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Economic History Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Economic History

The Emergence Of Classical American Patent Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2016

The Emergence Of Classical American Patent Law, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

One enduring historical debate concerns whether the American Constitution was intended to be "classical" -- referring to a theory of statecraft that maximizes the role of private markets and minimizes the role of government in economic affairs. The most central and powerful proposition of classical constitutionalism is that the government's role in economic development should be minimal. First, private rights in property and contract exist prior to any community needs for development. Second, if a particular project is worthwhile the market itself will make it occur. Third, when the government attempts to induce development politics inevitably distorts the decision making ...


Charleston Merchants 1790-1819: The Structure Of A Profession, Aaron Michael Benson Jan 2016

Charleston Merchants 1790-1819: The Structure Of A Profession, Aaron Michael Benson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This research investigates the professional trajectory of merchants in Early Republic South Carolina. The goal is to show that southern commerce in this era is more complex than what has been claimed in the current scholarship, which is dominated by discussions of northern merchants. This has been done by examining Charleston Directories from 1790 to 1819 and tracking individual merchants, their professions prior to and after being merchants, and their addresses through the entire period. Quantitatively examining the data compiled shows a complexity and level of risk in middling commerce that is absent in scholarship on Early Republic commerce in ...