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Ely, Richard Theodore

SKU: AUT2006

$30.00



Richard Theodore Ely (1854–1943) was an American economist, author, and leader of the Progressive movement who called for more government intervention in order to reform what they perceived as the injustices of capitalism, especially regarding factory conditions, compulsory education, child labor, and labor unions.  Autograph Slip Writing Signed, 10/12/1894 -  3 1/2 x 2 1/2 written in blk ink with no appearance of age-toning.  Overall, very fine condition. 

"Richard Theodore Ely (1854-1943) was an American economist, author, and leader of the Progressive movement who called for more government intervention in order to reform what they perceived as the injustices of capitalism, especially regarding factory conditions, compulsory education, child labor, and labor unions. Ely is best remembered as a founder and the first Secretary of the American Economic Association, as a founder and secretary of the Christian Social Union, and as the author of a series of widely-read books on the organized labor movement, socialism, and other social questions.

Ely was educated at Columbia University, graduating in philosophy in 1876, and at the University of Heidelberg, where he received his Ph.D. in 1879. As a professor of political economy at Johns Hopkins University (1881-92), he advocated greater academic freedom and promoted a then-controversial account of the labour movement. This aroused enough indignation at Johns Hopkins to prompt his resignation. He then served as head of the department of economics at the University of Wisconsin (1892-1925).

Ely combined a strong political commitment with a belief in the need for an ethical approach to economics. Influenced by John Stuart Mill, who had emphasized the importance of institutional forces in directing distribution, Ely explored issues such as labour unrest, agricultural economics, and the problems of rural poverty.

Among the many civic organizations and institutions he founded or helped to create are the American Economic Association and the American Association for Labor Legislation. Ely's belief in government solutions to people's problems and his association with the progressive social programs sponsored by the state of Wisconsin made him one of the most influential American economists of his time. He wrote a highly successful textbook, Introduction to Political Economy (1889), as well as many other books and articles.

Death and legacy:
The Richard T. Ely House in Madison, Wisconsin

Richard Ely died in Old Lyme, Connecticut on October 4, 1943. A large portion of his library was purchased by Louisiana State University and is now a part of LSU's Special Collections division.

Ely is honored together with William Dwight Porter Bliss with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on October 8.

The American Economic Association instituted the annual "Richard T. Ely Lecture" in 1960 in his memory, which, unlike the Association's other honors is also open to non-American economists.

His former home, now known as the Richard T. Ely House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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