In the late nineteenth century, the United States underwent an extremely rapid industrial expansion that moved the nation into the front ranks of the world economy. At the same time, the nation maintained democratic institutions as the primary means of allocating political offices and power. The combination of robust democratic institutions and rapid industrialization is rare and this book explains how development and democracy coexisted in the United States during industrialization. Most literature focuses on either electoral politics or purely economic analyses of industrialization. This book synthesizes politics and economics by stressing the Republican party's role as a developmental agent in national politics, the primacy of the three great developmental policies (the gold standard, the protective tariff, and the national market) in state and local politics, and the impact of uneven regional development on the construction of national political coalitions in Congress and presidential elections.
• This case study of democracy and development during American industrialization can be readily compared to other national experiences • Gives a thorough analysis of the impact of uneven regional development, policy institution, and political parties on US politics from 1877 to 1900 • Explains the absence of political radicalism in the American working class during a time when industrial manufacturing strikes raged
List of tables; List of maps and charts; Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Uneven economic development in the United States; 3. Platform demands, party competition and industrialization; 4. Claims on wealth and electoral coalitions; 5. Political construction of the national market; 6. Political administration and defense of the Gold Standard; 7. Tariff protection and the Republican party; 8. Conclusion; Index.
'This book fully delivers on the expansive promise of its title … [the author] provides counterweight to the arguments of some researchers that ethno-cultural issues, such as temperance, provided the basis for party differences during the post bellum period.' Business History
'No historian interested in the period and issues covered by this book can afford to neglect it.' History