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What were the foundations of the American spirit of free enterprise?

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gman1911 | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted May 10, 2011 at 2:11 PM via web

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What were the foundations of the American spirit of free enterprise?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 10, 2011 at 2:17 PM (Answer #1)

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It seems likely that your textbook gives an answer that you are supposed to come up with.  I say this because this is a very subjective question and there is no real objective way to answer it.  So I really suggest that you check your book to see what it says.

One can argue that the foundation of the American spirit of free enterprise was the Protestant work ethic that Max Weber talked about.  This idea holds that Protestants were driven by the idea that work was righteous for its own sake.  People should work as hard as possible at all times rather than just doing enough to get by.  This attitude, it can be argued, caused Americans to be very capitalistic and to value free enterprise.

One can also argue that it was the lack of class structure that made the US value free enterprise.  Since in America all people were equal and all people could get ahead, there was a real incentive to work hard and to be entrepreneurial.  This helped cause Americans to believe in free enterprise.

Either of these is a plausible answer and other answers are possible.  I once again recommend that you check your book for what it says is the right answer.

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