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Friends of the Unrighteous MammonNorthern Christians and Market Capitalism, 1815-1860$
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Stewart Davenport

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226137063

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226137087.001.0001

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Orestes Brownson After 1840

Orestes Brownson After 1840

(p.139) Chapter Ten Orestes Brownson After 1840
Friends of the Unrighteous Mammon
University of Chicago Press

Unbeknownst to him, in 1840 Orestes Brownson began a journey that would transform him from a passionate critic of economic inequality into an almost Smithian enthusiast of international markets and economic order. His changing perspective on developing capitalism, however, was only part of a larger process in which he revolutionized his understanding of individuals and institutions, and the relationship that existed between them. The turning point in this transformation was also the climax of Brownson's social radicalism—his advocating for the abolition of hereditary property. Curiously enough, Brownson championed this revolutionary cause only once in his life, in a series of articles entitled “The Laboring Classes” that he published in the July and October issues of the 1840 Boston Quarterly Review; and while there were precedents for the ideas he articulated there, it is difficult to say exactly why he made his case so forcefully and provocatively at that particular time.

Keywords:   Orestes Brownson, international markets, economic order, capitalism, individuals, institutions, social radicalism, hereditary property, The Laboring Classes

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