieth century, many Americans lacked confidence in the nation’s banks. In various ways, privately owned or operated banking institutions were viewed to be adverse to the interests of “the people.” Still, beginning in the late nineteenth century, deposit banking came to be accepted as a vital “public service.” This article explains how that happened and illustrates how multiple people-oriented alternatives gradually emerged. While these have been explored previously, this article demonstrates how new ideas about the importance of banking facilitated the emergence of a broad movement aimed at popular participation and control. To reveal this history and to gauge popular ideas, it favors materials that appeared within the public sphere. This approach demonstrates how underlying confidence issues motivated a broad movement that aimed to democratize banking institutions.
Keywords: economic democracy; history of capitalism; Gilded Age and Progressive Era; bank reform; popular politics
Rights: © 2016 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/14664658.2015.1130322
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 8
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