Авторы: Cynthia Clark
Издательство: Cynthia Clark Northrup
Кол-во страниц: 732
Размер: 6 Мб
The American Economy: A Historical Encyclopedia provides detailed information about the formation and development of economic policy throughout American history and describes its continued importance. Historically, economic issues have played a prominent role in U.S. policymaking. Economic policy has influenced social, cultural, political, and economic events from colonial times to the present.
Economic policy has shifted many times over the course of American history. During colonial times, the British colonies operated under a mercantilist system in which all trade benefited the mother country. After the American Revolution, the fledgling United States attempted to operate under the Articles of Confederation, but the economic restrictions it placed on the national government caused that system to fail.
Delegates meeting at the Constitutional Convention agreed that the federal government must have the power to tax. A decision to tax only imports, not exports or direct income, proved to be decisive in the development of domestic industry. Congress passed revenue tariffs (taxes on imports) during the early years of the Republic; after the War of 1812, a shift to protective tariffs occurred. These tariffs continued to increase reaching their apex during the Civil War under the Morrill Tariff. After the Civil War, tariff rates remained high, ensuring the rise of big business that did not have to compete against foreign manufacturers. The extreme wealth accumulated by captains of industry such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller stood in sharp contrast to the poverty of many Americans, especially new immigrants who crowded into tenements in major cities in the North and East.