Orestes Brownson After 1840

in Friends of the Unrighteous Mammon

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780226137063
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226137087 | DOI:
Orestes Brownson After 1840

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Unbeknownst to him, in 1840 Orestes Brownson began a journey that would transform him from a passionate critic of economic inequality into an almost Smithian enthusiast of international markets and economic order. His changing perspective on developing capitalism, however, was only part of a larger process in which he revolutionized his understanding of individuals and institutions, and the relationship that existed between them. The turning point in this transformation was also the climax of Brownson's social radicalism—his advocating for the abolition of hereditary property. Curiously enough, Brownson championed this revolutionary cause only once in his life, in a series of articles entitled “The Laboring Classes” that he published in the July and October issues of the 1840 Boston Quarterly Review; and while there were precedents for the ideas he articulated there, it is difficult to say exactly why he made his case so forcefully and provocatively at that particular time.

Keywords: Orestes Brownson; international markets; economic order; capitalism; individuals; institutions; social radicalism; hereditary property; The Laboring Classes

Chapter.  6586 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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