The shoe on the other foot

Arnold Kling recently mentioned he was reading Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815. A little over halfway through the book, I am struck again by the historical contingency of particular foreign & social policy outlooks. For example, around 1800 New England was an export driven economy based on trade, in particular with Great Britain. Around 1850 the South was an export driven economy based on trade, in particular with Great Britain. By 1850 New England the whole Northeast had shifted toward a more diversified economy, and native manufacturers militated for the tariffs which their forebears would have scoffed at. Additionally, around 1800 New England was the redoubt of orthodox Christianity. The South was the domain of more easy-going religion, and outright heterodoxy among its social & political elites. Finally, one of the most interesting things to note is that it was in the Southern states that Francophilia during the period of the French Revolution was strongest!

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