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American Taxation, American Slavery

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For all the recent attention to the slaveholding of the founding fathers, we still know remarkably little about the influence of slavery on American politics. American Taxation, American Slavery tackles this problem in a new way. Rather than parsing the ideological pronouncements of charismatic slaveholders, it examines the concrete policy decisions that slaveholders and n For all the recent attention to the slaveholding of the founding fathers, we still know remarkably little about the influence of slavery on American politics. American Taxation, American Slavery tackles this problem in a new way. Rather than parsing the ideological pronouncements of charismatic slaveholders, it examines the concrete policy decisions that slaveholders and non-slaveholders made in the critical realm of taxation. The result is surprising—that the enduring power of antigovernment rhetoric in the United States stems from the nation’s history of slavery rather than its history of liberty.             We are all familiar with the states’ rights arguments of proslavery politicians who wanted to keep the federal government weak and decentralized. But here Robin Einhorn shows the deep, broad, and continuous influence of slavery on this idea in American politics. From the earliest colonial times right up to the Civil War, slaveholding elites feared strong democratic government as a threat to the institution of slavery. American Taxation, American Slavery shows how their heated battles over taxation, the power to tax, and the distribution of tax burdens were rooted not in debates over personal liberty but rather in the rights of slaveholders to hold human beings as property. Along the way, Einhorn exposes the antidemocratic origins of the popular Jeffersonian rhetoric about weak government by showing that governments were actually more democratic—and stronger—where most people were free.             A strikingly original look at the role of slavery in the making of the United States, American Taxation, American Slavery will prove essential to anyone interested in the history of American government and politics.


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For all the recent attention to the slaveholding of the founding fathers, we still know remarkably little about the influence of slavery on American politics. American Taxation, American Slavery tackles this problem in a new way. Rather than parsing the ideological pronouncements of charismatic slaveholders, it examines the concrete policy decisions that slaveholders and n For all the recent attention to the slaveholding of the founding fathers, we still know remarkably little about the influence of slavery on American politics. American Taxation, American Slavery tackles this problem in a new way. Rather than parsing the ideological pronouncements of charismatic slaveholders, it examines the concrete policy decisions that slaveholders and non-slaveholders made in the critical realm of taxation. The result is surprising—that the enduring power of antigovernment rhetoric in the United States stems from the nation’s history of slavery rather than its history of liberty.             We are all familiar with the states’ rights arguments of proslavery politicians who wanted to keep the federal government weak and decentralized. But here Robin Einhorn shows the deep, broad, and continuous influence of slavery on this idea in American politics. From the earliest colonial times right up to the Civil War, slaveholding elites feared strong democratic government as a threat to the institution of slavery. American Taxation, American Slavery shows how their heated battles over taxation, the power to tax, and the distribution of tax burdens were rooted not in debates over personal liberty but rather in the rights of slaveholders to hold human beings as property. Along the way, Einhorn exposes the antidemocratic origins of the popular Jeffersonian rhetoric about weak government by showing that governments were actually more democratic—and stronger—where most people were free.             A strikingly original look at the role of slavery in the making of the United States, American Taxation, American Slavery will prove essential to anyone interested in the history of American government and politics.

30 review for American Taxation, American Slavery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Einhorn takes a very modern institutionalist approach to her history, which, combined with a colorful narrative, made this a pleasurable and engaging read. There were times that I thought she tried a little too hard to prove her point and made rather broad generalizations, but it's clear that she's intending to start a bit of an academic fight and it's hard to do that without being a bit general in areas. As a lifelong student of history, I'm ashamed to say that I never paused to consider the im Einhorn takes a very modern institutionalist approach to her history, which, combined with a colorful narrative, made this a pleasurable and engaging read. There were times that I thought she tried a little too hard to prove her point and made rather broad generalizations, but it's clear that she's intending to start a bit of an academic fight and it's hard to do that without being a bit general in areas. As a lifelong student of history, I'm ashamed to say that I never paused to consider the impact of slavery upon the institutions of government. This gave me a good smack upside the head and, what's more, managed to make centuries-old tax policy seem interesting.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Rohn

    Very interesting look at the role of the politics of slavery in the early US on the design of state and federal tax structures. The writing can be dry in parts but the underlying information is both important and intriguing

  3. 5 out of 5

    Torrell Foree

    If you want to know the history of how taxes came about in the United States, you will be surprised to know that the history of taxation is intertwined with the history of slavery. The author does a wonderful job at showing how slavery was such a controversial issue during the revolutionary era that the founders attempted to avoiding talking about the polarizing institution by any means possible. The power of democracy in slave-holding territories versus non-slaveholding territories is also thor If you want to know the history of how taxes came about in the United States, you will be surprised to know that the history of taxation is intertwined with the history of slavery. The author does a wonderful job at showing how slavery was such a controversial issue during the revolutionary era that the founders attempted to avoiding talking about the polarizing institution by any means possible. The power of democracy in slave-holding territories versus non-slaveholding territories is also thoroughly covered in this book. Their views on democracy in the 18th century has relevance to our views on democracy in 2013. Definitely a good read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stonna Shores

    So far this has a lot of information and I have to keep going back to read what I just read. Slow going but I really want to read it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christine Piepmeier

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Henry

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  8. 4 out of 5

    Frances

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carly

  10. 4 out of 5

    Phil

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sam Brunson

  12. 5 out of 5

    Beanbrenner

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eric Zandona

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

  15. 4 out of 5

    Josh Mintanko

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael Donnellon

  17. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve

  18. 5 out of 5

    James McBride

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rob Jefferson

  20. 4 out of 5

    Isaac Lee

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adam Orford

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Krieger

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kartikeya Date

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

  25. 5 out of 5

    N. N.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elektra Tig

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Elasky

  28. 4 out of 5

    Angus

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adamglenn

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