Eli Cook, University of Haifa | Newberry

Eli Cook, University of Haifa

Friday, October 6, 2017

3 to 5pm

History of Capitalism Seminar

Capitalization Takes Command: Railroads, Slavery and the Pricing of Progress in 1850s America

How did Americans come to quantify their society’s progress and well-being in units of money? This paper roots the rise of GDP-style economic indicators and the pricing of progress in the distinctly capitalist quantification techniques used to manage or invest in railroad corporations and cotton plantations in the 1850s. As economic elites in both the North and South came to quantify their society as a for-profit, capitalized investment, the progress of its inhabitants, free or enslaved, came to be valued according to their moneymaking abilities.

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Scholarly Seminars are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, email scholarlyseminars@newberry.org. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.