Contemporary Economic Systems: A Regional and Country Approach

By Nicholas V. Gianaris | Go to book overview

5 The United States

A SYSTEM OF CAPITALIST EXPANSION

Early Expansion

Since America was discovered ( 1492), sectionalism and cleavage could be observed not only between individual colonies, but also between the coastline and the interior, as well as between the north and the south, primarily up to the American Revolution ( 1776). There were the mainly British colonial aristocrats (landlords, merchants, and slave owners) with economic and political power, and the small farmers and poor people in the back country who paid relatively more taxes and other fees. They were the debtors compared to the creditor eastern seaboard commercial establishment. Taxation was levied primarily on persons, not on property.

With the termination of the Anglo-American war in 1783, the estates of the loyalists were confiscated and land was redistributed. More important were the vast lands the new nation obtained from the peace treaty of 1783. This national domain played a major role in American ( United States) economic and political developments (notably in the Homestead Act of 1862) regarding religious freedom, the separation of Church and State, and commercial expansion. Wages were determined primarily by the supply and demand for labor, and the constant flow of immigration delayed the growth of labor movements for many decades. From the time of its discovery to the present day, the New World ( America) has been populated mainly by immigration from Europe.

American workers, under pressure of cheap labor from the flood of immigrants, opposed unrestricted immigration. As a result, Congress enacted legislation prohibiting advertising by employers that stimulated immigration and made it selective on grounds of nationality with other restrictions against undesirable aliens,

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Contemporary Economic Systems: A Regional and Country Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Economics of Capitalism: History and Theory 12
  • 3 - Socialism and Economic Planning 26
  • 4 - Employee Ownership and Share Economy as Alternatives 39
  • 5 - The United States 53
  • 6 - The European Community 68
  • 7 - Japan: A Miracle Economy 89
  • 8 - Swedish Democratic Socialism 100
  • 9 - The Soviet System and Its Collapse 110
  • 10 Reforms of the Eastern European Economies 126
  • 11 - The Chinese Experience 144
  • 12 - Development Strategies, Convergence, and Integration 160
  • Notes 176
  • Bibliography 185
  • Index 193
  • About the Author 196
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