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The Formative PEriod of American Capitalism: A Materialist interpretation (Routledge International Studies in Business History)

The Formative PEriod of American Capitalism: A Materialist interpretation (Routledge International Studies in Business History)

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The Formative Period of American Capitalism applies certain Marxist categories of analysis to the study of American history. The central thesis of the book is that the main peculiarity of American historical development was the almost direct transition from a colonial to an imperialist economy. The first chapter sets the American Revolution and the Civil War against the background of the European bourgeois revolutions - the main difference being that, given the settler-colonialist origins of the United States, the country underwent a process of genocide/ethnic cleansing of its native population during its primitive accumulation period. The following three chapters are devoted to the influence of the Western land tenure system on the process of capital accumulation, the passage from plantation slavery to sharecropping in the South and its legacy of racism, and the transition to imperialism towards the end of the nineteenth century, which again strengthened white supremacist prejudices. The fifth and final chapter deals with the rise of the labor movement and the main American socialist organizations up to the end of the First World War.