The Political Economy of American Industrialization, 1877–1900

The Political Economy of American Industrialization, 1877–1900

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, the United States underwent an extremely rapid industrial expansion that moved the nation into the front ranks of the world economy. At the same time, the nation maintained democratic institutions as the primary means of allocating political offices and power. As the combination of robust democratic institutions and rapid industrialization is rarely found in world history, this book explains how economic development and democracy coexisted in the United States during industrialization.


Winner of the J. David Greenstone Award, APSA 2002

A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2001

"The author has an expert ability to interweave time and space into his arguments about the parties and institutions of government and capital. This is the work of a scholarly lifetime by a master craftsman...The way in which this argument is asserted and proven is a thing of beauty." American Journal of Sociology

"Bensel's argument is sophisticated and quite detailed, based on extensive research in primary and secondary sources...The richness of Bensel's work is in the detailed political examinations of voting patterns and party platforms as well as the regional and economic information on manufacturing and banking and financial matters. A significant contribution to the study of American political and economic history that will influence the field in future years." Choice

"a significant contribution to the literature of the postbellum nineteenth century, which is usually dominated by business, labor, social, cultural, and intellectual histories." History

"...prodigious and provocative..." James Livingston, Journal of American History

"An indispensable source." Business History Review


J. David Greenstone Award, APSA 2002
CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2001