Christopher Clark

Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., Harvard

Areas of Specialty

18th and 19th century North American and United States social and cultural history; the social history of economic life; the history of American capitalism; rural societies and industrialisation; abolitionism and utopian communities; New England

Current Research Interests

Ideas about rural society and land reform in the U.S. and overseas, c. 1750-1960


Christopher Clark grew up in the London area, studied at the University of Warwick, and obtained his PhD in History at Harvard. He taught at the University of York for eighteen years, and was Professor of North American History at the University of Warwick for another seven years before moving to UConn in 2005. He has held visiting fellowships at Selwyn College, Cambridge; the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution; St. Catherine’s College, Oxford; and the UConn Humanities Institute. He retired from UConn in 2022.

Courses Taught

HIST 5543 “Social Change in 19th Century America” (Graduate seminar)

HIST 5195 “American Land and Society” (Graduate seminar)

HIST 4994W “America and the World” (Senior seminar)

HIST 4994W “Modern Utopias” (Senior seminar)

HIST 3520 “Social and Cultural History of Connecticut and New England”

AMST 1700 “American Landscapes: Walden” (Honors core course)


(with Nancy Hewitt) Who Built America? Working People and the Nation’s History, vol. 1, To 1877 3rd edition (New York: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2007).

Social Change in America from the Revolution to the Civil War (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006).

(Edited, with Kerry W. Buckley) Letters from an American Utopia: The Stetson Family and the Northampton Association, 1843-1847 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2004).

(with Nancy Hewitt) Who Built America? Working People and American History, Society, Politics, and Culture vol. 1, To 1877, 2nd edition (New York: Worth Publishers, 2000).

The Communitarian Moment: The Radical Challenge of the Northampton Association (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1995).

The Roots of Rural Capitalism: Western Massachusetts, 1780-1860 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1990).


“Colonial America,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Ancien Regime, ed. William Doyle (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

“The Agrarian Context of American Capitalist Development,” in Capitalism Takes Command: Social Revolution in Nineteenth-Century America, ed. Michael Zakim and Gary J. Kornblith (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).

“A Wealth of Notions: Interpreting Economy and Morality in Early America,” Early American Studies 8, no. 3 (Fall 2010).

“Heavens on Earth: Christian Utopias in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century America,” in God’s Bounty? The Churches and the Natural World, ed. P. Clarke and T. Claydon [Studies in Church History, vol. 46] (2010).

“Comment on the Symposium on Class in the Early Republic,” Journal of the Early Republic 25 (Winter 2005): 546-551.

“Industry and Technology,” in A New Introduction to American Studies, ed. Howard Temperley and C.W.E. Bigsby (London: Pearson, 2005).

“The Travails of the 19 th Century American Silk Industry,” in Marjorie Senechal, ed., Silk Unraveled: Threads of Human History [Smith College Studies in History, vol. 53] (Northampton, MA, 2005).

“The Ohio Country in the Political Economy of Nation Building,” in The Center of a Great Empire: The Ohio Country in the Early Republic, ed. Andrew Cayton and Stuart Hobbs (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2005).

“The View from the Farmhouse: Rural Lives in the Early Republic,” Journal of the Early Republic 24 (2004): 198-207.

“A Mother and her Daughters at the Northampton Community: New Evidence on Women in Utopia,” New England Quarterly 75, no. 4 (December 2002): 592-621.

“Reshaping Society: American Social History from Revolution to Reconstruction,” in The State of U.S. History, ed. Melvyn Stokes (London: Berg, 2002).

” ‘Martyrs to a Nice Sense of Honor’: Exemplars of Commercial Morality in 19th Century America,” in Heroic Reputations and Exemplary Lives, ed. Geoffrey Cubitt and Allen Warren (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000).

“Rural America and the Transition to Capitalism,” Journal of the Early Republic 16, no. 2 (June 1996): 223-236.

“The Consequences of the Market Revolution in the American North,” in The Market Revolution: Social, Cultural and Religious Expressions, ed. Melvyn Stokes and Stephen Conway (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996).

“Social Structure and Manufacturing before the Factory: Rural New England, 1750-1830,” in The Workplace before the Factory, ed. Thomas Max Safley and Leonard Rosenband (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993).

“Agrarian Societies and Economic Development in Nineteenth-Century North America,” Development and Underdevelopment in America: Contrasts of Economic Growth in North and Latin America in Historical Perspective, ed. Walther L. Bernecker and Hans Werner Tobler (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1993).

“Economics and Culture: Opening Up the Rural History of the Early American Northeast,” American Quarterly 43 no 2 (June 1991): 279-301.

“Household Economy and Labor in Rural Massachusetts: The Connecticut Valley, 1750‑1830,” in Travail et loisir dans les sociétés pre-industrielles, ed. Barbara Karsky and Elise Marienstras (Nancy: Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 1991).

“The Truck System in Nineteenth‑Century New England: An Interpretation,” in Merchant Credit and Labour Strategies in Historical Perspective, ed. Rosemary E. Ommer (Fredericton, N.B.: Acadiensis Press, 1990).

“The Diary of an Apprentice Cabinetmaker: Edward Jenner Carpenter’s ‘Journal’, 1844‑45,” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 98 (1988): 303-394.

“Household Economy, Market Exchange and the Rise of Capitalism in the Connecticut Valley, 1800‑1860,” Journal of Social History 13 (1979‑80): 169-189.

“The Railroad Safety Problem in the United States, 1890‑1920,” Transport History 7 (1974).

Christopher Clark, professor of history
Contact Information
Mailing Address241 Glenbrook Rd, U-4103, Storrs CT 06269