Role of Sir John A. Macdonald in the Creation of the Canadian Banking System

18 04 2014
John A. Macdonald, 1875. Image from Library and Archives Canada

John A. Macdonald, 1875. Image from Library and Archives Canada

A reader of this blog has asked for information about the role of Sir John A. Macdonald in the development of Canada’s banking system. I suggest that they start with:

Smith, Andrew. “Continental Divide: The Canadian Banking and Currency Laws of 1871 in the Mirror of the United States.” Enterprise and Society 13, no. 3 (2012): 455-503. They should also look at this new working paper by Joe Martin and Donald Brean.

A reader of this blog has noticed that this link no longer works.  Here is an abstract of the paper:

 

Joe Martin, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Donald S. Brean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Abstract:
Recent tensions in the Eurozone have elicited relatively little public discussions of how large  federal systems grappled over time with forging a common financial and monetary system.  This paper draws on the disparate experiences of two North American countries from similar  traditions – Canada and the United States, with a view to putting that process in historical  context. Despite advantages which Europe does not enjoy, these countries’ efforts to build  their national banking systems and common currency as well as unify their national debt  followed a long and varied path. The paper argues that Europeans would profit from the  lesson that the process required many difficult political steps in order to build the necessary  consensus for these systems to function, with all their flaws, as a binding rather than divisive force. We contend that those who supported and implemented the introduction of the Euro  ignored much of the institutional and organizational infrastructure required to successfully run  an “optimal currency area.”

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