Public banking was an ideal of the Founding Fathers, first tested in the colony of Pennsylvania. It had several precedents, successful and unsuccessful, in the 19th century. At the state level, the Bank of North Dakota has existed for a century and provides an excellent example of the power of public banking.
Since 2010, nearly half of U.S. states have introduced legislation to create public banks. This surge in legislation shows an attempt to regain control over regional economies after Wall Street destroyed much of the U.S. economy and was bailed out at the public’s expense.
In 2018, the U.S. territory of American Samoa established a new public bank, after years of work.