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April 7, 2020
9781421437118
English
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132128
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April 7, 2020
9781421437125
9781421437118
English
328
132128
13
9.25 Inches (US)
6.13 Inches (US)
$49.95 USD, £37.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Lost Tradition of Economic Equality in America, 1600–1870

The United States has some of the highest levels of both wealth and income inequality in the world. Although modern-day Americans are increasingly concerned about this growing inequality, many nonetheless believe that the country was founded on a person's right to acquire and control property. But in The Lost Tradition of Economic Equality in America, 1600–1870, Daniel R. Mandell argues that, in fact, the United States was originally deeply influenced by the belief that maintaining a "rough" or relative equality of wealth is essential to the cultivation of a successful republican government.

Mandell explores the origins and evolution of this ideal. He shows how, during the Revolutionary War, concerns about economic equality helped drive wage and price controls, while after its end Americans sought ways to maintain their beloved "rough" equality against the danger of individuals amassing excessive wealth. He also examines how, after 1800, this tradition was increasingly marginalized by the growth of the liberal ideal of individual property ownership without limits.

This politically evenhanded book takes a sweeping, detailed view of economic, social, and cultural developments up to the time of Reconstruction, when Congress refused to redistribute plantation lands to the former slaves who had worked it, insisting instead that they required only civil and political rights. Informing current discussions about the growing gap between rich and poor in the United States, The Lost Tradition of Economic Equality in America is surprising and enlightening.

About the Author

Daniel R. Mandell is a professor of history at Truman State University. He is the author of Tribe, Race, History: Native Americans in Southern New England, 1780–1880, King Philip's War: Colonial Expansion, Native Resistance, and the End of Indian Sovereignty, and Behind the Frontier: Indians in Eighteenth-Century Eastern Massachusetts.

Endorsements

"Tracing the concept of economic equality among individuals and families in the United States with clarity and consistency, Mandell transcends the distinctions usually made among intellectual, social, and economic history. Addressing both theory and practice, he succeeds in writing for both his fellow scholars and a larger literate, curious public."

- Daniel Walker Howe, Professor Emeritus, University of California–Los Angeles, author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848

"This book provides an insightful look at a timely topic: the various movements and strands of thought promoting economic equality in early American history."

- Jonathan Bean, Southern Illinois University, editor of Race and Liberty in America: The Essential Reader

"This deeply researched story of the interplay between America's Revolutionary commitment to upholding individual rights and creating a society of equals supplies the foundation for grasping the nation's current turmoil over economic and political inequality. Mandell explains how providing poor men with equal access to voting came to sanction great disparities of wealth after the Civil War. This challenged Americans' longstanding belief that their republic required a broad, relatively equal distribution of wealth."

- Richard D. Brown, Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus, University of Connecticut, author of Self-Evident Truths: Contesting Equal Rights from the Revolution to the Civil War

"Daniel R. Mandell's sweeping and magisterial history of egalitarian economic ideas and policies in the American tradition teaches us how tightly bound Americans once understood political equality and economic egalitarianism to be. He adds to the historical record a new indictment of the post-Reconstruction era—it severed that close link. As Americans now wrestle collectively with how to tackle historically high levels of wealth and income inequality, Mandell's book opens a vista into a vast and inspiring array of conceptual frameworks in stark contrast to those that have dominated recent decades of economic thought."

- Danielle Allen, Harvard University / Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality

"In this deeply relevant work of historical excavation, Daniel Mandell highights what he rightly calls the 'lost tradition' of economic equality in America. Drawing on top-down sources and bottom-up social movements, he has written a wide-ranging and original examination of ideas of and disputes about equality from post-Reformation England and Scotland through the Reconstruction era. From the treatment of canonical thinkers like John Locke to little-known radicals like Philadelphia shoemaker William Heighton, Mandell provides an engaging analysis of evolving ideas about the relationship between economic and political equality and how, after the Reconstruction era, that tradition became obscured. This careful and compelling history is at the same time a work of searching moral inquiry."

- Lawrence B. Glickman, Cornell University, author of Free Enterprise: An American History

Reviews

"Mandell successfully recovers the often obscured legacy of economic equality and moral economy that emerged from the English Civil War, as it informed debates about proper republican polity during the American Revolution... Highly recommended."

- Choice

"Widening economic inequality has been one of the most striking and significant problems facing the United States during the past half-century... Mandell's useful book belongs on the reading lists of the scholars, elected officials, and others who will be engaged with figuring out a path ahead."

- Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Johns Hopkins University Press
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9781421437118 : the-lost-tradition-of-economic-equality-in-america-1600-1870-mandell
Hardback
328 Pages
$49.95 USD
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Electronic book text
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Other Titles by Daniel R. Mandell

Tribe, Race, History

Daniel R. Mandell
Jan 2011 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$61.00 USD - Hardback
$38.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$38.00 USD - Electronic book text

King Philip's War

Daniel R. Mandell
Sep 2010 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$23.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$23.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in HISTORY / North America

Cherishing the Past, Envisioning the Future.

edited by Olaf Kaltmeier, Mirko Petersen, Wilfried Raussert, Julia Roth
Feb 2021 - University of New Orleans Press
$27.50 USD - Paperback / softback

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

edited by Shane P. Mahoney and Valerius Geist
Sep 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$74.95 USD - Hardback
$74.95 USD - Electronic book text

Recalling the Buffalo

Ken Tingley, introduction by Merrill Distad
Jun 2012 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$39.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in History of the Americas

Isle of Devils, Isle of Saints

Michael Jarvis
May 2022 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$65.00 USD - Hardback
$65.00 USD - Electronic book text

Powering American Farms

Richard F. Hirsh
May 2022 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text

Sustaining Empire

Edward P. Pompeian
Apr 2022 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$64.95 USD - Hardback
$64.95 USD - Electronic book text