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Author Balogh, Brian.

Title A government out of sight : the mystery of national authority in nineteenth-century America / Brian Balogh
Published Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xi, 414 pages)
Contents Introduction: Why look back? -- How Americans lost sight of the state : adapting republican virtue to liberal self-interest -- Between revolutions : the promise of the developmental vision -- "To strengthen and perpetuate that union" : republican political economy -- Outside the boundaries : "powers and energies in the extreme parts" -- The uncontested state : letters, law, localities -- Restoring "spontaneous action and self-regulation" : civil war and civil society -- Judicial exceptions to Gilded Age laissez-faire -- "A special form of associative action" : new liberalism and the national integration of public and private -- Conclusion: Sighting the twentieth-century state
Summary While it is obvious that America's state and local governments were consistently active during the nineteenth century, a period dominated by laissez-faire, political historians of twentieth-century America have assumed that the national government did very little during this period. A Government Out of Sight challenges this premise, chronicling the ways in which the national government intervened powerfully in the lives of nineteenth-century Americans through the law, subsidies, and the use of third parties (including state and local governments), while avoiding bureaucracy. Americans have always turned to the national government - especially for economic development and expansion - and in the nineteenth century even those who argued for a small, nonintrusive central government demanded that the national government expand its authority to meet the nation's challenges. In revising our understanding of the ways in which Americans turned to the national government throughout this period, this study fundamentally alters our perspective on American political development in the twentieth century, shedding light on contemporary debates between progressives and conservatives about the proper size of government and government programs and subsidies that even today remain 'out of sight'
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Conservatism -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Free enterprise -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Liberalism -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Progressivism (United States politics)
United States -- Politics and government -- 19th century.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0511534329 (electronic bk.)
0511576323 (electronic bk.)
9780511534324 (electronic bk.)
9780511576324 (electronic bk.)