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The "Unintended Consequences" of Confederate Trade Legislation


  • Robert B. Ekelund, Jr.

    () (Auburn University
    Trinity University)

  • John D. Jackson

    (Auburn University)

  • Mark Thornton

    (Ludwig von Mises Institute)


The immediate purpose of this paper is to focus on how import and blockade regulations enacted by the Confederacy affected the course of the war in its final days, but the issue of the economic effects of blockades has broader implications. Economic policies have been used as weapons, at least since the times of Pericles' Megaran Decree in 432 B.C., and have probably only grown in importance as economies have grown less autarkic and more interdependent over time. Since 1790, there have been at least four major global wars that have involved prolonged fighting, heavy losses, and severe bouts of inflation: the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War, World War I, and World War II. In all four of these conflicts, embargoes and blockades were an important component of the war planning of the eventual victor.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert B. Ekelund, Jr. & John D. Jackson & Mark Thornton, 2004. "The "Unintended Consequences" of Confederate Trade Legislation," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 187-205, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:30:y:2004:i:2:p:187-205

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hetherington, Bruce W. & Kower, Peter J., 2011. "Technological diffusion and the Union blockade," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 310-324, April.
    2. Robert Ekelund & John Jackson & Mark Thornton, 2010. "Desperation votes and private interests: an analysis of Confederate trade legislation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 199-214, July.

    More about this item


    Macroeconomics; Transitional Economies;

    JEL classification:

    • N41 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N71 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913


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