The origin of Wall Street

The origin of Wall Street dates back to the attempted colonization process of the USA by the Dutch and their defeat against the British imperialists.

Daily, the news informs us about variations in economic indices, offering data on the main global financial institutions. However, we never question the origin of those conglomerates, having the impression that all the power and amounts of money that circulate there were always there, dictating and establishing the not always so understandable trends of the world economy.

In the case of the United States , these large institutions are concentrated on Wall Street , the area of ​​Manhattan  that contains the most important North American banks and stock exchanges. However, that street, which today is one of the nerve centers of the capitalist economy, did not always have its name linked to huge amounts of money and the hustle and bustle of financial agents’ dealings. This leaves the question: how important was Wall Street before the consolidation of the capitalist economy?

In fact, the history of “Rua do Muro” was linked to the colonization process in North America , specifically at a time when the Dutch, indigenous populations and the British disputed dominance over lands located on the East Coast . The first colonizers to undertake the invasion of that space were the Dutch, who founded the village of Nova Amsterdam , which in its early years had a population of approximately 270 colonists .

However, this occupation process was far from peaceful, as the resistance of the natives against the Europeans represented an obstacle to the Dutch colonial project. Faced with this threat, the Dutch of New Amsterdam decided to build, in 1640, a barrier capable of containing attacks organized by neighboring indigenous populations. Despite all the relevance of preventive action, the Dutch were unable to face the ambition of other enemies who would arrive by sea.

In 1664, the English invaded New Amsterdam and, after expelling the Dutch from the region, founded the town of New York . Over time, a traffic route was opened that followed the contour of the wall, which ended up giving its name to the famous street in question . Over time, the expansion of British colonization and control of indigenous attacks established the tearing down of the Dutch wall and the permanence of the British street.Don’t stop now… There’s more after the advertising 😉

It is interesting to note that, if we admitted such a belief, we could point out that Wall Street has always had an inclination towards the business world. In the early days of the North American mercantile economy, Wall Street was a meeting point for several traders and transporters who negotiated various shipping contracts with each other. The current financial and speculative function of the street only became known at the end of the 18th century, when capitalism took its steps outside England.

In 1792, a group of twenty-four shareholders entered into an agreement that established the rules and fees regarding New York Stock Exchange trading . This first agreement was called the Buttonwood Treaty , named after a tree that grew at the end of Wall Street. From then on, Wall Street concentrated around his name the possibility of ruining and establishing fortunes overnight. After the 1929 Crisis , that simple street brought great trauma to several speculators.

After the Second World War (1939 – 1945), the North American economy managed to recover from the traumas of the 1930s. With such a change, Wall Street regained its importance for international financial capitalism. However, demonstrating the constant movement of history, the crisis that haunted the North American economy in 2008 brought back the fears and bad memories that “Rua do Muro” once represented .