As Benjamin Franklin stated in 1789, “nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Given the certainty of taxes it seems important that we understand how the United States’ fiscal system developed.
Today, we explore the development of the early American fiscal system with Max Edling, Professor of History at King’s College, London and author of A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In this episode, we explore the development of the United States’ fiscal system with Max Edling, Professor of History at King’s College, London and author of A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867.
During our conversation, Max reveals: The fiscal powers of both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of 1787; The types of taxes early Americans paid and how they paid them; And, the evolution of the United States’ fiscal system and how it financed war and territorial expansion.
What You’ll Discover
How Max, a native of Sweden, came to his interest in early American history
- How and when the United States acquired the means to finance war and territorial expansion
- The Articles of Confederation and its problems with requisitioning money from the states
- The Constitution of 1787 and its taxation powers
- Alexander Hamilton’s role in establishing the fiscal system of the federal government
- Direct vs. Indirect taxation
- Early American taxations practices
- Hamilton’s debt assumption plan
- Albert Gallatin
- Democratic-Republican contributions to early United States fiscal policy
- How the United States financed the War of 1812
- The Mexican-American War, 1846-1848
- How the United States used lessons from the War of 1812 to finance the Mexican-American War
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Max Edling
- Max’s King’s College webpage
- A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867
- A Revolution in Favor of Government: Origins of the U.S. Constitution and the Making of the American State
What might have happened to the United States’ economy and its growth if France had not had its revolution?
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