Feb 20, 2012

'Rhett Butler and the Demise of the Confederacy'

(Newport News, Va.) - The Christopher Newport University BB&T Colloquium Series on Capitalism will host a lecture titled “Rhett Butler and the Demise of the Confederacy” on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, at 4 p.m. in Gaines Theatre. The event is free and open to the public. No reservation is required.

The outcome of the Civil War is often seen as a matter of military strategy, but guest lecturer and economist Mark Thornton offers a different view: economic policy played an important role in the South’s loss and the North’s victory. In Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War, Thornton and co-author Robert Ekelund explore economic factors such as the protectionist tariffs advocated by Lincoln, tariff uncertainty and the South’s secession, the ruinous inflation that resulted from efforts to pay for the war, the North’s blockade of the South, and the subsequent flood of luxury goods amid a lack of basic necessities - the so-called “Rhett Butler effect.” Thornton will discuss these and other lessons in economics from this critical period in American history.

Thornton is a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He serves as book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, is past editor of the Austrian Economics Newsletter and served on the editorial board of the Journal of Libertarian Studies. He has served on the faculties of Auburn University and Columbus State University, where he won the University Research Award in 2002, and has taught economics at Auburn and Trinity University in Texas. He served as assistant superintendent of banking and economic adviser to Governor Fob James of Alabama from 1997-99. His publications include The Economics of Prohibition (1991); Tariffs, Blockades, and Inflation: The Economics of the Civil War (2004); The Quotable Mises (2005); The Bastiat Collection (2007); and An Essay on Economic Theory (2010). He earned a PhD in economics from Auburn.

For more information on the BB&T Colloquium Series, visit professorship.cnu.edu/colloquia

A four-year public university in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences through the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences, including the Luter School of Business. CNU offers great teaching and small class sizes with an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor.

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Lori Jacobs
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