Thursday, June 24, 2010

"History Now" Focuses on "Shaping the American Economy"

Bank note from the Bank of the
United States, Dec. 1840 (GLC01994.02)
The June issue of History Now, the web-based journal published by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, focuses on "The Shaping of the American Economy." The contents of the issue, which include a slide show, lesson plans, bibliography, and links to additional digital sources, feature essays by several business and economic historians.  As outlined by Carol Berkin, the journal's editor:
Our overview essay, “Getting Ready to Lead a World Economy: Enterprise in Nineteenth Century America,” is written by Joyce Appleby. In it she traces the rise of liberal capitalism and the spirit of enterprise that catapulted the United States into a leadership role in the modern world. Next, Richard Sylla unlocks the mysteries of the banking system in his essay “The U.S. Banking System: Origins, Development and Regulation,” explaining the functions banks perform and how their role in our economy has expanded and undergone regulation over past centuries. In “The Rise of an American Institution: The Stock Market,” Brian Murphy traces the evolution of a convenient ad hoc trading arrangement into one of the most influential institutions in American society. T.J. Stiles then confronts the longstanding argument over the larger than life entrepreneurs of the nineteenth century in his essay “Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?” And, finally, Professor Roger E. A. Farmer sheds light on the intersection of government and the economy in his essay “Economic Policy Through the Lens of History.”