An interpretive history of the processes of social change in the early years of the new republic. It concentrates on the nation's expansion, which saw the rapid growth of rural societies based on family labor, slavery, and wage labor, but also an intensification of economic activity that fostered the growth of commerce, towns, and manufacturing; applied new technologies to transport and communications; and initiated mass immigration from overseas. The character of the social relationships between groups and individuals that were shaped by, and helped shape, these events is the subject of Clark's book.
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Christopher Clark is professor of history at the University of Connecticut and author of The Communitarian Movement and The Roots of Rural Capitalism. Born in England, he studied at the University of Warwick and did his graduate work at Harvard University. He has received the Frederick Jackson Turner Award of the Organization of American Historians. He lives in Storrs, Connecticut.
At last we have a book that interprets the broad sweep of social change in America. -- Don H. Doyle, McCausland Professor of History, University of South Carolina This is an intelligent and extraordinarily useful volume. Dense with information and insight ... a thoroughly rewarding read. -- Jonathan Prude In this concise and lucid book, Christopher Clark clearly and insightfully explores a sweeping transformation of American society. -- Alan Taylor, University of California, Davis A compelling synthesis of American social history ... Clark's narrative captures brilliantly and clearly the way [of] the American Revolution. -- Paul G. E. Clemens, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Beautifully written. -- David W. Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History, Yale University, and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University Offers something different-the opportunity to survey changes and their lasting, far-reaching impact on American society... A fundamental coverage. California Bookwatch Deeply researched ... unassailable. -- Harry Watson Reviews In American History Drawing richly on recent literature, Clark weaves extensive data into a broad and readable summary of current academic concerns and conclusions. -- David Grimsted Journal of Social History Deft, fast-paced, and sweeping survey of the major changes in the American economy and social structure during the antebellum years. Journal of Southern History For the discerning reader, Clark presents ideas that provoke deeper thought. The Historian No programme for a course on American history for this period should do without listing this book. Journal of American Studies
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