After the Revolutionary War, the United States faced overwhelming debt and an uncertain commercial future. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton stepped forward with a plan to establish a national bank—which still stands in Independence National Historical Park—that would give the federal government more authority to handle the fiscal situation. His proposal incited a debate that tested the US Constitution’s boundaries and laid the foundation for the country’s financial system. Since then, banking, lending money, and printing currency have continued to grow and fluctuate and entrepreneurial Americans, such as Maggie Walker, have led the banking world to new heights. Explore more stories of banking, mints, and money preserved in national parks.
Last updated: February 5, 2019