Economic Change in the Connecticut River Valley Before the Civil War

Presented by Dr. Christopher Clark, professor of history, University of Connecticut

Prior to the advent of the Civil War there were important adaptations in local agriculture, and a significant expansion of commerce and manufacturing as this region engaged in national economic developments. For many families and individuals, these changes brought upheavals; some moved away to pursue opportunities elsewhere, while new immigrants from Ireland, Canada and elsewhere began to settle in the Valley’s towns and farmlands.

Drawing on case-studies from local libraries and archives, this talk will explore the significant changes to peoples’ lives that accompanied the growth and transformation of the Connecticut Valley’s economy in the half-century or so before the American Civil War.

Christopher Clark is a Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. Three of his books are about the Connecticut Valley region: The Roots of Rural Capitalism: Western Massachusetts, 1780-1860; The Communitarian Moment: The Radical Challenge of the Northampton Community; and, edited with Kerry W. Buckley, Letters from an American Utopia.

Co-sponsored by the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association