Courses on History

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3. The States' Rights Tradition Nobody Knows

Political Theory

New England was not in favor of the War of 1812 and it considered seceding, but the death of Hamilton in his duel with Burr destroyed that plan. The idea of secession was more embraced by the Northern than by the Southern states.
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5. The Great Depression, World War II, and American Prosperity, Part I

Booms and BustsU.S. HistoryWar and Foreign PolicyBusiness Cycles

The 1920s had difficulties, but the depth of the Great Depression was in 1931. Any theory of boom-bust events must ask why so many entrepreneurs made terrible errors in a cluster. Why do busts hit capital goods industries harder than they do consumer goods industries?
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4. The Fourteenth Amendment

Legal SystemPolitical Theory

This is a difficult issue. Most of the controversy is from Section One. What exactly does the first sentence mean? If the Fourteenth Amendment was in fact intended to bind the states to the Bill of Rights that the federal government could enforce, then it dramatically increases the police power of...
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2. States' Rights in Theory and Practice

Political Theory

The compact theory holds that self-governing sovereign states have rights to protect themselves, whereas the nationalist theory holds that nullification or secession would be insubordination. Nationalists view states as a single whole with no boundaries and a single aggregated people.
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1. Thomas Jefferson and the Principles of '98

BiographiesPolitical Theory

The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 had criminalized excessive criticism of government. Jefferson feared it would be used in a partisan way. The Acts violated the Tenth Amendment by encroaching on a state prerogative.
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8. The Civil War and the Growth of Government

U.S. HistoryWar and Foreign PolicyPolitical Theory

Black reconstruction after the Civil War did much better than the dire predictions made. The black population recovered quickly. Many moved to urban areas. They deliberately had fewer children. Mortality declined. Income increased. No government assistance was handed out.
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7. The Cost and Consequences of the Civil War

U.S. HistoryWar and Foreign PolicyAustrian Economics OverviewPolitical Theory

There was a sea change in money and banking in the U.S. as a result of the Civil War. Government became the primary regulator. Metal coins gave way to paper. Mistakes of one bank infected others – it was contagion.
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6. Inflation: North and South

Money and BanksWar and Foreign PolicyCapital and Interest TheoryMoney and Banking

Inflation is a giant rip off, a stealth tax stealing purchasing power. Money is not neutral. The first receivers of new money benefit. Savers and those on fixed incomes struggle. From 1857 until the war was a period of “free banking” where the fed had nothing to do with the banks and the states had...
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5. Confederate Blockade of the South

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

The Confederate government blockaded the Southern economy by bad policies like impressment and trying to run the blockade themselves. The government declared that fifty percent of all cargo space had to be for the Confederate government.
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4. The Rhett Butler Effect

U.S. HistoryWar and Foreign Policy

Blockade boat owners turned to engines for speed instead of sails. Blockade running became more expensive as the blockade became stricter. Certain prices increased much faster and higher. Most goods desired in the South had to be imported.
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