Industrializing Antebellum America

Industrializing Antebellum America : The Rise of Manufacturing Entrepreneurs in the Early Republic

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This book explores the rise of manufacturing through the beliefs and practices of Samuel Colt, John Fox Slater, Horatio Nelson Slater, Amos Adams Lawrence, and their families. These entrepreneurs dominated the firearms and textile industries, but their influence extended beyond their respective enterprises. From the antislavery activities and business innovations of the Slaters and Lawrence to Colt's advocacy of Empire, they represented diverse possibilities for the organization of a new industrial society. Colt envisioned a free-wheeling casino and crony capitalism, the Slaters fused small town values and a new industrial discipline, and Lawrence promoted a Protestant vision of America guided by educated urban elites.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 20mm | 340.19g
  • Palgrave USA
  • Palgrave MacMillan
  • Gordonsville, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1403984808
  • 9781403984807

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Review quote

"In this book the Tuckers tap into a rich vein of antebellum history, ingeniously fashioning a kind of group history of three entrepreneurial families and the hyper-successful sons they produced. The Slater boys, Samuel Colt, and Amos Adams Lawrence might have been rational economic actors, say the Tuckers, but that's only one dimension of the their ascent to the heights of early American capitalism. Business historians will be much interested in this deeply researched book and the 'cultural turn' it brings to their field."--David Brody, professor emeritus of history at UC-Davis and author of "Labor Embattled: History, Power, Rights" (2005) "Years ago cultural historians took the so-called 'linguistic turn' and began acknowledging the languages and values reflected in their primary sources. This new study by the Tuckers serves up an example of the riches to be gained by applying such sensitive interpretive devices to the production of economic history. Here characters as diverse as the reckless charlatan 'Dr. Samuel Coult, ' the obsessively pious John Fox Slater, and the sanctimonious Amos A. Lawrence parade their idiosyncrasies for all to see while pursuing a common goal--success in manufacturing. Constructed largely from 'old-fashioned' manuscript sources, this study adds a large measure of proof to the recent speculative musings of historians about the complicated rise of American capitalism."--John Lauritz Larson, Purdue University "What the Tuckers bring to this well-established theme is an accessible account of New England entrepreneurship that places families, not individuals, at the center. For that reason, historians from both the business/economic and social/cultural side of the discipline will find this brief volume an entertaining and useful read."--Sean Patrick Adams, "American Historical Review"

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About Barbara M. Tucker

Barbara M. Tucker is Professor of History and Director of the Center for Connecticut Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University. She is the author of "Samuel Slater and the Origins of the American Textile Industry." Kenneth H. Tucker, Jr. is Professor of Sociology at Mount Holyoke College. He is the author of "French Revolutionary Syndicalism and the Public Sphere," "Anthony Giddens and Modern Social Theory," and "Classical Social Theory: A Contemporary Approach."

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