A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867
Two and a half centuries after the American Revolution the United States stands as one of the greatest powers on earth and the undoubted leader of the western hemisphere. This stupendous evolution was far from a foregone conclusion at independence. The conquest of the North American continent required violence, suffering, and bloodshed. It also required the creation of a national government strong enough to go to war against, and acquire territory from, its North American rivals.
In A Hercules in the Cradle, Max M. Edling argues that the federal government’s abilities to tax and to borrow money, developed in the early years of the republic, were critical to the young nation’s ability to wage war and expand its territory. He traces the growth of this capacity from the time of the founding to the aftermath of the Civil War, including the funding of the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. Edling maintains that the Founding Fathers clearly understood the connection between public finance and power: a well-managed public debt was a key part of every modern state. Creating a debt would always be a delicate and contentious matter in the American context, however, and statesmen of all persuasions tried to pay down the national debt in times of peace. A Hercules in the Cradle explores the origin and evolution of American public finance and shows how the nation’s rise to great-power status in the nineteenth century rested on its ability to go into debt.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
War Money and American History
The Constitution and the Origins of American Public Finance
Creating an American Fiscal Regime
The Restoration of Public Credit
Mr Madisons War
Mr Polks War
Other editions - View all
1st sess 2d sess 37th Cong administration Albert Gallatin Alexander Hamilton American Public Finance annual April army Articles of Confederation Bank bonds borrow Britain British Cambridge Chase Civil colonies Congress Constitution contrast creditors customs duties debate depreciation DHFFC direct taxes economy European excises expenditures expenses Ezekiel Bacon federal government Federalist fiscal regime fiscal system Fisher Ames foreign funding government’s H.R. Ex historians House ibid important income increase Independence Indian interest James Madison January Jay Cooke Jefferson July June 30 levied ment Mexican Mexico military million loan national government navy North Carolina paid payment peace Pennsylvania percent Philadelphia Philadelphia convention political Polk Public Credit public debt reform repayment Republic republican revenue Revolution securities Support of Public tariff taxation territorial Thomas Jefferson tion trade Treasury notes Treasury secretary Union United University Press Virginia Virginia Plan vols Walker Washington York