Electronic book text
February 19, 2019
9781421425276
9781421425252
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92483
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v2.1 Reference
Hardback
February 19, 2019
9781421425252
9781421425276
English
280
92483
6
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.84 Inches (US)
$59.95 USD, £44.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Manufacturing Advantage

War, the State, and the Origins of American Industry, 1776–1848

In 1783, the Revolutionary War drew to a close, but America was still threatened by enemies at home and abroad. The emerging nation faced tax rebellions, Indian warfare, and hostilities with France and England. Its arsenal—a collection of hand-me-down and beat-up firearms—was woefully inadequate, and its manufacturing sector was weak. In an era when armies literally froze in the field, military preparedness depended on blankets and jackets, the importation of which the British Empire had coordinated for over 200 years. Without a ready supply of guns, the new nation could not defend itself; without its own textiles, it was at the economic mercy of the British. Domestic industry offered the best solution for true economic and military independence.

In Manufacturing Advantage, Lindsay Schakenbach Regele shows how the US government promoted the industrial development of textiles and weapons to defend the country from hostile armies—and hostile imports. Moving from the late 1700s through the Mexican-American War, Schakenbach Regele argues that both industries developed as a result of what she calls "national security capitalism": a mixed enterprise system in which government agents and private producers brokered solutions to the problems of war and international economic disparities. War and State Department officials played particularly key roles in the emergence of American industry, facilitating arms makers and power loom weavers in the quest to develop industrial resources. And this defensive strategy, Schakenbach Regele reveals, eventually evolved to promote westward expansion, as well as America’s growing commercial and territorial empire.

Examining these issues through the lens of geopolitics, Manufacturing Advantage places the rise of industry in the United States in the context of territorial expansion, diplomacy, and warfare. Ultimately, the book reveals the complex link between government intervention and private initiative in a country struggling to create a political economy that balanced military competence with commercial needs.

About the Author

Lindsay Schakenbach Regele is an assistant professor of history at Miami University.

Endorsements

"A pathbreaking, long-awaited study for scholars of the early republic. Manufacturing Advantage is well researched and well written."

- John M. Belohlavek, University of South Florida, author of Patriots, Prostitutes, and Spies: Women and the Mexican-American War

"Manufacturing Advantage retells an iconic story in an unconventional way. By locating New England's nineteenth-century industrial revolution in a global context, Schakenbach Regele shows how public policy and the state shaped the business strategy of the region's leading small arms and textile manufactures—with consequences that reverberated not only across the region but also around the world."

- Richard R. John, Columbia University, author of Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications

"Lindsay Schakenbach Regele's important book carefully chronicles the role of the federal government in managing the industrial development of the United States in its earliest decades. She shows how the state, in myriad ways, enabled, accelerated, and influenced the industrial economy of the new republic. This book does away with one-sided celebrations of the entrepreneurial genius of the Samuel Slaters and Francis Cabot Lowells and debunks the myth that the United States economy was ever in some exceptional and peculiar way devoid of powerful state interventions. While others have ignored the state, Regele sees the rise of a 'national security capitalism.' A must-read for anyone interested in US economic history."

- Sven Beckert, Harvard University, author of Empire of Cotton: A Global History

"An engaging and timely examination of the connections between the federal government, national security, imperialism, and the domestic economy during the antebellum period."

- Lawrence A. Peskin, Morgan State University, author of Manufacturing Revolution: The Intellectual Origins of Early American Industry

9781421425276 : manufacturing-advantage-schakenbach-regele
Electronic book text
February 19, 2019
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