History of Domestic and Foreign Commerce of the United States - Vol. 1

By Emory R. Johnson; T. W. Van Metre et al. | Go to book overview
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Transportation and communication , 296.
The express service , 298.
The telegraph and postal services, 299.
Functions and development markets and produce exchanges, 300.
Federal and State banking , 303.
First and second United States Banks, 304.
Regulation of banks by the States and the consequences , 305.
Development of corporations , 307.
Evils resulting from lack of regulation , 309.

It is intended to present in this chapter a short account of the development during the nineteenth century of some of the more important commercial institutions and commercial practices by means of which the growth of the internal trade of the United States was facilitated and its operations given a greater degree of safety, certainty, and regularity. To give a history of all the changes in the methods and means employed by buyers and sellers to meet and transact their business and to describe in detail the exact manner in which the operations of commerce were carried on during the course of the century would require more space than can here be given to those topics. However, the number and importance of the innovations and modifications in the commercial processes of the nation render it necessary to give at least a brief survey of the history of the institutions, to the influence of which was due in a large measure the great transformation which took place in economic and commercial conditions.


As regards changes in the field of transportation, enough has been said in previous chapters concerning the advance made in mechanical processes. Attention has also been called to the close relations that existed between the progress of internal trade and the evolution of the inland transportation system through the various stages of winding trail, inferior earth road, turnpike, canal, and railroad. No other single feature of the progress of the work during the nineteenth century was more significant than the improvement and development of "the inventions which abridge distance," and no country reaped greater benefits from the changes in the means of transportation than did the United States. To the continuous improvement of the methods of carrying goods from place to place, more than to any other single cause, was due the rapid progress of domestic trade. Space and time and the difficulties imposed by the physical features of the surface of the earth and the wide variety of climatic conditions were all overcome, and the operations of trade largely relieved of the burdens formerly imposed by elements of risk and chance.

An important advantage coming with the improved system of transportation was the possibility of securing through freight service over long distances, regardless of the number of carriers employed in the


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History of Domestic and Foreign Commerce of the United States - Vol. 1
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