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A House Dividing
Economic Development in Pennsylvania and Virginia before the Civil War

$39.00 USD

Part of Studies in Economic History and Policy

  • Date Published: May 2012
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781139244039

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  • A House Dividing compares Virginia and Pennsylvania to answer a crucial question of American history: how did slavery undermine the development of the southern economy? Extensive archival research reveals that in the first decades of the nineteenth century, local residents in each state financed transportation improvements to raise land values and spur commercial growth. In the 1830s, however, Philadelphia capitalists began financing Pennsylvania's railroad network, eventually building integrated systems that reached deep within the Midwest. Virginia's railroads, still dependent upon local investment and funds from the state government, remained a collection of local lines without western connections. The lack of a great city that could provide capital and traffic for large-scale railroads was the Achilles' heel of Virginia's slave economy. The chains of slavery, Virginians learned to their dismay, also shackled the invisible hand of the market.

    • Detailed comparative study that unearths new evidence regarding economic development
    • Integrated analysis of the political and legal aspects of economic development
    • Written in a clear, comprehensible style that seeks to make economic historians assessable
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    'This scholarly work is also a very pleasurable read.' Open History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2012
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781139244039
    • contains: 23 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments
    Introduction: Regional Development in Comparative Perspective
    1. Developmental corporations in a slave-labor society
    2. Developmental corporations in a free-labor society
    3. Railroads and local development
    4. The local politics of market development
    5. Urban capital and the superiority of Pennsylvania's transportation network
    6. Why Antebellum Virginians never developed a big city
    Epilogue
    Appendix
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    John Majewski, University of California, Santa Barbara

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