This chapter discusses a general economic commitment to diversification, toward manufacturing, banking, and services and away from agriculture, which proved beneficial to American investors and entrepreneurs. Above all, the American legal system was uniquely hospitable to business enterprise. Not only were there few inhibiting tariff barriers between states and regions but venture capitalists were protected against foreign competition by direct and indirect subsidies. Corporate and contractual laws, lenient bank and bankruptcy laws, and the relative freedom from the demands of organized labor and the claims of environmentalists, all made for a society unusually hospitable to business enterprise. With a government comparatively young and small, no aristocracy, no church, and no standing army, the nation had few impediments to the expansion of market forces.
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