3pm - 5pm
“Adventurers in Western Lands”
Susan Gaunt Stearns, Northwestern University
In the early republic, land speculation was at the heart of the nation’s political economy as individuals, land companies, and even the state and federal governments hoped to prosper off of the nation’s wealth of supposedly “vacant” land. For centuries, land was regarded as the safest and surest means of acquiring and demonstrating wealth, but as the market boomed and busted in the early republic, land speculation came to be viewed as increasingly suspect way of making a living. This paper explores the relationship between land, land speculation, and the rise of capitalism during the nation’s founding.
Scholl Center Seminar papers are pre-circulated electronically. For a copy of the paper, email the Scholl Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.