3 to 5pm
The United States as a Developing Nation, 1850-1950: The Political Origins of Modern American Capitalism
This paper revisits the transformation of American capitalism in the aftermath of the Civil War as the United States shifted from its former position in the world economy as an exporter of agricultural commodities - cotton, above all - to an industrial nation in its own right. More often narrated than interrogated as a historical problem, this transition signaled the emergence of the United States as the leading manufacturing economy and hegemonic power on the world stage. We aim to push beyond ingrained background narratives of modernization and recover the political origins of this momentous process.
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