A Government Out of Sight: The Mystery of National Authority in Nineteenth-Century America

A Government Out of Sight: The Mystery of National Authority in Nineteenth-Century America

by Brian Balogh
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521527864

ISBN-13: 9780521527866

Pub. Date: 04/28/2009

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Although it is obvious that America's state and local governments were consistently active during the nineteenth century, a period dominated by laissez-faire, political historians of twentieth-century American have assumed that the national government did very little during this period. A Government Out of Sight challenges this premise, chronicling the ways in

…  See more details below

Overview

Although it is obvious that America's state and local governments were consistently active during the nineteenth century, a period dominated by laissez-faire, political historians of twentieth-century American have assumed that the national government did very little during this period. A Government Out of Sight challenges this premise, chronicling the ways in which the national government intervened powerfully in the lives of nineteenth-century Americans through the law, subsidies, and the use of third parties (including state and local governments), while avoiding bureaucracy. Americans have always turned to the national government - especially for economic development and expansion - and in the nineteenth century even those who argued for a small, nonintrusive central government demanded that the national government expand its authority to meet the nation's challenges. In revising our understanding of the ways in which Americans turned to the national government throughout this period, this study fundamentally alters our perspective on American political development in the twentieth century, shedding light on contemporary debates between progressives and conservatives about the proper size of government and government programs and subsidies that even today remain "out of sight."

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521527866
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
430
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction: Why Look Back? 1

2 How Americans Lost Sight of the State: Adapting Republican Virtue to Liberal Self-Interest 18

3 Between Revolutions: The Promise of the Developmental Vision 53

4 "To Strengthen and Perpetuate that Union": Republican Political Economy 112

5 Outside the Boundaries: "Powers and Energies in the Extreme Parts" 151

6 The Uncontested State: Letters, Law, Localities 219

7 Restoring "Spontaneous Action and Self-Regulation": Civil War and Civil Society 277

8 Judicial Exceptions to Gilded Age Laissez-Faire 309

9 "A Special Form of Associative Action": New Liberalism and the National Integration of Public and Private 352

10 Conclusion: Sighting the Twentieth-Century State 379

Index 401

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >