ABOUT THIS BOOK
Offering new research on strategic factors in the development of the nineteenth century American economy—labor, capital, and political structure—the contributors to this volume employ a methodology innovated by Robert W. Fogel, one of the leading pioneers of the "new economic history." Fogel's work is distinguished by the application of economic theory and large-scale quantitative evidence to long-standing historical questions.
These sixteen essays reveal, by example, the continuing vitality of Fogel's approach. The authors use an astonishing variety of data, including genealogies, the U.S. federal population census manuscripts, manumission and probate records, firm accounts, farmers' account books, and slave narratives, to address collectively market integration and its impact on the lives of Americans. The evolution of markets in agricultural and manufacturing labor is considered first; that concerning capital and credit follows. The demography of free and slave populations is the subject of the third section, and the final group of papers examines the extra-market institutions of governments and unions.