A Nation Wholly Free

The Elimination of the National Debt in the Age of Jackson

By Carl Lane

Understanding the National Debt

What Every American Needs to Know
By Carl Lane


Tim Reuter, Forbes

"The quest for, and eventual achievement of, debt freedom on January 1, 1835 is the subject of Carl Lane’s fascinating book, A Nation Wholly Free... The result is an excellent story about finance and political will that should enlighten the present debate about the public debt."

Publishers Weekly

“Historian Lane delivers a superbly written exploration of a narrow subject in the fading past, making it feel surprisingly relevant to modern readers...This is first-rate history rendered with unusual clarity and verve.”

Daniel Shuchman, Wall Street Journal

"A Nation Wholly Free is Mr. Lane’s fascinating exploration of what led to the brief interlude of 1835-37, the only time in its existence when the United States had no debt." 



Carl Lane is a professor emeritus of history at Felician University and author of Understanding The National Debt: What every American Needs to Know and A Nation Wholly Free: The Elimination of the National Debt in the Age of Jackson (Westholme Publishing).

Carl received his Ph.D. in history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His articles have appeared in William and Mary QuarterlyVirginia Magazine of History and Biography, and several other publications.

His article “The Elimination of the National Debt in 1835 and the Meaning of Jacksonian Democracy” in Essays in Economic and Business History won that journal’s James Soltow Award. Carl and his wife live in Montclair, New Jersey.

Author + Historian + Professor


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"Thank you for your interest in Understanding The National Debt and A Nation Wholly Free. I appreciate your thoughtful notes and correspondence." - Carl Lane


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Author + Historian + Professor

© 2020 by Carl Lane