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The Evolution of a Nation – How Geography and Law Shaped the American States - Princeton Scholarship Online
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The Evolution of a Nation: How Geography and Law Shaped the American States

Daniel Berkowitz and Karen B. Clay


Although political and legal institutions are essential to any nation's economic development, the forces that have shaped these institutions are poorly understood. Drawing on rich evidence about the development of the American states from the mid-nineteenth to the late twentieth century, this book documents the mechanisms through which geographical and historical conditions—such as climate, access to water transportation, and early legal systems—impacted political and judicial institutions and economic growth. The book shows how a state's geography and climate influenced whether elites based t ... More

Keywords: economic development, American states, judicial institutions, political institutions, economic growth, U.S. states, legal systems, civil law, common law

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780691136042
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691136042.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel Berkowitz, author
University of Pittsburgh

Karen B. Clay, author
Carnegie Melon University