The Growth of the American Economy: An Introduction to the Economic History of the United States

By Robert G. Albion; Harold F. Williamson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 16
The Performance of the American Economy Before 1860

AN ECON0MY may be judged by its performance--its record in utilizing the resources at its disposal in the satisfaction of material wants. A critical examination of the performance of the American economy can throw valuable light on the factors that have governed its past behavior and may assist in understanding and solving current problems.

The performance of an economic system is to some extent a consequence of the positive steps that the authorities take in creating or neutralizing disruptive forces. It is not necessary to believe that the Government should, or could, prevent peacetime fluctuations in business activity. But it is not to be denied that the Government can influence such activity for better or for worse. In wartime, moreover, the Government by unanimous consent is entrusted with the task of mobilizing and then demobilizing resources; by appropriate action it can maximize the war effort and mitigate wartime and post-war adjustments. A study of the performance of the American economy will indicate how effective it has been in satisfying both wartime and peacetime needs.1

In trying to gauge and evaluate its performance, it is necessary to examine the system's record of behavior under ordinary and extraordinary conditions and under the impact of both internal and external shocks; to study the extent to which it has shown wide fluctuations in its ability to satisfy material wants; and to examine its resilience in the face of disruptive forces. It is necessary to go deeper, and try to disentangle the transient adjustments from the permanent, thus disclosing underlying tendencies of long-term development indicative of its ability to perform its functions.

A study of the performance of the American economy may therefore conveniently be broken up into three parts: (1) A consideration of how it has behaved under peacetime conditions--the fluctuations in the national income during prosperity and depression. (2) An analysis of how it has withstood the impact of war--the mobilization of a large part of the national income for military purposes and then reversion to peacetime conditions. (3) An investigation of the trends that have

____________________
1
See W. B. Smith and A. H. Cole, Fluctuations in American Business: 1790-1860, p. xxi. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1935.

-319-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Growth of the American Economy: An Introduction to the Economic History of the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 810

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    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.