The Constitutional Choices of 1787 and Their Consequences

Sonia Mittal, Jack N. Rakove and Barry R. Weingast

in Founding Choices

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780226384740
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226384764 | DOI:
The Constitutional Choices of 1787 and Their Consequences

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This chapter explains how the founders of America in 1780 sought by means of the Constitution to replace an ineffective national government with one that they hoped, but could not really know, would be much more effective. The text explains how the new Constitution provided ways of solving many problems that remained unsolved under its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, as well as accommodating adaptations of policies and institutions. As a result of the Constitution and the manner in which its provisions were implemented by the founding and later generations, the United States put in place a governmental system that proved to be highly compatible with, and in many ways supportive of, modern economic growth. National and state governments provided a secure environment for investment with a relative absence of political opportunism or the threat of expropriation. Thus, significant specialization and exchange resulted, producing long-term economic growth.

Keywords: national government; Constitution; Articles of Confederation; political opportunism; economic growth; founding

Chapter.  14780 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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