The Economic History of the United States

1. Why Should We Study History, In the First Place?

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPhilosophy and Methodology

01/08/2010Audio/Video
The study of U.S. history seen through the lens of economic theory teaches us lessons like: (1) Why did America do so well economically?, (2) Why do we have the problems of war, terrorism, and immigration?, (3) What results from the growth of government?, ...

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2. Exploration: The Finding, Founding, and Discovery of the New World

U.S. EconomyU.S. History

01/08/2010Audio/Video
Why did people move to the new world? The benefits outweighed the costs. The explorers were driven by the economic philosophy of mercantilism. Government and business partnered to build a nation state. Money was thought to be wealth, but it is not. Government ships, soldiers, and subsidies gave the...

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3. Immigration

U.S. HistoryWar and Foreign Policy

01/08/2010Audio/Video
The Spanish and Portuguese were not very effective about colonizing the New World, despite finding gold and silver and claiming land. The London Company arrived about 1611 with indentured servants. Life expectancy was as young as twenty-one, although food supplies were better in the New World. Land...

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4. The Colonial Economy

U.S. EconomyU.S. History

01/14/2010Audio/Video
The private property method of settlement was more successful than the public method. But, moving people to the new world was difficult while life in Europe was better. Thus, indentured servants were a large group second only to religious refugees.

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5. International Trade

Global EconomyU.S. EconomyValue and Exchange

01/14/2010Audio/Video
International trade routes revealed comparative advantages of the different shippers, whether New England or British. Merchants dealt with shippers with whom they had a history. Knowing market conditions was easier for local merchants. Crews were paid less in their home ports.

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6. Inflation in Colonial America

Money and BanksU.S. EconomyU.S. History

01/14/2010Audio/Video
Colonial governments tried to manipulate the Spanish peso when they couldn't control the commodity monies. They increased the supply of pesos (inflation) and encouraged exports. Prices increased until the process was banned...

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7. The American Revolution: Part 1

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryWar and Foreign Policy

01/14/2010Audio/Video
Salutary neglect of the colonies spurred innovation and abundance in a spirit of freedom. Bitterness crept into the relationship after the French and Indian War when the British kept colonialists out of certain territories and began taxing them internally and increased tariffs.

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8. The American Revolution: Part 2

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryWar and Foreign Policy

01/14/2010Audio/Video
The Virginia Resolves said Virginia citizens should not obey the Stamp Acts. Intimidation of the tax collectors effectively nullified the Act. Colonialists felt that the Crown had violated their relationship. The Intolerable Acts were the final straw. They stated their grievances in the Declaration...

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9. The American Revolution: Part 3

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryWar and Foreign Policy

01/14/2010Audio/Video
The Americans successfully used the different tactic guerilla warfare against the staid and rigid British soldiers. War caused a large increase in the paper money supply - the Continental - triggering hyperinflation and loss of purchasing power.

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