How Did Wall Street Get Its Name?
One of the biggest stock markets in the world is on Wall Street in New York City. There, stocks and bonds of businesses all over the world are bought and sold. Wall Street is a short, narrow street that got its name from a real wall, or palisade, that once occupied the site.
The origins of Wall Street can be traced to the brushwood barricade erected by Peter Stuyvesant along the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam community of Dutch settlers in Lower Manhattan in 1653. The “wall” was meant to protect the early settlers against attack from Lenape Indians, New England colonists, and the British (who dismantled it in 1699).
Modern Wall Street follows the line of the old wall. The street, now walled in by skyscrapers, is the financial center of the United States.
Wall Street’s early history as a financial market began with gatherings of securities and commodities traders during the Revolutionary War. These curbstone and coffeehouse traders first developed financial techniques for loans and shares out of the needs of mercantile trade, a rudimentary copy of the 1600s Dutch exchanges.