Customer Review

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is superb, February 24, 2004
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This review is from: The Contours of American History (Paperback)
This is really a great book, describing the economic systems in America even 100 years before the Revolutionary war. Politicians in England had such a great effect on the economy in the former colony; namely, a smallish fellow, Anthony Ashley Cooper, Lord Shaftesbury, who's ideas on religion and psychology came to effect much in the civilized world. Like all wise men, he was a deist.
I like the book very much and expect to read it again. I was excited by the energy displayed by the characters and it includes many great quotes I've never seen before.
"There is an overweening fondness for representing this country as a scene of liberty, equality fraternity, union, harmony, and benevolence. But let not your sons or mine deceive themselves. This country, like all others, has been a theatre of parties and feuds for near two hundred years." John Adams, 1817
"[a corporation] is, indeed, a mere artificial being, invisible and intangible; yet it is a person, for certain purposes in contemplation of law, and has been recognized as such by the decisions of this court." Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, 1839

He also points out the negative(my word) aspects of American economic and foreign policy, such as "expansion as economic policy." The Louisiana Purchase, the Mexican-American war, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and . . .it just goes on from there. All were initiated in an effort to expand American territory. Why? Because Americans love wide-open spaces. And the fact American companies can use all the new customers they can get.
I've taken many history courses, but they never brought the people of the times alive like this; the Movers and shakers of the Age of Mercantilism, the Age of Laissez Nous Faire, the Age of Corporation Capitalism. It makes me wonder and hope what the future holds.
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