Early American Chambers
Early American Chambers, like their European prototypes were associations of tradesmen organized for the protection and promotion of commerce. The establishment of the New York State Chamber, for example, was a result of the obnoxious Stamp Tax Act, passed by Parliament in 1765. Forced to organize in selfdefense to fight the Act, New York tradesmen quickly perceived the advantages of such association. Those early Chambers undertook to promote the sale of goods. They organized markets, made and enforced rules of trade, protected goods in transit, and even operated their own trading floors. But their activities were limited to those directly connected with commerce. But the emergence of the Chamber as a true community organization came much later as businessmen began to realize that their own prosperity depended upon the development of a prosperous, healthy, and happy community. From the late 1800's on, the growth of the Chamber movement in the United States was rapid.