The Concept of Systematic Corruption in American History

Edited by John Joseph Wallis

in Corruption and Reform

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780226299570
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226299594 | DOI:
The Concept of Systematic Corruption in American History

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This chapter analyzes the concept of systematic corruption in the history of the U.S. It traces the evolution of the concept and definition of corruption as it developed in the philosophy of Aristotle, Polybius, Machiavelli, and Harrington, through to the eighteenth-century British Whigs. This chapter suggests that the most basic economic institution in a modern, thriving, developed economy developed as a solution to systematic corruption and as a solution to the political problem of preventing narrow political groups from obtaining uncontested control of governments.

Keywords: systematic corruption; U.S.; economic institution; political problem; control of governments; Aristotle; Polybius; Machiavelli; Harrington; British Whigs

Chapter.  19131 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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