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There's never been a better time to remember the revolutionary and even libertarian roots of the American founding, and there's no better guide to what this means in the narrative of the Colonial period than Murray Rothbard.
For anyone who thinks of Murray Rothbard as only an economic theorist or political thinker, this giant book is something of a surprise. It is probably his least known treatise. It offers a complete history of the Colonial period of American history, a period lost to students today, who are led to believe American history begins with the US Constitution.
Rothbard's ambition was to shed new light on Colonial history and show that the struggle for human liberty was the heart and soul of this land from its discovery through the culminating event of the American Revolution. These volumes are a tour de force, enough to establish Rothbard as one of the great American historians.
It is a detailed narrative history of the struggle between liberty and power, as we might expect, but it is more. Rothbard offers a third alternative to the conventional interpretive devices. Against those on the right who see the American Revolution as a "conservative" event, and those on the left who want to invoke it as some sort of proto-socialist uprising, Rothbard views this period as a time of accelerating libertarian radicalism. Through this prism, Rothbard illuminates events as never before.
The original four volumes were published in the 1970s, but the odd timing and uneven distribution prevented any kind of large audience. They were beloved only by a few specialists, and sought after by many, thanks to their outstanding reputation. The Mises Institute is pleased to be the publisher of this integrated edition.
This single volume covers the discovery of the Americas and the colonies in the 17th century, the period of "salutary neglect" in the first half of the 18th century, the advance to revolution, from 1760-1775 and the political, military, and ideological history of the revolution and after.
- Part 1: The Economic Legacy of the American Revolution
- 1. Changes in Foreign Trade
- 2. The Depression of the 1780s and the Banking Struggle
- 3. The Drive for State and Federal Protective Tariffs
- 4. The Burdens of State Public Debt
- 5. The Issuance of State Paper Money
- 6. The Burdens of Federal Public Debt
- Part II: The Western Lands and Foreign Policy
- 7. The Old Northwest
- 8. The Old Southwest
- 9. The Jay-Gardoqui Treaty and the Mississippi River
- 10. The Diplomacy of the Confederation
- Part III: The Nationalists Triumph: The Consitutional Convention
- 11. Shays’ Rebellion
- 12. The Annapolis Convention
- 13. The Delegates of the Convention and America’s Great Men
- Part IV. The Nationalists Triumph: The Constitution
- 14. Elections in the Bicameral Congress
- 15. The Nature of National Power
- 16. The Debate Over Representation in Congress
- 17. Strengthening the Executive and Judiciary
- 18. The Preliminary Draft
- 19. The Corrupt Bargain and the Preservation of Slavery
- 20. The Ratification and Amendment Process
- 21. The Election of the President
- Part V: The Nationalists Triumph: The Constitution Ratified
- 22. Congress and the First Step
- 23. Federalist Control of the Mail and Newspapers
- 24. Little Delaware and New Jersey Ratify
- 25. The Battle for Pennsylvania
- 26. Georgia and Connecticut Follow
- 27. The Setback in New Hampshire
- 28. The Battle for Massachusetts
- 29. Rhode Island Holds Out
- 30. Maryland and South Carolina Ratify
- 31. New Hampshire Follows
- 32. The Battle for Virginia
- 33. The Battle for New York and the Twilight of the Antifederalists
- 34. The Constitution Takes Effect
- 35. North Carolina Postpones and then Ratifies
- 36. The Coercion of Rhode Island
- Part VI: The Nationalists Triumph: The Constitution's Legacy
- 37. The Bill of Rights
- 38. Was the U.S. Constitution Radical?