Wages of Independence: Capitalism in the Early American Republic

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Rowman & Littlefield, 1997 - Business & Economics - 166 pages
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America between the Revolution and the Civil War was a society in full adolescence. Vibrant, cocky, feeling its own strength, and ready to take on the world, America was driven by an upstart economy and a capitalist bravado. The early republic, argues Paul Gilje in his cogent introduction, was the crucial period in the development of that trademark characteristic of American society modern capitalism. In this collection of essays, eight social and economic historians consider the rise of capitalism in the early American republic. Expanding upon traditional interpretations of economic development encouraged and controlled by merchants and financiers these essays demonstrate the centrality of common men and women as artisans, laborers, planters and farmers in the dramatic transitions of the period. They show how changes in the workshop, home, and farm were as crucial as those in banks and counting houses. Capping these fundamental changes was the rise of consumerism among Americans and the development of a "mentality of capitalism" that ensured the success of this new economic system with all its benefits and costs. Contributing authors include Paul A. Gilje, Jeanne Boydston, Christopher Clark, Douglas R. Egerton, Cathy D. Matson, Jonathan Prude, Richard Stott, and Gordon S. Wood."
 

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Contents

The Rise of Capitalism in the Early Republic
1
The Woman Who Wasnt There Womens Market Labor and the Transition to Capitalism in the United States
23
Markets Without a Market Revolution Southern Planters and Capitalism
49
Rural America and the Transition to Capitalism
65
Capitalism Industrialization and the Factory in Postrevolutionary America
81
Artisans and Capitalist Development
101
Capitalizing Hope Economic Thought and the Early National Economy
117
The Enemy is Us Democratic Capitalism in the Early Republic
137
CONTRIBUTORS
155
HISTORIOGRAPHIC INDEX
157
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About the author (1997)

Paul A. Gilje is Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He is the author of The Road to Mobocracy: Popular Disorder in New York City, 1763-1834 and Rioting in America.

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