In this era when developing countries find it increasingly difficult to achieve internal policy goals while satisfying external constraints and when even the most advanced of nations, the United States, finds balance-of-payments disequilibrium a most pressing problem, there should be little need to justify the research that follows. This study is concerned with the historical interaction between trade and growth in the American nineteenth-century setting.
Although the result of the pace and direction of internal growth upon a nation's balance of payments is quite inseparable from the effect, in turn, of external trade upon domestic development, the investigation that follows is primarily concerned with the former causative relationship. While pursuing this research, it very soon became clear that another limitation would be necessary. Although the reader is often presented with post -- World War I data, nowhere have I attempted to extend the analysis into the interwar years. The time period under examination stops abruptly with World War I simply because the scope of the study would otherwise have been much too ambitious. It should be admitted that the generalizations that are derived from an analysis of American nineteenth-century history do not appear to hold up very well for that unique era between two world wars.
The present volume is a revised and extended version of a Stanford doctoral dissertation, "Kuznets Cycles and Their Effect upon American Balance of Payments: 1820-1913", which was completed in 1961. As the original title suggests, this study in