Crisis and Liberty: The Expansion of Government Power in American History

1. Crisis and Liberty

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/03/2004Audio/Video
The growth of government power in American history has been by creating emergencies that then necessitate a ratcheting up of centralized power and war. Crisis & Leviathan by Higgs is a prime resource for this topic.

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2. Crisis and Liberty

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/03/2004Audio/Video
The role of ideology in the growth of government is required as intellectual cover for what is done regardless of the government form (e.g. monarchy or socialism). For example, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. played such an intellectual role.

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3. Crisis and Liberty

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/03/2004Audio/Video
State and local levels of government were more burdensome to people in the early stages of our country than federal levels. The national government mainly received revenue through tariffs and land sales.

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4. Crisis and Liberty

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/03/2004Audio/Video
Government was different in the 19 th Century, but not as starkly different as some people believe. The 20 th Century was the Progressive Era. Foreign policy went from staying out of European quarrels to policing the world whether the world desired policing or not. Unchecked government intervention...

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5. Crisis and Liberty

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/03/2004Audio/Video
WWI was the culmination of progressivism. It was possible to impose prohibition. The creation of the Fed and the passage of an income tax allowed warfare socialism to rage and liberties to be lost.

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6. Crisis and Liberty

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/03/2004Audio/Video
The New Deal was not as widely popular as many stories about FDR might suggest. The Depression began about midway through 1929. Prices fell for four years. Unemployment was as high as it had ever been, and for a long time. Construction work disappeared.

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7. Crisis and Liberty

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/03/2004Audio/Video
WWII was the most terrible, most deadly war of all mankind. As early as 1919 WWII was seen as inevitable because of the destructive details of the Versailles Treaty. In 1939, when WWII began, less than ten percent of Americans wanted anything to do with another war.

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8. Crisis and Liberty

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/03/2004Audio/Video
The post-WWII operation of the national security state has been a major avenue for the expansion of government. A tremendous military-industrial-Congressional complex built up during the war. Some 40% of GDP was devoted to military purposes. The US in 1945 was the world’s military superpower...

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9. Crisis and Liberty

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/03/2004Audio/Video
The growth of government since WWII was along non-military lines. These years were crisis years from about 1963 to 1974. Turmoil, conflict and uncertainty were commonplace. Assassinations were numerous. Johnson and Nixon were presidents. The welfare state expanded.

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10. Crisis and Liberty

U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryPolitical Theory

09/03/2004Audio/Video
The attack on September 11, 2001, showed us what we can expect from any fresh crisis. Military forces were assigned to domestic police activities. Police state surveillance was expanded. But, wiping out terrorism cannot be done. The ultimate result is Big Brother.

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