Date of Award

Spring 1981

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

D. Alan Harris

Committee Member

Peter C. Stewart

Committee Member

James R. Sweeney

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47 S38


In order to compete with the British in international finance, leading bankers in the United States began to agitate for a central bank and "elastic" currency at least as early as 1905. Although the Panic of 1907 helped stir interest in banking reform, the political climate was so prejudiced against the banking profession that it became necessary for ABA spokesmen to condemn publicly the proposed legislation in order to insure that it would be passed. Privately, these same bankers worked closely with Woodrow Wilson and helped elect him president in 1912. Wilson returned the favor with the Federal Reserve Act which the American public was misled to believe would decentralize the financial power in the United States. This thesis explores the tactics of the bankers most active in the ABA, including actions of the country bankers, some of whom felt threatened by the impending legislation.


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