352 pages, 9.48 × 6.42 × 1.3 in
April 27, 2006
Ivan R. Dee
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1566636868
ISBN - 13: 9781566636865
About the Book
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.
From the Publisher
The processes of social change in the late colonial period and early years of the new Republic made a dramatic imprint on the character of American society. These changes over a century or more were rooted in the origins of the United States, its rapid expansion of people and territory, its patterns of economic change and development, and the conflicts that led to its cataclysmic division and reunification through the Civil War. Christopher Clark's brilliant account of these changes in the social relationships of Americans breaks new ground in its emphasis on the connections between the crucial importance of free and unfree labor, regional characteristics, and the sustained tension between arguments for geographic expansion versus economic development. Mr. Clark traces the significance of families and households throughout the period, showing how work and different kinds of labor produced a varied access to power and wealth among free and unfree, male and female, and how the character of social elites was confronted by democratic pressures. He shows how the features of the different regions exercised long-term influences in American society and politics and were modified by pressures for change. And he explains how the widening gap between the claims of free labor and those of slavery fueled the continuing dispute over the best economic course for the nation's future and led ultimately to the Civil War. Like other long-running divisions in American society, however, this dispute was not fully resolved by the war's outcome. Social Change in America is a compelling new overview of the social dynamics of America's early years.
About the Author
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.
No programme for a course on American history for this period should do without listing this book.