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Gentlemen RevolutionariesPower and Justice in the New American Republic$
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Tom Cutterham

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172668

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172668.001.0001

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(p.94) Chapter Four Capital
Gentlemen Revolutionaries

Tom Cutterham

Princeton University Press

This chapter details how, by the middle of the decade, American trade was suffering as a result of exclusion from trade with the British empire. National leaders in and out of Congress looked to western lands expropriated from Native Americans as a source of future profit and the foundation of national credit. While thousands of would-be settlers demanded access to the land, and government aid in their war against the Indians, politicians and financiers in the east struggled over the creation of new property rights and the distribution of the spoils of conquest. Banking establishments were central to this process, especially the Bank of North America in Philadelphia, set up in 1781. When the bank came under attack from Pennsylvania's rural egalitarian movement, gentlemen were again put on the defensive. Capitalist economic development seemed to be incompatible with democratic power.

Keywords:   American trade, national credit, property rights, Bank of North America, rural egalitarian movement, capitalist economic development, democratic power, American gentlemen, banking establishments

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