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American Protectionism (1898)

American Protectionism (1898)

Historical Essays on Trade Policy

By Ugo Rabbeno, Edited by Erik S. Reinert

This volume offers an historical account of the numerous and different economic policies pursued by the American government from the colonial period to the end of the nineteenth century.

Hardback, 350 Pages


January 2020

£70.00, $115.00

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About This Book

This is the first modern edition of the nineteenth-century Italian economist Ugo Rabbeno’s ‘Protezionismo Americano’ (1898). Intellectually close to William Cunningham and Luigi Cossa, Rabbeno was among the most advanced economists of his age, drawing on institutional and evolutionary currents in the social sciences long before they became mainstream. His book carefully traces the evolution of American economic policies from their colonial beginnings in relation to the British Empire down through independence and nineteenth-century nation building, unveiling a world of aggressive economic interventions with which contemporary historiography rarely engages. By charting the history of actual policies and their theoretical justifications, Rabbeno’s book neatly disproves of the myth that the United States developed through agriculture and laissez-faire. This book offers an empirically grounded alternative vision of America’s economic history written by one of the most intriguing yet neglected economists of the late nineteenth century, and one of the very few to propose an evolutionary type of economics before Thorstein Veblen.


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Author Information

Ugo Rabbeno (1863-1897) was a Jewish economist from Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Erik S. Reinert is President of The Other Canon Foundation, Norway, and Professor of Technology and Development Strategies at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia.


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Table of Contents

Introduction; AMERICAN PROTECTIONISM: Essay 1. The English Commercial Policy in the North American Colonies; Essay 2. The Causes of the Commercial Policy of the United States; Essay 3. The Theory of Protectionism in the United States and the Historical Circumstances of its Development; Index

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