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A History of American Law$
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Lawrence M. Friedman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190070885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190070885.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

Law and the Economy: 1776–1850

Law and the Economy: 1776–1850

(p.147) 3 Law and the Economy: 1776–1850
A History of American Law

Lawrence M. Friedman

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on regulation in the early nineteenth century. The nineteenth century is considered the high noon of laissez-faire. Government, by habit and design, kept its hands off the economy and let the market do its magic. The first half of the century, in particular, was strongly pro-enterprise, pro-growth. The aim of public policy was the release of creative energy and that meant economic energy, enterprise energy. Government reflected what its constituents wanted. It did what it could to boost the economy, which could mean subsidy or outright intervention. Government intervention, or government regulation, primarily meant the states, not the federal government.

Keywords:   laissez-faire, nineteenth century, public policy, economic energy, enterprise

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