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Founding ChoicesAmerican Economic Policy in the 1790s$
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Douglas A. Irwin and Richard Sylla

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226384740

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226384764.001.0001

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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: 28 September 2021

The Constitutional Choices of 1787 and Their Consequences

The Constitutional Choices of 1787 and Their Consequences

Chapter:
(p.25) 1 The Constitutional Choices of 1787 and Their Consequences
Source:
Founding Choices
Author(s):

Sonia Mittal

Jack N. Rakove

Barry R. Weingast

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226384764.003.0002

This chapter explains how the founders of America in 1780 sought by means of the Constitution to replace an ineffective national government with one that they hoped, but could not really know, would be much more effective. The text explains how the new Constitution provided ways of solving many problems that remained unsolved under its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, as well as accommodating adaptations of policies and institutions. As a result of the Constitution and the manner in which its provisions were implemented by the founding and later generations, the United States put in place a governmental system that proved to be highly compatible with, and in many ways supportive of, modern economic growth. National and state governments provided a secure environment for investment with a relative absence of political opportunism or the threat of expropriation. Thus, significant specialization and exchange resulted, producing long-term economic growth.

Keywords:   national government, Constitution, Articles of Confederation, political opportunism, economic growth, founding

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