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A History of American State and Local Economic Development

As Two Ships Pass in the Night

Ronald W. Coan

A History of American State and Local Economic Development relates the history of American local and state economic development from 1790 to 2000. This multi-variable, multi-disciplinary history employs a bottom-up policy-making systems approach while exploring the three eras of economic development.
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Ronald W. Coan



1     In the beginning was Chapter 1

       The history, the drivers of economic development, the Chapter 1 model, and the Two Ships—Privatism and Progressivism

2     As the twig is bent: pre-Civil War migration and political culture

       Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, Winthrop and Massachusetts; the migration of political cultures and how culture impacted economic development

3     Early Republic economic development

       The tools of the trade; Early Republic competitive hierarchy: transportation infrastructure; corporate charters and “the gift that keeps on giving”; constitutional gift and loan restrictions and Dillon’s Law

4     The industrial Big City: primeval soup of Big City economic development

       The jurisdictional economic base and profit life cycle; agglomerations; railroads to subways; what the heck are Big Cities?; the development of the industrial-era Big City; industrial-era Big City economic development policy systems

5     Big City economic development

       Beyond boosterism; chamber-style economic development; shifting, but not shifty, business elites; “first wave” chambers; Big City policy system capacity-building; City Efficient, structural reformers, city managers, and selling frozen water

6     Two paths diverge: take one

       Early twentieth-century community development, from settlement house to neighborhood revitalization; social reform and socialist mayors; African-American economic and community development; the path to City Beautiful; City Beautiful and Boston’s Noble Experiment

7     Pre-Depression South

       Where is the South’s Industrial City?; the South as a colony; southern-fried economic development; Redeemers, the “divided South,” and city-building; Southern chamber-style ED; the rise of the southern textile industry; the early rise of Big City Texas

8     Western economic development into the twenties

       “You ain’t in Philadelphia now, darling”; western city-building, eastern hegemony, and beyond boosterism; early Pacific Coast cities; earthquakes; port authorities; Los Angeles—the city ED built; federal infrastructure; Fortress California and Pacific Coast regional hegemony

9     The twenties: not so calm before the storm

       The chambers’ golden age; onionization and a pinch of siloization; states and ED; the oligopolistic profit cycle grinds; Lehigh Valley, second phase of New England’s textile war; pre-Depression community development; decentralization and the twenties’ suburb; the importance of “growth” as ED’s primary goal; worrisome changes lie ahead


10    Big Cities: New Deal, war years

       Big Cities cope with the Depression; New Deal and Big City ED; Le Corbusier dukes it out with Frank Lloyd Wright; Robert Moses vs Catherine Bauer; Alinsky and the Second Ghetto; war comes to Big Cities and big suburbs; what is industrial decentralization?

11    Urban renewal: the scarlet letter of economic development

       Pre-urban renewal; the feds get involved; phases of urban renewal; urban renewal as anti-suburbanization; types of urban renewal; CD urban renewal fights ED urban renewal; the last phase of urban renewal: urban renewal

12    The South: New Deal, World War II, and the fifties

       BAWI; Second Reconstruction: plantation economy gone with the wind; war production and industrial decentralization; selling the South starts the “shadow war”; the civil rights movement and ED

13    The West: New Deal, war years, and the fifties

       Roosevelt’s western revolution; federal government and the jurisdictional economic base; western postwar suburbanization: simultaneous suburbanization; snapshots of western policy systems: Los Angeles to Honolulu

14    Dry rot to decay: Big City change in the “Wonder Bread” years, 1945–1960

       Truman–Eisenhower federal government: SBA to interstate highways; Gruen/Jacobs and the CBD; mid-century Big City suburbs; third phase of the New England textile war; port authorities and onionization

15    Hegemonic Big Cities and the rising Sunbelt

       The big hinge; Big City urban renewal: Boston and Philadelphia; postwar Sunbelt urban renewal: Atlanta, Norfolk, Oklahoma City and San Diego


16    The sixties

       Kennedy’s experimentation; innovation in community development: Woodlawn and Gray Areas; War on Poverty and Great Society; HUD, CUED, and EDA; Nixonian Thermidor: the feds’ “permanent role” in sub-state ED/CD

17    The seventies: the world turned upside down

       Postwar Community Development: Acorn to NHS to CDFI; Big Cities implode: will you play in my sandbox?; Second War Between the States; shifting sectors: Auto Alley, Route 128, and Silicon Valley

18    Through the eighties: reversing decline

       The Carter years and Reagan’s devolution: the feds regroup; explosion in sub-municipal EDOs; messiah mayors: Big Cities stabilize; Reagan-era community development: Nehemiah to Sandtown; polycentric post-suburbia

19    Foundations of contemporary practice and policy emerge

       Great forces at work; deindustrialization; not yet ready for prime time entrepreneurial state; Massachusetts; Big Sort political culture and policy system change: redefining growth; new strategies: economic gardening to casino gambling

20    As two ships pass in the night: the short story of American economic development

       The short story of American economic development; contemporary economic development; economic development, a partnership between CD and Mainstream, to manage creative destruction?