Link to Marc-William Palen abstract

‘Varieties of Capitalism in the Americas’ workshop, 4 June 2015
Organised by the Centre for Economic and Business History,
University of Nottingham
------------------------------------Dr Marc-William Palen (University of Exeter)
Copying American Capitalism:
The Global Response to American Economic Nationalism
American capitalism is now commonly associated with the neoliberal policies of free
trade and market deregulation. In seeking its origins, this laissez-faire depiction has
been read back into the American past. The period of the late nineteenth and early
twentieth century is a case in point.
With the exception of Free Trade England, nations like the United States sought
protection from global market uncertainty behind the aegis of economic nationalism.
Yet historians instead commonly portray this as an American era of laissez faire and
free trade, a misimpression that has also seeped into the dominant American
imperial narrative.
Rather, in the United States support for economic nationalist policies at home and
abroad would increase dramatically following the onset of the late-nineteenth-century
Great Depression in 1873. This American protectionist form of capitalism—often
referred to as the American System—would at once be derided and emulated across
the globe, as nation after nation sought to control the unpredictable boom-and-bust
market forces of the modern global economic system.