Measuring America: How the United States Was Shaped by the Greatest Land Sale in History

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Plume, Sep 30, 2003 - History - 310 pages
10 Reviews
In 1790, America was in enormous debt, having depleted what little money and supplies the country had during its victorious fight for independence. Before the nation's greatest asset, the land west of the Ohio River, could be sold it had to be measured out and mapped. And before that could be done, a uniform set of measurements had to be chosen for the new republic out of the morass of roughly 100,000 different units that were in use in daily life. Measuring Americatells the fascinating story of how we ultimately gained the American Customary System-the last traditional system in the world-and how one man's surveying chain indelibly imprinted its dimensions on the land, on cities, and on our culture from coast to coast.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mbmackay - LibraryThing

An interesting tale (told in a laborious manner) of the link between democracy and the sale/settling of surveyed land in early USA. And why they ended up with decimal currency but imperial measures. Read July 2004 Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MuzLibrary - LibraryThing

Currently reading - and thus far, really enjoyable. It reads at a good pace without being bogged down and dragging, but still has a lot of substance. It is an interesting perspective on a complicated aspect of American history. Read full review


The Invention of Landed Property
Simple Arithmetic

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