Public economy of the United States.

New York, A. S. Barnes & Co., 1848.

8vo, pp. 536; occasional light foxing, very light damp-stain to the lower outer corner of pp. 17-186, else a good copy in the original publisher’s cloth, spine direct-lettered gilt.


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First edition of an attack on the concept of a free-trade economy in favour of the institution of a protective economy within the United States. Colton, a Massachusetts born clergy-man who also had experience as a journalist, reflects his Northern roots in arguing against the inherently ‘European’ doctrine of free-trade. The nascent industrial expansion of the Northern states led many, such as Colton, to advocate protective measures that would bolster the Northern manufacturing-based economy against foreign competition. Protectionism vs. Free-Trade was one of the more prominent divisive issues between the Northern and Southern states in the build up to the American Civil War. The Southern states, with little need for mechanization in their Slave-based agrarian economy, resisted the institution of protective legislation that would benefit the Northern states while it drove their own expenses up.

Kress C.7332.

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