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This week we’re examining the 1770s-1790s, the decades during which the United States first came into being and set itself up! Use the lecture material, the two chapters in Beckert and Desan’s American Capitalism (chs 1 and 11) and the documents in pdf above to answer the following questions:

1. From Woody Holton’s chapter in Beckert & Desan’s American Capitalism (ch. 1), the section “Making America Safe for Investment,” what did the Framers of the Constitution do about money, i.e. which type of currency did they ban and why? From the section “Bricks without Straw,” most people blamed __________ for the failure of the economy in the years after the Revolution. What did taxpayers mean when they said the US made “bricks without straw”?

2. From Eliga Gould’s article, “War by Other Means” (ch. 11 in Beckert and Desan’s American Capitalism), what position did the Framers take on mercantilism? They were “economic liberalists,” according to Gould. What does this mean? How did the context within which they lived shape their outlook?

3. Use Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution to explain the Framers’ perspective on money. Provide a 2-3 sentence quote that supports your explanation.

4. Choose either Smith or Hamilton, and answer the following questions: who wrote the document? when? for what audience? for what purpose? and provide a 2-3 sentence representative quote.



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