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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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The Other Foundings

The Other Foundings

Federalism and the Constitutional Structure of American Government

(p.177) 6 The Other Foundings
Founding Choices

John Joseph Wallis

University of Chicago Press

After the Constitution provided a stable and accommodative government at the national level during 1790, most of the interactions between political and economic development took place at the level of the states. The chapter explains that it was difficult politically for the federal government to maintain a presence in banking or to play much of a role in the development of the nation's economic infrastructure; for example, improvements in internal transportation. Dividends and other revenues states obtained from investment in banks and corporations as well as toll revenues on state-owned canals would be greater if there had not been so many banks, corporations, and canals. Within a stable framework of national government, many states rewrote their own constitutions to disentangle their governments from banks and corporations, and to provide more open access to both by enacting free banking and general incorporation laws.

Keywords:   Constitution, accommodative government, federal government, economic infrastructure, revenues, national government

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