One may have to go all the way back to the founding of the United States to find a time when the established economic and political order was as threatened politically as Wall Street financiers, party leaders and Washington insiders find themselves today.
In the years following the Declaration of Independence, the former colonies operated as a loose collection of individual states governed by the Articles of Confederation. Experience with the British crown had ingrained such a deep distrust of centralized power that the former British subjects organized their governments around powerful state legislatures that shared radical democratic sentiments with their constituents. As Isaac Kramnick noted in an introduction to the Federalist Papers, state legislators between 1776 and 1787 flooded their states with cheap money, passed radical debtor relief, promoted laws that set aside legal contracts, confiscated property at will and even stopped the repaying of debts.
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