The Monied Metropolis by Sven Beckert
New York City and the Consolidation of the American Bourgeoisie, 1850-1896

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Synopsis

Tracing the shifting fortunes and changing character of New York City's economic elite over half a century, Sven Beckert brings to light a neglected--and critical--chapter in the social history of the U.S.: the rise of an American bourgeoisie. The Monied Metropolis is the first comprehensive history of New York's economic elite, the most powerful group in nineteenth-century America. Beckert explains how a small and diverse group of New Yorkers came to wield unprecedented economic, social, and political power from 1850 to the turn of the twentieth century. He reveals the central role of the Civil War in realigning New York's economic elite, and how the New York bourgeoisie reoriented its ideology during Reconstruction, abandoning the free labor views of the antebellum years for laissez-faire liberalism. Sven Beckert is the Dunwalke Associate at Harvard University. He is the recipient of several honors and fellowships, including the Aby Warburg Foundation prize for academic excellence, a MacArthur Dissertation Fellowship and a Andrew W. Mellon fellowship. This is his first book.
 

About Sven Beckert

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Published March 19, 2001 by Cambridge University Press. 514 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Business & Economics. Non-fiction

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The new plutocracy asserted itself with huge mansions, soirees that aped the manners of the European nobility (the author often returns to a fancy dress party at the end of the century, to which dozens of New York’s grandes dames came costumed as Marie Antoinette—whose fate, “they confidently bel...

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Beckert examines the process through which this consolidation of power occurred, explaining how the responses of the city's most prominent merchants and manufacturers to national conflicts and crises, such as the Civil War and periods of economic depression and labor unrest in the late 1800s, ena...

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