Economic Development in the Early American Republic

American economic growth was halting and uneven during the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. The growth of the American economy reshaped American life in the decades before the Civil War. Americans increasingly produced goods for sale, not for consumption. With a larger exchange network connected by improved transportations, the introduction of labor-saving technology, and the[…]

Paper Money and Inflation in Colonial America

A lack of money plagued colonial America. Introduction Inflation is often thought to be the result of excessive money creation—too many dollars chasing too few goods. While in principle this is true, in practice there can be a lot of leeway, so long as trust in the monetary authority’s ability to keep things under control[…]

The Use of Wood in Early American Infrastructure

America was soon wealthy enough to start to replace its timber infrastructure with one of steel and concrete. At the end of the eighteenth century, the newly formed United States of America was a country of widely-scattered rural settlements. It’s therefore one of the miracles of history that just a century later it transformed itself[…]

Dominating Castles in the Medieval English Landscape

Castles are best seen as an architectural expression of the social status of their owners. Introduction The traditional view of a medieval English castle is that it was designed for warfare, suggesting that medieval lords were perpetually either at war or preparing for it. Until recently castles were mostly studied by military men or at[…]