This work collects in a single volume and often in their original form the primary texts in the American debate over industrialization between the Revolution and the Civil War. These documents reflect the intellectual and ideological forces behind the promotion of manufactures, as well as the skepticism and resistance which the industrial capitalist aroused in the democratic and agrarian new nation. The collection demonstrates that there was a heated debate over the industrialization of the United States, and the issues reveal much about the shaping of our fundamental institutions.
The editors' introduction lays out the major issues, establishes the historical context of the debate, and offers arguments about its significance. The body of the text consists of documents which have hitherto been readily available only to specialists, each with a headnote giving bibliographical sources.
Michael Brewster Folsom is executive director of the Charles River Museum of Industry in Waltham, Massachusetts; Steven D. Lubar is the museum's curator.
Dr. Folsom is also general editor of the series Documents in American Industrial History. The Philosophy of Manufactures and The New England Mill Village, 1790-1860 are the first two volumes in the series, which is copublished with the Merrimack Valley Textile Museum.