Was the American Revolution fought to achieve abstract ideals of individual freedom or to serve economic interests? “Both!” is the answer provided by Prof. Thomas D. Curtis in this intriguing study. He shows how British policy, particularly as it related to the speculation in lands on the western frontier (in the Appalachias and the Ohio Valley), had the unintended effect of uniting diverse interests into a force for rebellion. The leaders included heavily indebted southern landowners (including George Washington), northern urban land speculators (including Benjamin Franklin), and wealthy northern merchants who feared, after 1773, that England would impose trade monopolies that would bankrupt them. Artisans, shopkeepers, and small-scale farmers were influenced by combinations of economic and ideological motives. Small-scale land-oriented interests consisted of the settlers who wanted cheap land for farming in the western frontier areas, but who were denied legal title to the Indian lands by British law.
|Series:||AJES - Studies in Economic Reform and Social Justice Series|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)|
About the Author
Thomas D. Curtis is a retired professor of economics whose research interests have been economic history, history of economic thought, and comparative economic systems. He received his B.S. and M.A. from Ball State University and his Ph.D. in economics from Indiana University. He taught at Indiana University, the University of Arizona, the University of Oklahoma and the University of South Florida. During his teaching career he published articles in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Southern Economics Journal, Journal of Economic Inquiry, the Social Science Quarterly, Land Economics, and the Atlantic Economic Journal.'His hobby for many years is the history of World War II, the European theater of operations.
Table of Contents
Editor’s Introduction: Updating the Curtis Thesis 1
Riches, Real Estate, and Resistance: How Land Speculation, Debt, and Trade Monopolies Led to the American Revolution — Thomas D. 30
Chapter I. The Economic and Political Background 33
Chapter II. Economic Interest Groups and Western Land Speculation 54
Chapter III. England’s Colonial Land Policies, 1763 – 1767 84
Chapter IV. England’s Colonial Land Policies, 1768 – 1774 99
Chapter V. An Alliance of Interests Opposed to English Rule 124
Chapter VI. Summary and Conclusion 150
Appendix A: Proclamation of 1763 168
Appendix B: The Quebec Act of 1774 175