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Credit NationProperty Laws and Institutions in Early America$
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Claire Priest

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158761

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158761.001.0001

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Property and Credit in the Early Republic

Property and Credit in the Early Republic

Chapter:
(p.146) 8 Property and Credit in the Early Republic
Source:
Credit Nation
Author(s):

Claire Priest

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691158761.003.0009

This chapter focuses on the federal structure of debtor/creditor law in the founding era. In gaining independence from British rule, the colonists rejected the extractive taxes and trade policies that they felt would suppress economic growth. But independence posed the question of what role the new federal government would play in regulating state legislatures and how much power it would have to standardize state laws on property rights, the credit markets, and the economy. In America after the Revolution, the vast differences in local preferences on the issue of creditors' remedies expressed themselves not through occupational categorization, but instead through interstate variation and hostility toward federal government policies that might have imposed a uniform regime reminiscent of the Debt Recovery Act. Federalism emerged, in part, in response to the hostility toward Britain's colonial policies. The legacies of these policies — and of the reactions to them — still affect American economic, social, and political developments today.

Keywords:   debtor law, creditor law, American independence, federal government, property rights, credit markets, federal government policies, federalism, British colonial policies, American economy

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