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book reviews273 of the Bank war. Perhaps more to the point, as Remini does indicate, is that the bank confrontation dramatized and expedited forces of political division already at work. In the charged atmosphere of the time most people probably took their cues on the issue from their existing political loyalties not from their reasoned, shrewd calculations of the rights and wrongs of the Bank of the United States. Despite such caveats, Remini's book has many virtues. Most particularly , he has skillfully pulled together much of the research on the subject and has well portrayed a number of the political aspects of the controversy . Joel H. Silbey Cornell University A Financial History of the United States. By Margaret B. Myers. (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1970. Pp. viii, 409. $11.95.) American financial histories have been too long confined to the strict study of public finance. Firm in the belief that public and private interests are inseparable, Margaret G. Myers has attempted to apply a corrective in her latest work by broadening its scope to embrace changes in the institutions of the money market that have had a profound effect on government financial practices. Among the forces considered are changes in banking practices, corporate structure, foreign exchange flows, money markets, and international financial conditions influencing the domestic market. The author's technique is primarily descriptive, and avoids either thematic analysis or the construction of analytical models. Unfortunately, the study's broader scope is achieved at the expense of many of the details and specialized assets of traditional financial history, and at the same time presents a less complete pciture of either the development of the American economy, or indeed, of the financial history of the United States, than a good economic history text such as Fite and Reese. Particularly regrettable is the avoidance of a number of important themes that shed light on the relationship between financial and political history, especially in the antebellum era. The long and bitter struggle between colonial legislatures and governors for control of the purse strings, for example, is explained as a result of the shortage of currency, ignoring the long-standing English tradition of using the purse to control the political power of executives and kings. By the same token, the author fails to discuss the efforts of the states, so convincingly described by E. James Ferguson, to protect their hard won freedom from national incursions tiirough control of the debt and the currency under the Articles of Confederation. Neither is there an examination of the effect of the Panic of 1857 on sectional sensitivities. By comparison, recent scholarly treatment of the Bank of the United States is adequately summarized , although discussion of the Bank's popularity in the West and the 274civil war history South is omitted. The book is also marred by minor errors, such as a five million dollar debt, supposedly accumulated by Michigan during its territorial period, which had no existence in fact. The chapter on the Civil War is an adequate, if conventional, discussion of the problems encountered by the Union and Confederate governments , and the steps that were taken to cope with them. Union bond issues , greenbacks, the National Banking Act, and Confederate bonds and notes are described in turn, and their treatment is acceptable, if neither startling nor analytical. Readers should be wary of the implication— never explicitly stated—that there was a postwar industrial surge for which wartime reforms were at least in part responsible. In sum, readers of Civil War History needing a quick reference or a general survey will find this text useful, but those seeking a detailed treatment of the war will undoubtedly want to turn to a detailed study such as Bray Hammond 's Sovereignty and an Empty Purse. Robert J. Parks University of Wyoming The Removal of the Choctaw Indians. By Arthur H. DeRosier, Jr. (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1970. Pp. xvi, 208. $7.50.) In this study of Choctaw removal, Arthur H. DeRosier repeats an argument he advanced in an article in 1958—that the moderation in urging removal to the West which marked the policy of John C. Calhoun and Thomas L. McKenney was...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 273-274
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
No
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