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A Hercules in the CradleWar, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867$
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Max M. Edling

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226181578

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226181608.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 18 October 2021

A Rank among the Very First of Military Powers: Mr. Lincoln’s War

A Rank among the Very First of Military Powers: Mr. Lincoln’s War

(p.178) Chapter Six A Rank among the Very First of Military Powers: Mr. Lincoln’s War
A Hercules in the Cradle

Max M. Edling

University of Chicago Press

The Civil War witnessed wartime mobilization on an unprecedented scale and made the previous wars fought by the United States look like relatively minor affairs (ch. 4 and 5). Chapter six analyzes how the initial war finance plan by Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury Samuel P. Chase was replaced by much more ambitious policies. Led by the banker Jay Cooke, the federal government sold hundreds of millions of war bonds to the American public. Meanwhile, Congress adopted new tax laws that fundamentally reformed the American fiscal regime. Nevertheless, the guiding principles of public policy remained the same and after the war the federal government shaped its tax system and debt management in accordance with pre-war ideals. The American republic’s demonstration of strength made an impression on leading European North American powers and within a few years after the Civil War, Britain, France, and Russia had all retreated from the continent.

Keywords:   Civil War, fiscal regime, Jay Cooke, Samuel P. Chase, United States, war bonds, war finance

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