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Larson traces the internal improvement movement—which embraced such projects as the building or promoting of roads, canals, bridges, universities, and libraries—within American government from the Federalist era through the eve of the Civil War.
Internal Improvement is the single most important contribution to our understanding of antebellum American political economy in the last generation. (Peter S. Onuf, University of Virginia)
Larson's long-awaited study of the crusade for internal improvement in the early American republic makes a major contribution to our understanding of the values that shaped the founders' bold experiment in republican governance. (Richard R. John, University of Illinois at Chicago)
An original reexamination of a major issue in nineteenth-century American history, based on primary sources and written with lucidity and verve. (Daniel Walker Howe, Oxford University)