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Friedrich List and the American System

Friedrich List and the American System
250 pages, German and English text

In this must-read economic classic, Friedrich List elaborates most poignantly the difference between the British-imperial free trade doctrine and the "American System" of economics, which was later to guide also Germany and Japan in their industrialisation.

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The July 2, 1927 London Economist wrote of this book:


"To English readers an attraction will be found in Lists' continuous and energetic polemic against Adam Smith, and in the close study he made of English political and social institutions...

"List believed in the progressive development of nations, as measured by their productive forces. He took the broadest possible view of these forces and of the factors governing them, not only in the purely economic, but also in the political and ethical or religious spheres; everything indeed that makes for high culture and strong civilisation."




Table of Contents



Friedrich List



Outlines of American Political Economy


Charles J. Ingersoll to the National Gazette



Lafayette to List


  • Letter 1  The Fundamental Error to the Free Trade Theory
  • Letter 2 The Differences between the British and the American System
  • Letter 3  The Political Motives of the Free Trade Doctrine
  • Letter 4  A Nation's Productive Powers
  • Letter 5 Each Nation Has its Particular Economy
  • Letter 6 Individual Economy is not Political Economy
  • Letter 7 Political Economy is not Cosmopolitan Economy
  • Letter 8 The Advantages of a Judicious Tariff System
  • Letter 9 An Outline of British Foreign and Economic Policy
  • Letter 10 America Must not Remain Dependent on Exports to England
  • Letter 11 Manufactures would also be Advantageous to the Southern States
  • Letter 12 The American System Serves the Interest of All Citizens

    Commentary by Michael Liebig


    Friedrich List and the "American System" of Economics


    I. The Historical Context of List's Outlines


    a) Biographical Information on List's Stay in the United States


    b) Fundamental Issues of American Politics During List's Stay in the United States




    II. The Methodological Context of List's Outlines



    a) List and Adam Smith



    b) Alexander Hamilton and the American System



    c) Mathew Carey



    d) List and the Early Italo-French Economic Theory



    e) List, the Early Cameralists, and Leibniz



    III. List and the Theory of Productive Powers today



    a) LaRouche's Theory of Physical Economy



    b) Scientifically Founded Economic Policy: Indicative Planning



    c) The Conference of the Friedrich List Society, September 1931



    IV. The American System and the Recent Debate on Economic Policy in the United States



    a) The "Conservative Revolution"



    b) Resistance to the Conservative Revolution



    c) List and Hamilton are Hauled off the Book-shelves



    d) A New Economic Strategy?



    e) "Protectionist, and Proud of it"



    f) Republicans Remember the American System



    V. Concluding Remarks



    Epilogue by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.



    Leibniz and the List Hypothesis


    • The Essence of History
  • The Role of the U.S.A.
  • The Creative Principle


    Footnotes to theOutlines


    Footnotes to the Commentary








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