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The Political Economy of the American West

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In the American West, trappers, miners, and farmers often preceded the formal institutions of government and therefore had to invent their own institutional framework. Early historians like Frederick Jackson Turner and Walter Prescott Webb found heroes in this romantic frontier. Modern historians, however, are challenging the traditional histories, arguing that the history of the West is one of natural resource waste, minority exploitation, and political manipulation by a powerful elite. This book challenges many...

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1994 Hard Cover"PBPL|Lanham, MD" Fine. No dust jacket.

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 04/28/1994, Hardcover, Acceptable condition. Acceptable dust jacket. Former Library book. Bookplate inside. Owner's name inside.

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Overview

In the American West, trappers, miners, and farmers often preceded the formal institutions of government and therefore had to invent their own institutional framework. Early historians like Frederick Jackson Turner and Walter Prescott Webb found heroes in this romantic frontier. Modern historians, however, are challenging the traditional histories, arguing that the history of the West is one of natural resource waste, minority exploitation, and political manipulation by a powerful elite. This book challenges many conclusions from both schools in a framework that considers Western history as an episode in the evolution of property rights. The authors in this volume provide a new way of thinking about the West that relies neither on heroes nor villains but argues that economics and politics shaped the institutional environment of the American West.

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Editorial Reviews

Public Choice
There's lots . . . of interest in this book . . . organized to appeal ecumenically to like minded but methodologically-varied practitioners of economics, political science and history.
Books Of The South West
These economic perspectives on Western history are less ideological and more interesting than many such treatments.
Western Historical Quarterly
. . . [E]ach of the essays present logically tight arguments, supported by contemporary and historical literature, as well as empirical data. Equally important, the essays are . . . well written and accessible to either experts or novices in the field. Therefore, the time of western historians and natural resource policy scholars would be well spent in examining this volume. . . .The strength of the scholarship and the intriguing character of the arguments contained in this volume warrant its admission into the marketplace of interpretations about the West and the people who have inhabited it.
Choice
For comprehensive collections serving graduate and faculty audiences.
CHOICE
For comprehensive collections serving graduate and faculty audiences.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847679119
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/29/1994
  • Series: Political Economy Forum Series
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry L. Anderson, professor of economics at Montana State University, is senior associate with the Political Economy Research Center. He has edited two previous volumes for Rowman & Littlefield: Property Rights and Indian Economies, and The Political Economy of Customs and Culture. Peter J. Hill, professor of economics at Wheaton College, is senior associate with the Political Economy Research Center. He is coauthor with Terry Anderson of The Birth of a Transfer Society.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The Race for Property Rights Chapter 3 Homesteading and Property Rights: Or, "How the West Was Really Won" Chapter 4 When Common Property Rights Can Be Optimal: Nineteenth-Century Cattle Grazing in the Semi-Arid American West Chapter 5 The Political Economy of Early Federal Reclamation in the West Chapter 6 The Progressive Ideal and the Columbia Basin Project Chapter 7 Rents from Amenity Resources: A Case Study of Yellowstone National Park Chapter 8 Forseeing Confiscation by the Sovereign: Lessons From the American West Chapter 9 Public Policy and the Admission of the Western States Chapter 10 About the Political Economy Forum and the Authors

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