Founding ChoicesAmerican Economic Policy in the 1790s

Founding ChoicesAmerican Economic Policy in the 1790s

Douglas A. Irwin and Richard Sylla

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226384740

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


The political decisions made by the founding fathers were crucial to the success of the early republic. But the economic decisions they made were just as pivotal, ensuring the general welfare and common defense of the United States for decades to come. This book explores these economic choices and their profound influence on American life, westward expansion, and influence abroad. Among the topics covered are finance, trade, and monetary and banking policy, with a focus on the factors guiding those policies and their end result.

Table of Contents

The Significance of the Founding Choices

Douglas A. Irwin and Richard Sylla

1. Politics

1 The Constitutional Choices of 1787 and Their Consequences

Sonia Mittal, Jack N. Rakove, and Barry R. Weingast

11 Policy

2 Financial Foundations

Richard Sylla

3 Revenue or Reciprocity?

Douglas A. Irwin

6 The Other Foundings

John Joseph Wallis

III Business Organization and the Factors of Production

8 U.S. Land Policy

Farley Grubb

9 Free Labor and Slave Labor

Stanley L. Engerman and Robert A. Margo

10 Looking Backward

B. Zorina Khan