Catalogue


Capitalism, politics, and railroads in Jacksonian New England /
Michael J. Connolly.
imprint
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c2003.
description
ix, 210 p.
ISBN
0826214991 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c2003.
isbn
0826214991 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5063874
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-06-01:
This highly esoteric study examines the fear and opposition to railroad privilege in New Hampshire, as well as the accommodation to this new, potentially beneficent mode of transportation in adjacent Essex County, Massachusetts. Technological innovation, bringing with it the hope of economic rejuvenation and prosperity, led to an aggressive railroad building program within Essex County, Massachusetts. Historian Connolly recounts how the issue of public versus private interest proved less volatile in Massachusetts than in neighboring New Hampshire, where the mention of railroads ignited a political war that split the Democratic Party into two wings. New Hampshire's Radical Democrats viewed railroads not as harbingers of economic growth and prosperity, but as threats undermining existing local economies and markets as well as the very foundations of individual liberty and independence. For these Democrats, the granting of special privileges to private corporations, namely railroads, signaled the transferal of economic and political control away from the people into private hands tied to out-of-state money, with the state's legal blessing. Rhetoric aside, railroads were revolutionary. As Connolly's study shows, they did upset things as they were, and they bluntly forced change. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Comprehensive collections, upper-division undergraduate through faculty. M. J. Butler emeritus, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
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Choice, June 2004
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Summaries
Main Description
In this engaging new study, Michael J. Connolly seeks to understand the interrelationships among political change, economic interests, and railroad development in northern New England prior to the Civil War. He analyzes the political thought of the region as it involved the growth of party confrontations-among the Radical Democrats in New Hampshire, the Whigs and Conservative Democrats in New Hampshire, and the Whigs in Essex County, Massachusetts-and the rise of voting activity. An assortment of antebellum demographic data on the various railroad lines is made clear by the maps in the book. New England was an older region with settled patterns of political economy, and innovations like the railroad forced antebellum citizens to alter their patterns of life. Jacksonian Democrats debated among themselves the wisdom of railroad technology, its influence on political power, and its effect on regional economies, remaining skeptical about how this invention would improve their lives. They voiced serious concern that railroads would shrink private rights and destroy the existing “liberal capitalist” economy, all the while making northern New Englanders the minions of business interests far away in Boston and Canada. These concerns separated them from the Whigs. Whigs remained ebullient over how railroads would transform their political and economic lives, improve the lot of every New Englander in the long run, and rescue a dying region from social oblivion. They believed that danger came in not developing railroads. Whigs were willing to extend public power to a remarkable extent: bridges were destroyed, courthouses demolished, land and buildings taken to make way for railroads. Less sophisticated in economic understanding than the Jacksonians, Whigs never worried over “illiberal capitalism”; they welcomed it. The great consensus between Jacksonians and Whigs was capitalism. No one opposed markets. The antebellum conflict was not about whether America should be a market society, but what shape those markets should take; not about whether government should have power over private rights, but to what extent states could impose on private citizens. At the center of this debate was the railroad. Providing an excellent view of the economics of railroad development and how it affected the factory and farm world of northern New England, Capitalism, Politics, and Railroads in Jacksonian New Englandmakes a major contribution to our full understanding of the coming of the Civil War.
Main Description
In this engaging new study, Michael J. Connolly seeks to understand the interrelationships among political change, economic interests, and railroad development in northern New England prior to the Civil War. He analyzes the political thought of the region as it involved the growth of party confrontations-among the Radical Democrats in New Hampshire, the Whigs and Conservative Democrats in New Hampshire, and the Whigs in Essex County, Massachusetts-and the rise of voting activity. An assortment of antebellum demographic data on the various railroad lines is made clear by the maps in the book. New England was an older region with settled patterns of political economy, and innovations like the railroad forced antebellum citizens to alter their patterns of life. Jacksonian Democrats debated among themselves the wisdom of railroad technology, its influence on political power, and its effect on regional economies, remaining skeptical about how this invention would improve their lives. They voiced serious concern that railroads would shrink private rights and destroy the existing "liberal capitalist" economy, all the while making northern New Englanders the minions of business interests far away in Boston and Canada. These concerns separated them from the Whigs. Whigs remained ebullient over how railroads would transform their political and economic lives, improve the lot of every New Englander in the long run, and rescue a dying region from social oblivion. They believed that danger came in not developing railroads. Whigs were willing to extend public power to a remarkable extent: bridges were destroyed, courthouses demolished, land and buildings taken to make way for railroads. Less sophisticated in economic understanding than the Jacksonians, Whigs never worried over "illiberal capitalism"; they welcomed it. The great consensus between Jacksonians and Whigs was capitalism. No one opposed markets. The antebellum conflict was not about whether America should be a market society, but what shape those markets should take; not about whether government should have power over private rights, but to what extent states could impose on private citizens. At the center of this debate was the railroad. Providing an excellent view of the economics of railroad development and how it affected the factory and farm world of northern New England,Capitalism, Politics, and Railroads in Jacksonian New Englandmakes a major contribution to our full understanding of the coming of the Civil War.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Michael J. Connolly seeks to understand the interrelationships among political change, economic interests and railroad development in northern New England prior to the Civil War. He analyses the political scene, from Whig to Democrat, and links this to attitudes to the railroads.
Main Description
In this engaging new study, Michael J. Connolly seeks to understand the interrelationships among political change, economic interests, and railroad development in northern New England prior to the Civil War. He analyzes the political thought of the region as it involved the growth of party confrontations-among the Radical Democrats in New Hampshire, the Whigs and Conservative Democrats in New Hampshire, and the Whigs in Essex County, Massachusetts-and the rise of voting activity. An assortment of antebellum demographic data on the various railroad lines is made clear by the maps in the book. New England was an older region with settled patterns of political economy, and innovations like the railroad forced antebellum citizens to alter their patterns of life. Jacksonian Democrats debated among themselves the wisdom of railroad technology, its influence on political power, and its effect on regional economies, remaining skeptical about how this invention would improve their lives. They voiced serious concern that railroads would shrink private rights and destroy the existing "liberal capitalist" economy, all the while making northern New Englanders the minions of business interests far away in Boston and Canada. These concerns separated them from the Whigs. Whigs remained ebullient over how railroads would transform their political and economic lives, improve the lot of every New Englander in the long run, and rescue a dying region from social oblivion. They believed that danger came in not developing railroads. Whigs were willing to extend public power to a remarkable extent: bridges were destroyed, courthouses demolished, land and buildings taken to make way for railroads. Less sophisticated in economic understanding than the Jacksonians, Whigs never worried over "illiberal capitalism"; they welcomed it. The great consensus between Jacksonians and Whigs was capitalism. No one opposed markets. The antebellum conflict was not about whether America should be a market society, but what shape those markets should take; not about whether government should have power over private rights, but to what extent states could impose on private citizens. At the center of this debate was the railroad. Providing an excellent view of the economics of railroad development and how it affected the factory and farm world of northern New England, Capitalism, Politics, and Railroads in Jacksonian New Englandmakes a major contribution to our full understanding of the coming of the Civil War.
Unpaid Annotation
In this engaging new study, Michael J. Connolly seeks to understand the interrelationships among political change, economic interests, and railroad development in northern New England prior to the Civil War. He analyzes the political thought of the region as it involved the growth of party confrontations--among the Radical Democrats in New Hampshire, the Whigs and Conservative Democrats in New Hampshire, and the Whigs in Essex County, Massachusetts--and the rise of voting activity. An assortment of antebellum demographic data on the various railroad lines is made clear by the maps in the book. New England was an older region with settled patterns of political economy, and innovations like the railroad forced antebellum citizens to alter their patterns of life. Jacksonian Democrats debated among themselves the wisdom of railroad technology, its influence on political power, and its effect on regional economies, remaining skeptical about how this invention would improve their lives. They voiced serious concern that railroads would shrink private rights against the government and destroy the existing "liberal capitalist" economy, all the while making northern New Englanders the minions of business interests far away in Boston and Canada. These concerns separated them from the Whigs. Whigs remained ebullient over how railroads would transform their political and economic lives, improve the lot of every New Englander in the long run, and rescue a dying region from social oblivion. They believed that danger came in not developing railroads. Whigs were willing to extend public power to a remarkable extent: bridges were destroyed, courthouses demolished, land and buildings taken to make way forrailroads. Less sophisticated in economic understanding than the Jacksonians, Whigs never worried over "illiberal capitalism"; they welcomed it. The great consensus between Jacksonians and Whigs was capitalism. No one oppos
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Invention that Distinguishes this Age Railroads and Antebellum Americap. 1
"Look Out When the Bell Rings": Railroads and Jacksonian Entrepreneurial Politicsp. 21
"Everybody Must Go to Boston": Railroads, Capitalism, and the New Hampshire Jacksoniansp. 73
"Mere Naked Right": Essex County Whigs and the Expansion of Public Authorityp. 119
Desperation and Restoration: Essex County Whigs and the Economics of Railroadsp. 153
Conclusionp. 188
Bibliographyp. 191
Indexp. 205
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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