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April 7, 2020
9781421437118
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132128
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9781421437125
9781421437118
English
335
132128
13
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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.

Endorsementss

"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
Johns Hopkins University Press
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Hardback
April 7, 2020
$49.95 USD
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Electronic book text
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$49.95 USD

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Tribe, Race, History

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King Philip's War

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Jul 2010 - Johns Hopkins University Press
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