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American Entrepreneur by Lynne PIERSON DOTI, Larry SCHWEIKART

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CHAPTER 3

Entrepreneurs in the New Nation: 1787–1840

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It was apropos that Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations appeared in 1776, the same year as the Declaration of Independence. Both heralded the primacy of the individual over the state, marking a new stage in theories of political economy. Not until 1848, with the publication of the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, did thinkers seriously attempt to restore the state to its pre-Smith position.

For entrepreneurs in America, most of whom had never heard of Adam Smith, business in the new republic simply reflected a commonsense approach to economics. After all, they assumed that ...

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