A People's History of the United States Questions and Answers
by Howard Zinn

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According to Chapter 10 of A People's History of the United States, how did federal and state governments facilitate monopolies before the Civil War?

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Zinn writes of the Industrial Revolution, "the government of the United States was behaving almost exactly as Karl Marx described a capitalist state: pretending neutrality to maintain order, but serving the interests of the rich." Before the Civil War, as described in Chapter 10, the government intervened to put down working-class revolutions. The two-party system at the state and federal level prevented change, as both parties were similar and in favor of business. For example, during the anti-rent movement in upstate New York in the 1840s, the governor sent in troops to put down the rebellion. Instead, the working class realized that they had to achieve gains by voting, and they were then part of the system, "leaving the basic system of rich and poor intact." When the Dorr Rebellion threatened to disrupt order in Rhode Island, the state militia put it down and instituted reforms that privileged voters from agrarian areas who had paid poll taxes. In addition, state governments allowed...

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