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Conservatives Versus WildcatsA Sociology of Financial Conflict$
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Simone Polillo

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785099

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785099.001.0001

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Wildcats, reputations, and the formation of the federal reserve

Wildcats, reputations, and the formation of the federal reserve

(p.105) 4 Wildcats, reputations, and the formation of the federal reserve
Conservatives Versus Wildcats

Simone Polillo

Stanford University Press

The chapter focuses on political challenges to the decentralized structure of the U.S. polity, and on the response of conservative bankers. Wildcat bankers increasingly contested and disrupted the activities of conservative bankers, ultimately appealing to the need to defend slavery. Even in the aftermath of the Civil War, when slavery was formally abolished, sectional divisions continued characterizing debates about, and legislation on, the proper role of government. Conservative bankers were thus forced to refashion themselves as neutral arbiters of character and reputations, couching this role in an ideology that identified the value of money as deriving from commercial transactions, and shaping the constitution of the Federal Reserve System accordingly.

Keywords:   Wildcat Banking, Civil War, Federal Government, Political Authority, Sectionalism, Reputation, Commercial Theory of Money, Federal Reserve System

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