Front Page Titles (by Subject) EDITOR'S PREFACE. - A History of Banking in all the Leading Nations, vol. 1 (U.S.A.)
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EDITOR’S PREFACE. - William Graham Sumner, A History of Banking in all the Leading Nations, vol. 1 (U.S.A.) 
A History of Banking in all the Leading Nations; comprising the United States; Great Britain; Germany; Austro-Hungary; France; Italy; Belgium; Spain; Switzerland; Portugal; Roumania; Russia; Holland; The Scandinavian Nations; Canada; China; Japan; compiled by thirteen authors. Edited by the Editor of the Journal of Commerce and Commercial Bulletin. In Four Volumes. (New York: The Journal of Commerce and Commercial Bulletin, 1896). Vol. 1: A History of Banking in the United States.
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A History of Banking
THE UNITED STATES;
WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER,
professor of political and social science, in yale university,
ALTHOUGH a book should always be able to tell its own story, yet when its authorship is so widely composite as in the case of the present volumes, a few prefatory words may be neither inappropriate nor unnecessary.
This work finds its occasion in an important juncture of circumstances. Next to the notable political unrest of the world is its financial unrest. Among all the advanced civilizations, there is a distinct consciousness of inadequacy in the methods and mechanisms of banking systems to satisfy the rapidly expanding commerce and finance of modern times. Equally, the world’s currency systems are felt to be so cumbrous and inflexible as to fetter rather than facilitate the ever-enlarging volume of both internal and external exchanges. The laws intended to regulate the instruments of exchange mar their efficiency, make them needlessly costly, restrict their circulation and invest them with a quality of positive danger. In the United States, this evil of over-regulation has become so obstructive to banking and monetary operations as to have developed one of the most serious financial situations in the history of the country.
These aspects of the times seem to appeal to our statesmen, our economists, our bankers and our intelligent citizens at large for a candid and thorough examination into the instrumentalities through which the exchanges of our seventy millions of active population are transacted. The Publishers of this Work conceive that one of the best aids to such an investigation must lie in an unbiassed study of the banking and monetary systems of all nations, as developed by a continually progressive experience. These volumes are designed to encourage and assist such education. The economic learning or the eminent practical experience of the Authors should sufficiently guarantee the accuracy of their Histories. The method of treatment adopted has been to pursue an impartial narration of events, exhibiting the various banking and currency systems in their action and results, rather than to discuss them critically.
To strict bibliographic critics, some explanation may be permitted. With such a diversity of Authors of various nationalities, it has been found impossible to maintain uniformity in the arrangement of matter, the use of captions and the form of typographical make-up, without in some measure interfering with the writer’s identity of method; which, to authorities who have earned a title to their individuality, would be an intrusion. To this cause also must be attributed the omission of an Index from some of the Treatises.
February 1, 1896.