Economic Policy in the Development of a Western State, Missouri, 1820-1860

Economic Policy in the Development of a Western State, Missouri, 1820-1860

Economic Policy in the Development of a Western State, Missouri, 1820-1860

Economic Policy in the Development of a Western State, Missouri, 1820-1860

Excerpt

This study is an attempt to discern the relationship of the state government to the economic life of the people of Missouri from statehood to the Civil War. Of primary importance in the determination of state policy was the attitude of the people toward government participation in economic activity. Did Missourians feel that government was to be used as an instrument for the common good, or did they regard the state as a necessary evil, to be tolerated only as the protector of property and a deterrent to crime?

Students of the subject of economic policy, basing their conclusions chiefly on their observations of the role of the national government in the economic order, have generally depicted the period between the American Revolution and the Civil War as one dominated by the laissez-faire ideas of Adam Smith and the Manchester school. Despite the pervasiveness of generalizations about economic individualism, and the knowledge that federal domination of economic affairs has been comparatively recent, little attention has usually been paid by historians to the economic policies of state governments during the ante-bellum period.

In an effort to meet the obvious need for information in this important area, the Committee on Research in Economic History recently sponsored a group of studies in four states considered to be examples of typical economic development in the period under consideration. Two of the series have been completed, by Oscar and Mary Handlin in Commonwealth: Massachusetts 1774- 1861, and Louis Hartz, Economic Policy and Democratic Thought: Pennsylvania, 1776-1860. A study dealing with a southern state -- Georgia -- is ready for the press, but that which was to examine developments in a midwestern area -- Illinois -- has failed of fruition. Possibly the present volume may serve as a substitute for the latter.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.