Banks, Sir Joseph, 1743-1820, British naturalist and patron of the sciences. He accompanied Capt. James Cook on his voyage around the world and made large collections of biological specimens, most of which were previously unclassified. Botany Bay was named on this voyage. In 1772, Banks went on an expedition to Iceland. From c.1762 until his death, he was the chief influence in inaugurating and directing the policies that made Kew Gardens an important botanical center for encouraging exploration and experimentation. In 1766 he was elected to the Royal Society, and he served as its president from 1778 until his death. The plant genus Banksia was named for him.

See studies by H. C. Cameron (1952, repr. 1966), A. M. Lysaght (1971), and A. Wulf (2009).

Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss, 1816-94, American politician and Union general in the Civil War, b. Waltham, Mass. After serving in the Massachusetts legislature (1849-53), Banks entered Congress as a Democrat, was returned in 1855 as a Know-Nothing and became speaker of the House, and was reelected in 1857 as a Republican. He resigned from Congress in Dec., 1857, and served as Republican governor of Massachusetts (1858-60). In the Civil War he was given command in the Dept. of the Shenandoah, where he was defeated by T. J. (Stonewall) Jackson at Front Royal and Winchester and then at Cedar Mt. during the second battle of Bull Run. Late in 1862, Banks replaced B. F. Butler at New Orleans and cooperated with Grant in opening up the Mississippi by capturing Port Hudson in July, 1863, and in participating in the Red River expedition of 1864. After the war he again served as Representative from Massachusetts (1865-73, 1875-79, 1889-91).

See biography by F. H. Harrington (1948); L. H. Johnson, Red River Campaign (1958).

Banks, Thomas, 1735-1805, English neoclassical sculptor, studied at the Royal Academy. A traveling scholarship enabled him to study in Rome from 1772 to 1779. In 1781 he went to Russia, where Catherine II bought his Cupid Catching a Butterfly and commissioned his Armed Neutrality. On his return to England he executed numerous monuments and portrait busts; many are in English churches. Monuments to Isaac Watts, Sir Eyre Coote, and William Woollett are in Westminster Abbey.

See his Annals (ed. by C. F. Bell, 1938).

In the U.S., an unsound bank chartered under state law during the period of state banking control (1816–63). Such banks distributed currency backed by questionable securities and were located in inaccessible areas to discourage note redemption. Note circulation by state banks ended with the passage of the National Bank Act of 1863, which provided for the incorporation of national banks and the issue of banknotes on the security of government bonds. The term wildcat bank was later applied to any unstable bank.

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Financial institution that gathers savings and pays interest or dividends to savers. It channels the savings of individuals who wish to consume less than their incomes to borrowers who wish to spend more. This function is performed by mutual savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, postal savings systems, and municipal savings banks. Unlike a commercial bank, a savings bank does not accept demand deposits. Many savings banks originated as part of a philanthropic effort to encourage saving among people of modest means. The earliest municipal savings banks developed from the municipal pawnshops of Italy (see pawnbroking). Other early savings banks were founded in Germany in 1778 and The Netherlands in 1817. The first U.S. savings banks were nonprofit institutions established in the early 1800s for charitable purposes.

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In the U.S., any commercial bank chartered and supervised by the federal government and operated by private individuals. National banks were created during the Civil War under the National Bank Act of 1863 to combat financial instability caused by state banks and to help finance the war effort. When these banks purchased federal bonds and deposited them with the comptroller of the currency, they were permitted to circulate national bank notes, thereby creating a stable, uniform national currency. After the Civil War, the government began to retire the bonds issued during the war, which reduced the number of national bank notes that could be issued. Concern over the inflexibility of national bank notes led to the formation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, which all national banks were required to join. The U.S. Treasury assumed the obligation of issuing national bank notes in 1935, effectively ending the issue of money by private commercial banks.

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Firm that originates, underwrites, and distributes new security issues of corporations and government agencies. The Banking Act of 1933 required the separation of investment banking and commercial banking functions. Investment banks operate by purchasing all the new securities issued by a corporation at one price and selling fractions of the new issue to the investing public at prices high enough to yield a profit. The investment bank is responsible for setting the public offering price, which it bases on probable demand and assessments of the economic climate. A syndicate of investment banking firms underwrites and distributes most security issues in order to divide the risk of the new issue. An initial public offering (IPO) refers to the issuance of the first public shares of a formerly nonpublic company. Seealso bank; central bank; savings bank; security.

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National or regional financial institution designed to provide medium- and long-term capital for productive investment. Such investment is usually accompanied by technical assistance. Some development banks are government-owned and -operated, while others are private. Many have been established under the auspices of the World Bank. Among the largest are the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

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Bank that makes loans to businesses, consumers, and nonbusiness institutions. Early commercial banks were limited to accepting deposits of money or valuables for safekeeping and verifying coinage or exchanging one jurisdiction's coins for another's. By the 17th century most of the essentials of modern banking, including foreign exchange, the payment of interest, and the granting of loans, were in place. It became common for individuals and firms to exchange funds through bankers with a written draft, the precursor to the modern check. Because a commercial bank is required to hold only a fraction of its deposits as cash reserves, it can use some of the money deposited by its customers to extend loans. Commercial banks also offer a range of other services, including savings accounts, safe-deposit boxes, and trust services. Seealso bank; central bank; investment bank; savings bank.

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Institution, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve System, charged with regulating the size of a nation's money supply, the availability and cost of credit, and the foreign exchange value of its currency (see foreign exchange). Central banks act as the fiscal agent of the government, issuing notes to be used as legal tender, supervising the operations of the commercial banking system, and implementing monetary policy. By increasing or decreasing the supply of money and credit, they affect interest rates, thereby influencing the economy. Modern central banks regulate the money supply by buying and selling assets (e.g., through the purchase or sale of government securities). They may also raise or lower the discount rate to discourage or encourage borrowing by commercial banks. By adjusting the reserve requirement (the minimum cash reserves that banks must hold against their deposit liabilities), central banks contract or expand the money supply. Their aim is to maintain conditions that support a high level of employment and production and stable domestic prices. Central banks also take part in cooperative international currency arrangements designed to help stabilize or regulate the foreign exchange rates of participating countries. Central banks have become varied in authority, autonomy, functions, and instruments of action, but there has been consistent increased emphasis on the interdependence of monetary and other national economic policies, especially fiscal policies and debt management policies. Seealso bank; investment bank; savings bank.

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Organization that collects, stores, processes, and supplies blood. Most blood donations are separated into components, which can be frozen and stored longer than whole blood and used by multiple patients. In hemapheresis, large amounts of one component can be separated from a single donor's blood and the rest returned to the donor. Before World War I, a physician had to find a compatible donor and give an immediate blood transfusion. Safe storage of blood and its components made possible innovations such as heart-lung machines.

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Institution that deals in money and its substitutes and provides other financial services. Banks accept deposits and make loans and derive a profit from the difference in the interest paid to lenders (depositors) and charged to borrowers, respectively. They also profit from fees charged for services. The three major classes of banks are commercial banks, investment banks, and central banks. Banking depends entirely on public confidence in the system's soundness; no bank could pay all its depositors should they simultaneously demand cash, as may happen in a panic. Seealso credit union; Federal Reserve System; savings and loan association; savings bank.

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Specialized agency of the United Nations system, established at the Bretton Woods Conference for postwar reconstruction. It is the principal international development institution. Its five divisions are the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD; its main component), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The IDA (founded 1960) makes interest-free loans to the bank's poorest member countries. The IFC (founded 1956) lends to private businesses in developing countries. The MIGA (founded 1985) supports national and private agencies that encourage foreign direct investment by offering insurance against noncommercial risks. The ICSID (founded 1966) was developed to relieve the IBRD of the burden of settling investment disputes. Seealso International Monetary Fund.

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Area (pop., 2005 prelim.: 2,372,200), Palestine, west of the Jordan River and east of Jerusalem. Covering an area of about 2,270 sq mi (5,900 sq km), excluding east Jerusalem, the territory is also known within Israel by its biblical names, Judaea and Samaria. It is a region with deep history, forming the heart of historic Palestine. Populated areas include Nāblus, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Jericho. Under a 1947 UN agreement, most of what is now the West Bank was to become part of a Palestinian state. When the State of Israel was formed, the Arabs attacked Israel (see Arab-Israeli wars), and the partition plan was never adopted. Following a truce, Jordan remained in control of the area and annexed it in 1950. Israel subsequently occupied it during the Six-Day War of 1967. During the 1970s and '80s Israel established settlements there, provoking resentment among the Arab population and protest from the international community. Arab uprisings began in 1987 in the Gaza Strip and spread to the West Bank (see intifādsubdotah). Jordan relinquished its claims in 1988, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) assumed power. Secret meetings between the PLO and Israel in 1993 led to an end of violence and an agreement granting Palestinian self-rule in parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Further negotiations to resolve outstanding issues proceeded intermittently in the 1990s but broke down amid renewed violence in late 2000. In 2007, clashes between leading Palestinian parties Hsubdotamās and Fatah and the failure of a coalition government led to Hsubdotamās's taking control of the Gaza Strip and a Fatah-led emergency cabinet taking control of the West Bank.

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Bank in Bangladesh, the first bank to specialize in small loans for poor individuals. Originated by economist Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen banking model is based on groups of five prospective borrowers who meet regularly with Grameen Bank field managers. Typically, two of the five prospective borrowers are granted loans. If, after a probationary time period, the first two borrowers meet the terms of repayment, then loans are granted to the remaining group members. Peer pressure acts as a replacement for traditional loan collateral. Grameen became an independent bank in 1983; headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh, it has more than 2,200 branches in the country. An average Grameen loan is about $300. The Grameen model has come to symbolize an efficient means of helping the poor by providing them with opportunities to help themselves. Nearly all of Grameen's loan recipients have been women. In 2006 Grameen Bank and Yunus were awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

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Bank chartered in 1791 by the U.S. Congress. It was conceived by Alexander Hamilton to pay off the country's debts from the American Revolution and to provide a stable currency. Its establishment, opposed by Thomas Jefferson, was marked by extended debate over its constitutionality and contributed significantly to the evolution of pro- and anti-bank factions into the first U.S. political parties, the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party. The national bank played the unexpected but beneficial role of preventing private state banks from overextending credit, a restriction that some nevertheless considered an affront to states' rights. Meanwhile, agrarian populists regarded the bank as an institution of privilege and wealth and the enemy of democracy and the interests of the common people. Antagonism over the bank issue grew so heated that its charter could not be renewed in 1811. Criticism of the bank reached its height during the administration of Pres. Andrew Jackson, who led anti-bank forces in the long struggle known as the Bank War. The bank's charter expired in 1836. Its reorganization as the Bank of the United States of Pennsylvania ended its regulation of private banks.

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Central bank of Britain, headquartered in London. Incorporated by act of Parliament in 1694, it soon became the largest and most prestigious financial institution in England. It did not assume the responsibilities of a central bank until the 19th century, and it was privately owned until 1946, when it was nationalized.

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(born June 7, 1770, London, Eng.—died Dec. 4, 1828, Fife House, Whitehall, London) British prime minister (1812–27). He entered the House of Commons in 1790 and became a leading Tory, serving as foreign secretary (1801–04), home secretary (1804–06, 1807–09), and secretary for war and the colonies (1809–12). The War of 1812 with the U.S. and the final campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars were fought during his premiership. He urged abolition of the slave trade at the Congress of Vienna (1814–15). Although sometimes overshadowed by his colleagues and by the duke of Wellington's military prowess, he conducted a sound administration.

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Chain of barrier islands, North Carolina coast, U.S. Extending southward 175 mi (282 km) along the coast, it stretches from the Virginia border to Cape Lookout. Generally covered with sand dunes, the islands range from a few feet to more than 100 ft (160 m) in height. Most are linked by roads and causeways; there are numerous beaches, making the Outer Banks a popular resort area. Once a hideout for pirates and a place of shipwrecks, the islands have several historical sites, including Roanoke Island and Kitty Hawk, site of the Wright brothers' first powered flight.

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(born June 7, 1770, London, Eng.—died Dec. 4, 1828, Fife House, Whitehall, London) British prime minister (1812–27). He entered the House of Commons in 1790 and became a leading Tory, serving as foreign secretary (1801–04), home secretary (1804–06, 1807–09), and secretary for war and the colonies (1809–12). The War of 1812 with the U.S. and the final campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars were fought during his premiership. He urged abolition of the slave trade at the Congress of Vienna (1814–15). Although sometimes overshadowed by his colleagues and by the duke of Wellington's military prowess, he conducted a sound administration.

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Portion of North American continental shelf, in the Atlantic Ocean. Lying southeast and south of Newfoundland, it is a noted international fishing ground and extends 350 mi (560 km) north-south and 420 mi (675 km) east-west. The cold Labrador Current and the warm Gulf Stream meet in its vicinity, causing heavy fogs. The banks were first reported in 1498 by John Cabot. In 1977 Canada extended its fishing claim to encompass most of the Grand Banks; it has since given limited fishing rights to other countries.

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Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. The westernmost island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, it lies northwest of Victoria Island and is separated from the mainland by Amundsen Gulf. About 250 mi (400 km) long, it has an area of 27,038 sq mi (70,028 sq km). First sighted by Sir William Parry's expedition in 1820, it was named for the naturalist Joseph Banks.

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Banks is a town in Pike County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 224. According to the 2005 U.S. Census estimates, the town had a population of 224.


Banks is located at (31.813464, -85.840281).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 224 people, 92 households, and 62 families residing in the town. The population density was 111.3 people per square mile (43.0/km²). There were 102 housing units at an average density of 50.7/sq mi (19.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 84.82% White, 10.27% Black or African American, 1.79% Native American, 0.89% from other races, and 2.23% from two or more races. 0.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 92 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $21,719, and the median income for a family was $32,500. Males had a median income of $25,417 versus $26,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,601. About 4.8% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.9% of those under the age of eighteen and 11.3% of those sixty five or over.


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