A History of Banking in all the Leading Nations

A History of Banking in all the Leading Nations, first published in 1896 by The Journal of Commerce, is a four-volume history of banking in North America, Europe, China and Japan. At the time of publication it was described as "the largest and most expensive treatise on banking yet published".[1] Thirteen authors contributed to the work, all of whom were considered "eminent as bankers, financiers and political economists".[2] The title page bears the notice "Edited by the Editor of The Journal of Commerce and Commercial Bulletin" (i.e. William Dodsworth).

The first volume, dedicated to the history of banking in the United States, was written by William Graham Sumner (who in many library catalogues is mistakenly listed as the editor of the series).

The second volume contains a history of banking in Great Britain, by Henry Dunning Macleod, and in the Russian Empire, by Antoine E. Horn, editor of the Journal de St.-Pétersbourg, as well as a contribution on "Savings Banks in the United States" by John P. Townsend, president of the Bowery Savings Bank.

The third volume provides contributions on the history of banking in the "Latin Nations" by Pierre des Essars (covering France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Portugal), in Alsace-Lorraine by Arthur Raffalovich, and in Canada by Byron Edmund Walker.

The fourth volume contains chapters on banking in Germany and Austria-Hungary by Max Wirth, in The Netherlands by Richard van der Borght, in the Scandinavian nations (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway) by the Danish economist and statistician Adolph Jensen, on Japan by Juichi Soyeda, and on China by Thomas R. Jernigan, American consul general in Shanghai.

A History of Banking in all the Leading Nations
A History of Banking title page
Title page of volume 1 of A History of Banking in all the Leading Nations
Authorthirteen authors; edited by William Dodsworth
SubjectHistory of banking
PublisherThe Journal of Commerce
Publication date
1896 (reprinted 1971)


  1. ^ Review in the Journal of Political Economy 5:2 (1897), pp. 259-261.
  2. ^ Review in the Boston Evening Transcript, 14 October 1896.

External links

Adolph Jensen

For the German composer, see Adolf Jensen

Adolph Ludvig Otto Jensen (15 July 1866 – 24 May 1948) was an economist and statistician of international standing, and from 1913 to 1936 the head of the Statistics Department of the Danish Ministry of Finance.

Arthur Raffalovich

Arthur Germanovich Raffalovich (born Odessa, 1853; died Paris, 1921) was a Russian financier and economist.

Bank Notes (Scotland) Act 1765

The Bank Notes (Scotland) Act 1765 (5 Geo. 3 c. 49) was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain that introduced restrictions on the use of banknotes by the Scottish banks. The act was from the Fourth Session of the Twelfth Parliament of Great Britain at Westminster; beginning May 19, 1761 and lasting until January 10, 1765.The Bank of Scotland had introduced an "optional clause" on their banknotes in 1730 whereby its conversion into gold on demand could be delayed for up to 6 months, at which point the face value plus 5% should be payable. By the 1760s similar clauses were being adopted by the competitor banks in Scotland. An observed consequence was that in 1762–4 the banknotes had been trading at 4% below the gold coin value. Use of such clauses was prohibited by the 1765 Act.The Act also stipulated that banknotes should not be issued for sums under £1. Prior to the Act, some banks had been issuing notes for amounts as low as one shilling or even one penny.The Act was repealed in 1993.

Henry Dunning Macleod

Henry Dunning Macleod (March 31, 1821 – July 16, 1902) was a Scottish economist.

John P. Townsend

John Pomeroy Townsend (1832–1898) was an American financier of the Gilded Age. He proudly claimed descent from "old Puritan stock", tracing his ancestry to a Thomas Townsend who settled at Lynn, Massachusetts in 1637.

Juichi Soyeda

Juichi Soyeda (添田 壽一, Soeda Juichi, September 15, 1864 – July 4, 1929) was a Japanese lawyer, senior civil servant and academic economist. In 1913 he was delegated by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce in Japan to study the California Alien Land Law of 1913.

Thomas R. Jernigan

Thomas Roberts Jernigan (1847–1920) was US consul in Kobe, Japan (1885–1889), and later US consul general in Shanghai, China (1893–1897). After leaving the diplomatic service he was Standard Oil Company's attorney in China, and served as chairman of the Shanghai International Settlement. From 1905, he went into private practice as a lawyer with Stirling Fessenden under the firm name Jernigan and Fessenden.

Jernigan Road (now, Xianxia Road (仙霞路)) in Shanghai was named after him. He wrote a number of works on Chinese economics.

Jernigan died in 1920 and was buried on a hill overlooking Nanjing. He is remembered on a plaque in Raleigh, North Carolina (corner of W Cabarrus and S McDowell on the north west side of the Raleigh Convention Centre.)

William Dodsworth (editor)

William Dodsworth (1827–1910) was a financial journalist and expert, and from 1893 to 1910 president and editor of the Journal of Commerce and Commercial Bulletin.

William Graham Sumner

William Graham Sumner (October 30, 1840 – April 12, 1910) was a classical liberal American social scientist. He taught social sciences at Yale, where he held the nation's first professorship in sociology. He was one of the most influential teachers at Yale or any other major school. Sumner wrote widely within the social sciences, with numerous books and essays on American history, economic history, political theory, sociology, and anthropology. He supported laissez-faire economics, free markets, and the gold standard. He adopted the term "ethnocentrism" to identify the roots of imperialism, which he strongly opposed, and as a spokesman against it he was in favor of the "forgotten man" of the middle class, a term he coined. He had a long-term influence on conservatism in the United States.

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