The Resilient Power of the States across the Long Nineteenth Century

Gary Gerstle

in The Unsustainable American State

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780195392135
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199852543 | DOI:
The Resilient Power of the States across the Long Nineteenth Century

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Political and social historians in the last twenty years have challenged the accuracy of the interpretation that the 19th century was an era of laissez-faire which then transcended to an era of interventionist public rule during the 20th century. However, understanding the American state between these two centuries has proceeded slowly due to the increasing complexity of American state, thus, generalizing and charting its institutional and functional character and change over time has become more complicated. This chapter focuses on the continuing importance of federalism in constituting the American state and the roles played by state governments in 19th-century economic development and regulation. The chapter likewise examines the considerable role of state governments in the regulation of race, sexuality, and morality.

Keywords: laissez-faire; interventionist public rule; American state; federalism

Chapter.  13162 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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