Land Policy: Founding Choices and Outcomes, 1781-1802
Victory in the War for Independence brought a vast amount of land within the grasp of the new American nation -- territory stretching from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River between the southern shores of the Great Lakes and Spanish Florida. These lands were initially claimed by several states. Pressure from states without land claims led to these lands being transferred to the national government. The land so transferred was to be used to pay for the revolution. By 1802 this national public domain totaled roughly 220 million acres of saleable land that was worth about $215 million dollars at constant-dollar long-run equilibrium land prices. A public finance approach is used to explain the choices facing the government regarding how to use its lands to pay for the revolution. The first choice -- directly swapping land for war debt -- was superseded by the second choice, namely "backing" the national debt with its land assets and pledging future proceeds from land sales to be used by law only to redeem the principal of the national debt and nothing else. This land policy helped stabilize the national government's financial position and put the U.S. on a sound credit footing by the mid-1790s.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2009|
|Publication status:||published as U.S. Land Policy: Founding Choices and Outcomes, 1781-1802 , Farley Grubb. in Founding Choices: American Economic Policy in the 1790s , Irwin and Sylla. 2011|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Farley Grubb, 2007.
"The Net Worth of the US Federal Government, 1784–1802,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 280-284, May.
- Farley Grubb, 2007. "The Net Worth of the U.S. Federal Government, 1784-1802," Working Papers 07-02, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
- Grubb, Farley, 2006. "The US Constitution and monetary powers: an analysis of the 1787 constitutional convention and the constitutional transformation of the US monetary system," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 43-71, April.
- Donald L. Kemmerer, 1939. "The Colonial Loan-Office System in New Jersey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47, pages 867-867.
- Farley Grubb, 2006. "Benjamin Franklin and the birth of a paper money economy," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, number 2006bfatboapm.
- Farley Grubb, 2007. "Benjamin Franklin and the Birth of a Paper Money Economy," Working Papers 07-01, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
- Lebergott, Stanley, 1985. "The Demand for Land: The United States, 1820–1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(02), pages 181-212, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15028. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.