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National Duties – Custom Houses and the Making of the American State - Chicago Scholarship Online
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National Duties: Custom Houses and the Making of the American State

Gautham Rao


Why did Americans create a federal government after the American Revolution? How did this new government work? This book explores these questions by telling the story of federal customhouses in the early American republic. At the customhouse, the federal government was to collect taxes and regulate trade. But how could the government do so with limited manpower and resources? The founding leadership, especially Alexander Hamilton, looked to the precedent of the British Empire and built a customs system by negotiating authority with the merchants who paid taxes and imported goods. As the federa ... More

Keywords: customhouse, governance, political economy, taxation, regulation, founding fathers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780226367071
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226367101.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gautham Rao, author
American University