Opening the West: Federal Internal Improvements Before 1860

Hardcover | July 1, 1998

byLaurence J. Malone

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Following Frederick Jackson Turner's lead, most economic historians assume the West and its people were shaped by economic determinism. This study proposes a different path. The federal government, Malone claims, opened the frontier before waves of settlers arrived by constructing a network of roads and making improvements to rivers and harbors. The book begins by analyzing federal transportation expenditures from 1800 to 1860 and then moves on to look at early federal improvement programs and their effects on determining the direction of settlement in the New West. Settlement in the New West states--Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota--accelerated after the government's projects were constructed. The tracking of internal improvement expenditures in sparsely settled regions shows the federal government had a significant role in initiating growth prior to the more widely acknowledged railroad developments after mid-century.

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Following Frederick Jackson Turner's lead, most economic historians assume the West and its people were shaped by economic determinism. This study proposes a different path. The federal government, Malone claims, opened the frontier before waves of settlers arrived by constructing a network of roads and making improvements to rivers an...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 9.57 × 6.39 × 0.76 inPublished:July 1, 1998Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313306710

ISBN - 13:9780313306716

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"Clearly written, this book will appeal to academics interested in the historical relationship between public and private investment in promoting economic development in the 19th century America. Upper-division undergrauduate and up."-Choice