The Political Economy of Early America

This course will study the political economy of Early America, from the British Settlement to c. 1820. In particular, we will explore the mechanisms behind the economic growth of the British colonies, the economic forces behind the Revolution, the consequences of the Revolution, the political economy of the constitutional convention and ratification, the role of SCOTUS in creating a national market, and the opposing Hamilton-Jefferson views of an American economy.

We will close by looking at how the Early Republic transitions into the Age of Jackson. Early America is a fascinating and rich historical period, and we will need to skip many issues of interest. Nevertheless, we hope to provide you with a good overview of how a group of small peripheral colonies created an institutional arrangement that allowed them to become the largest economy in the world in less than two centuries.