From bad to worse, then salvation

Despite the enormous problems created by Illinois’ first State Bank in 1821, the legislature in its infinite wisdom decided to create a second State Bank in the 1830s.

The sages of the Illinois General Assembly peered into their crystal ball and concluded the state was about to begin a prolonged period of great expansion. There were roads, canals and railroads to build, swamps to drain, forests to be cleared and cities to be erected. So, they proceeded to convince themselves that this environment would guarantee unlimited profits for a new State Bank.

The fatal flaw with the new State Bank was the fact that it was not subject to any sort of regulation. Furthermore, its control fell into the hands of speculators. &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref=""><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>