The Capitalist Foundations of America

George L. Priest of Yale Law School delivered the May Bradley Lecture.

Currently dominant histories of the founding of America—by Gordon Wood and Bernard Bailyn, for example—emphasize the religious and democratic origins of the United States, adjusted for the history of slavery. This lecture will attempt to shift that emphasis by focusing on the economic basis of the founding of the North American colonies; the nature of colonial rule, largely directed by economic ideas; the economic forces leading up to the American Revolution; the economic ideas informing the Constitution; and the establishment of the framework for a market economy in the United States.

George L. Priest is the John M. Olin Professor of Law and Economics at Yale Law School and the director of its Center for Study in Law, Economics, and Public Policy. Mr. Priest’s teachings focus on capitalism, insurance, product liability, antitrust, and economic development. During the Reagan administration, he was a member of the Commission on Privatization. Mr. Priest is the author of articles on tort law, deregulation, antitrust, and economic analysis, and is a member of AEI’s Council of Academic Advisers.

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About the Author

 

Christopher
DeMuth
  • Christopher DeMuth was president of AEI from December 1986 through December 2008. Previously, he was administrator for information and regulatory affairs in the Office of Management and Budget and executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief in the Reagan administration; taught economics, law, and regulatory policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; practiced regulatory, antitrust, and general corporate law; and worked on urban and environmental policy in the Nixon White House.

     

  • Phone: 2028625895
    Email: cdemuth@aei.org
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