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Made in the USA: The Depression of the 1780s & the Origins of American Economic Power
1,129 views • April 11, 2022
The United States embarked on independence amidst the worst economic circumstances it would face until the 1930s. Far from a cohesive and triumphant economic superpower-in-waiting, the new Republic appeared more likely to become the first failed "developing economy." Put simply, the United States limped into independence under the weight of an economic crisis that rivaled the Great Depression that came 150 years later. In this talk, Scott C. Miller explains the causes and implications of the Depression of the 1780s, why it abated, and how Americans' reactions to the crisis laid the groundwork for future economic success. Touching on topics ranging from British colonial policy to the creation of the American domestic market, Miller argues that Americans' ability to bridge its political, social, geographic, and economic divides paved the way for rapid--though certainly not inevitable--economic development.