Liberty and the New History of Capitalism


How have institutions—and especially the institution of slavery—shaped economic growth and opportunity in the United States, and how does this impact discussions over liberty in American history and public policy today?


Conference Readings

Marshall, John. Fletcher v. Peck, 10 U.S. 87 (1810).

Taney, Roger, et al. Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge, 36 U.S. 420 (1837).

Appleby, Joyce. Capitalism and a New Social Order: The Republican Vision of the 1790s . New York: New York University Press, 1984.

Beckert, Sven. Empire of Cotton: A Global History. New York: Vintage Books, 2014.

Cox, Gary. “Was the Glorious Revolution a Constitutional Watershed?” Journal of Economic History (September 2012): 567-587 and 590-600.

Hilt, Eric. “Economic History, Historical Analysis, and the ‘New History of Capitalism’.” Journal of Economic History 77, no. 2 (June 2017): 511-536.

Jackson, Andrew, “Veto Message (Veto of the Bank of the United States)” In The American Republic: Primary Sources, edited by Bruce Frohnen, 491-500. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2002.

Majewski, John. “Who Financed the Transportation Revolution? Regional Divergence and Internal Improvements in Antebellum Pennsylvania and Virginia.” Journal of Economic History 56, no. 4 (December 1996): 763-788.

Olmsted, Alan L. and Paul W. Rhode. “Cotton, Slavery, and the New History of Capitalism.” Explorations in Economic History 67 (2018): 1-17.

Priest, Claire. “Creating an American Property Law: Alienability and Its Limits in American History.” Harvard Law Review 120, no. 2 (December 2006): 387-398 and 439-458.

Weingast, Barry R. “The Economic Role of Political Institutions: Market-Preserving Federalism and Economic Development.” Journal of Law, Economics & Organization 11, no. 1 (April 1995): 1-31.

Wright, Gavin. Slavery and American Economic Development. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006.

Wright, Gavin. Sharing the Prize. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013.