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Responding to Relative Decline: The Plank Road Boom of Antebellum New York

  • John Majewski (a1), Christopher Baer (a2) and Daniel B. Klein (a3)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022050700012407
  • Published online: 01 March 2009
Abstract

From 1847 to 1853 New Yorkers built more than 3,500 miles of wooden roads. Financed primarily by residents of declining rural townships, plank roads were seen as a means of linking isolated areas to the canal and railroad network. A broad range of individuals invested in the roads, suggesting that the drive for bigger markets was supported by a large cross section of the population. Considerable community spirit animated the movement, indicating that New Yorkers used the social capital of the community to reach their entrepreneurial aspirations.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Lee Benson , Merchants, Farmers, and Railroads (Cambridge, 1955).

James A. Henretta , “Families and Farms: Mentalité in Pre-Industrial America,” William and Mary Quarterly, 35 (1978), pp. 332.

Daniel B. Klein , “Voluntary Provision of a Public Good? The Turnpikes of Early America,” Economic Inquiry, 28 (1990), pp. 788812.

Daniel B. Klein , and John Majewski , “Economy, Community, and Law: The Turnpike Movement in New York, 1797–1845,” Law and Society Review, 26 (1992), pp. 469512.

Allan Kulikoff , “The Transition to Capitalism in Rural America,” William and Mary Quarterly, 46 (1989), pp. 120–44.

Harry H. Pierce , Railroads of New York: A Study of Government Aid, 1826–1875 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953).

Harry N. Scheiber , “Federalism and American Economic Order, 1789–1910,” Law and Society Review, 10 (1975), pp. 57118.

Philip L. White , Beekmantown, New York: Forest Frontier to Farm Community (Austin, TX, 1979).

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The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
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