The History of Banking

  • Colonial Notes

    Colonial Notes
    Before the American revolution, Americans used the French, English and Spanish currencies. The Massachusetts Bay Colony issued the first paper money in the colonies that would later form the United States.
  • Continental Currency

    Continental Currency
    American colonists issued paper currency for the Continental Congress to finance the Revolutionary War. The notes were backed by the “anticipation” of tax revenues. Without solid backing and because they were easily counterfeited, the notes quickly became devalued.
  • The Nation's First Bank

    The Nation's First Bank
    The Continental Congress chartered the Bank of North America in Philadelphia as the nation's first “real” bank to give further financial support to the Revolutionary War.
  • The Dollar

    The Dollar
    The Continental Congress adopted the dollar as the unit for national currency. At that time, private bank-note companies printed a variety of notes.
  • First Bank of the USA

    First Bank of the USA
    After adoption of the Constitution in 1789, Congress chartered the First Bank of the United States and authorized it to issue paper bank notes to eliminate confusion and simplify trade. The bank served as the U.S. Treasury's fiscal agent, thus performing the first central bank functions.
  • US Mint

    US Mint
    The Federal Monetary System was established with the creation of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. The first American coins were struck in 1793.
  • First Bank Failure

    First Bank Failure
    The Farmer's Exchange Bank in Glouchester, Rhode Island, fails—the first U.S. bank failure.
  • Second US Bank

    Second US Bank
    The Second Bank of the U.S. was granted a 20-year charter.
  • More Banks Open

    More Banks Open
    Approximately 300 banks operate in the U.S.
  • Gold Rush

    Gold Rush
    The Gold Rush begins.
  • National Currency Act of 1863

    National Currency Act of 1863
    Established a national currency: the dollar
    Established national banks, which creates the dual banking system with national and state chartered banks—the only such system in the world.
  • Chase

    The Chase National Bank is chartered.
  • Checking

    Checks become a more popular mean of payment
  • The Standard Gold Act

    The Standard Gold Act
    This act stabilizes the economy, establishes gold as the only standard for redeeming paper money, and prohibits the exchange of silver for gold.
  • The Federal Reserve Act of 1913

    The Federal Reserve Act of 1913
    -Establishes the Federal Reserve System, commonly known as the Fed, as the central bank—the nation’s third central bank.
    -Gives the Fed authority to regulate and supervise state-member banks
    -Allows national banks to open branches overseas
    -Moderately expands national banking powers by permitting real estate loans, time and savings deposits, trust services, and foreign branches.
  • The Roaring 20's

    The Roaring 20's
    The stock market undergoes an extraordinary, unprecedented expansion and is caught in a speculative euphoria between 1925 and 1929.
  • The Great Depression

    The Great Depression
    The Great Depression, a worldwide economic downturn, hits the U.S. in 1929 and lasts until about 1939. It is the longest and most severe depression experienced by the U.S. Its social and cultural effects are staggering. Many banks fail, many because they have made loans to stock market speculators that are never repaid.
  • Currency Redesign

    Currency Redesign
    US currency was redesigned to incorporate a series of new counterfeit deterrents
  • Three banks

    Three banks
    Three US banks exceed a trillion dollars in assets. The number of branches increases. Interest rates are low. A housing boom occurs.