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Trade SecretsIntellectual Piracy and the Origins of American Industrial Power$
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Doron S. Ben-Atar

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100068

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100068.001.0001

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After the Revolution “The American Seduction of Machines and Artisans”

After the Revolution “The American Seduction of Machines and Artisans”

(p.78) Chapter 4 After the Revolution “The American Seduction of Machines and Artisans”
Trade Secrets

Doron S. Ben-Atar

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the idea that the transfer of protected European technology was a prominent feature of the economic, political, and diplomatic life of the North American confederation from its first moments as an independent political entity. In the political vacuum created by the Revolution and its immediate aftermath, private voluntary initiatives by individuals and ad hoc organizations played an inordinately large role in this process. The chapter reveals that it was private proponents of industrialization who undertook the project of importing forbidden European technology to the United States. In some sense, those Americans acted as if they subscribed to Franklin's rejection of politically bounded intellectual property. After all, their efforts to lure artisans and smuggle machines openly flouted rivals' efforts to block the diffusion of industrial knowledge across the Atlantic and challenged the intellectual property laws of other sovereign nations.

Keywords:   European technology, industrialization, intellectual property, machines, exportation

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