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John Majewski

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Current Graduate Students

U.S. Sectionalism and Civil War

Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles, 1994

Office: HSSB 4225
Phone: (805) 893-2837   

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I teach and write about 19th-century U.S. history, with a emphasis on political economy. My work often analyzes a combination of statistical data and qualitative evidence to understand how people thought about wide-range of economic issues. Much of my work focuses on the slavery and the South, but I have done papers and chapters on the North as well, especially in regards to the rise of the corporation. One of my projects is looking at how differing attitudes towards education and economic creativity contributed to the coming of the Civil War. (more...)

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Nineteenth Century U.S. (especially Early Republic and Civil War)
  • Political Economy
  • Environmental History
  • History of Education and Schooling
  • Teaching History

Current Projects

  • Common Schools in the Kentucky Bluegrass Region
    How the most advanced slave economy in the U.S. lagged well behind in providing basic education for most residents.
  • Norfolk's Postbellum Economic Revolution
    Shows how railroads and new shipping technology transformed Norfolk after the Civil War.
  • Threshold Concepts and the Teaching of History
    See this paper for a good sense of where this research is headed.
  • Patenting in the Kentucky Bluegrass
    In-progress paper showing that patenting rates in the Bluegass lagged far behind neighboring Ohio.

Selected Publications

  • Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Vision of the Confederate Nation
    UNC Press, 2009
  • A House Dividing: Economic Development in Pennsylvania and Virginia before the Civil War
    New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Shifting Cultivation, Slavery, and Economic Development." Co-authored with Viken Tchakerian.
    Agricultural History 81 (Fall 2007)
  • "Toward a Social History of the Corporation: Shareholding in Pennsylvania, 1800-1840,"
    in The Economy of Early America: Historical Perspectives and New Directions edited by Cathy Matson (University of Pennsylvania, 2006).
  • Markets and Manufacturing: Industry and Agriculture in the Antebellum South and Midwest" Co-authored with Viken Tchakerian.
    in Susana Delfino and Michele Gillespie (eds.), Global Perspectives on Industrial Transformation in the American South (University of Missouri Press, 2005).
  • “Imagining ‘A Great Manufacturing Empire’: Virginia and the Possibilities of a Confederate Tariff, Co-authored wtih Jay Carlander.
    Civil War History 49 (December 2003): 334-352.

Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

  • History 17B
  • History 162 (U. S. Early Republic)
  • History 164 (U. S. Civil War)