Brian P. Murphy
Building the Empire State
Political Economy in the Early Republic
University of Pennsylvania Press 2015
Brian P. Murphy is the author of Building the Empire State: Political Economy in the Early Republic (Penn Press, 2015). Murphy is Associate Professor of History at Baruch College, City University of New York.
While the Broadway musical, Hamilton, delights the Big Apple this summer, Brian Murphy tells a different story of the same period. In Building the Empire State, Murphy examines the origins of American capitalism. He tracks how political leaders, including Robert Livingston, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton, sought to finance civic institutions by convincing legislative powers to grant monopolies corporate status. Murphy shows how American capitalism grew out of the convergence of political and economic interests, wherein political culture was shaped by business strategies and institutions as much as the reverse.