Moderation in the First Era of Popular Consumption

Joyce Appleby

in Thrift and Thriving in America

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199769063
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199896851 | DOI:
Moderation in the First Era of Popular Consumption

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This chapter shows how anxiety over the status of luxury only grew more acute in the transition from colonial hardship to national prosperity in the era of the early Republic. Fear of famine was largely eliminated, concentration on bare survival made way for concern with economic growth, and ordinary people began to produce, and enjoy on a large scale, “goods to comfort and adorn body and home.” While moderation, restraint, and self-discipline—variations on the theme of thrift—were not abandoned, their religious and moral justifications were gradually supplemented and in some cases replaced by instrumental and economic ones.

Keywords: thrift; national prosperity; early Republic; economic growth

Chapter.  9835 words. 

Subjects: Economic Sociology

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