This book tells the story of how securities markets became integral to the institutional fabric of US capitalism during the period from the Civil War to the Great War. It begins with the drama of the outbreak of the First World War as the decisive moment in the development of the US securities markets, suggesting that it can be seen both as a window onto the US securities markets’ past and as a door to the US securities markets’ future. From this starting point, the introduction presents the story of the book in its essentials, laying out its arguments about the timing of the US securities markets’ evolution, their changing nature and operation, as well as the causes of their development. It explains why this story needs to be told, highlighting the contributions the book makes to the existing historical and social science literature on the development of securities markets.
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