Social Change in America: From the Revolution to the Civil War

Social Change in America: From the Revolution to the Civil War

by Christopher Clark
     
 

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

The Journal of Southern History
Deft, fast-paced, and sweeping survey of the major changes in the American economy and social structure during the antebellum years.
Don H. Doyle
At last we have a book that interprets the broad sweep of social change in America.
Jonathan Prude
This is an intelligent and extraordinarily useful volume. Dense with information and insight . . . a thoroughly rewarding read.
Alan Taylor
In this concise and lucid book, Christopher Clark clearly and insightfully explores a sweeping transformation of American society.
Paul G. E. Clemens
A compelling synthesis of American social history . . . Clark's narrative captures brilliantly and clearly the way [of] the American Revolution.
David W. Blight
Beautifully written.
Reviews In American History - Harry Watson
Deeply researched . . . unassailable.
Journal of Social History - David Grimsted
Drawing richly on recent literature, Clark weaves extensive data into a broad and readable summary of current academic concerns and conclusions.
The Journal Of Southern History
Deft, fast-paced, and sweeping survey of the major changes in the American economy and social structure during the antebellum years.
Journal of American Studies
No programme for a course on American history for this period should do without listing this book.
Journal of Southern History
Deft, fast-paced, and sweeping survey of the major changes in the American economy and social structure during the antebellum years.
The Historian
For the discerning reader, Clark presents ideas that provoke deeper thought.
Yale University
Beautifully written.
— David W. Blight
California Bookwatch
Offers something different—the opportunity to survey changes and their lasting, far-reaching impact on American society. . . . A fundamental coverage.
Reviews In American History
Deeply researched . . . unassailable.
— Harry Watson
Journal Of Social 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 Southern History
Deft, fast-paced, and sweeping survey of the major changes in the American economy and social structure during the antebellum years.
Journal Of American Studies
No programme for a course on American history for this period should do without listing this book.
Journal of Social History
Drawing richly on recent literature, Clark weaves extensive data into a broad and readable summary of current academic concerns.
— David Grimsted
Historian
For the discerning reader, Clark presents ideas that provoke deeper thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566636865
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
05/25/2006
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.48(h) x 1.30(d)

What People are saying about this

Jonathan Prude
"This is an intelligent and extraordinarily useful volume. Dense with information and insight...a thoroughly rewarding read. "
David W. Blight
"Beautifully written."
Yale University
Alan Taylor
"In this concise and lucid book, Christopher Clark clearly and insightfully explores a sweeping transformation of American society."
Paul G.E. Clemens
"A compelling synthesis of American social history...Clark's narrative captures brilliantly and clearly the way [of] the American Revolution."
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Don H. Doyle
"At last we have a book that interprets the broad sweep of social change in America."
McCausland Professor of History, University of South Carolina

Meet 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.

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