New Beginnings and New Developments:
Twenty-five years of revolution and war between 1789 and 1815 shattered the global securities market. Amsterdam lost its primacy as a financial centre, numerous government loans were in default, and the confidence of investors in state guarantees was again very low. However, between the end of the Napoleonic wars and the middle of the nineteenth century not only was the global securities market restored to its former position but it was also extended and deepened. The securities market became firmly established across western Europe, in London and Paris especially, and across the eastern United States with organized markets becoming integral elements within emerging financial systems. The increasing use of the joint-stock form for business began to make transferable securities important in their own right. For the first time securities became an essential part of the capital market within which business raised the finance it required, rather than being an adjunct to the money market. By the mid-nineteenth century securities were being used directly to finance economic growth for the first time, so contributing to the material prosperity of all.
In 1815, however, serious questions hung over the global securities market. Would such a market revive and what role was to be played by Amsterdam? The years of war and revolution had forced financial markets to look inward with the needs of national governments being met from domestic sources, either taxation or loans. Even when the wars were over there was a legacy of outstanding debts and disruption that was hardly conducive to the rapid resumption of international borrowing and lending. It was several years before conditions existed where the issue and trading of securities could recover the international dimension of the 1780s. When that did happen would Amsterdam resume the position it had occupied then? For 200 years Amsterdam had been the most important securities market in the world, emerging as the one location where government bonds from around Europe