Stumbling Towards The Constitution: The Economic Consequences Of Freedom In The Atlantic World

Hardcover | April 15, 2012

byJonathan M. Chu

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Underwater mortgages, plunging prices, overextended consumers, deflation, a surfeit of lawsuits and bankruptcies: such were the realities of 1784-1787. These difficulties were the driving impetus of the re-examination of the Articles of Confederation.
In Stumbling Towards the Constitution, Jonathan M. Chu examines the economic and constitutional adjustments Americans made after Independence to consider their impact on the debates over the Constitutional Convention. This book provides keen insight into how the Constitution developed, but more importantly, reveals how economically based this development was, and how connected it was to commerce and international trade in the Atlantic world.

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Underwater mortgages, plunging prices, overextended consumers, deflation, a surfeit of lawsuits and bankruptcies: such were the realities of 1784-1787. These difficulties were the driving impetus of the re-examination of the Articles of Confederation. In Stumbling Towards the Constitution, Jonathan M. Chu examines the economic and cons...

Jonathan M. Chu is an associate professor of American History at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. He is the author of Neighbors, Friends, or Madmen and has been the recipient of American Antiquarian Society—National Endowment for the Humanities, Library Company's Program in Early American Society and Economy, and Fulbright fell...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:294 pages, 8.88 × 5.69 × 0.86 inPublished:April 15, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230340466

ISBN - 13:9780230340466

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'In this fascinating and exhaustively researched study, Jonathan Chu explores how—between 1783 and 1787—the thirteen former colonies lurched toward a new understanding of 'governing in freedom.' With marked difficulty, they struggled to add muscle to an existing frame work for 'a central government that transcended state sovereignty.' Chu has produced a very impressive piece of historical scholarship.' - Jonathan Lurie, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Rutgers University'Stumbling Towards the Constitution is an ambitious reconsideration of the Confederation period of American history. Chu surveys a wide range of economic activity—land speculation, banks, Atlantic trade, China trade, and more—to explore the ramifications of the economic changes that accompanied the Revolution. He argues powerfully and persuasively that the strategies Americans devised to cope with debt, insolvency, and a dysfunctional monetary system forced them to frame questions of political economy in ways that led to more fundamental consideration of the constitutional powers they would formulate in 1787. The result is a new understanding of the where the economic powers embodied in the Constitution came from.' - Bruce H. Mann, Carl F. Schipper, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard University