John Sharpe, Ph.D. Program, History of Technology & Industrialization in the History Department at the University of Delaware
Ph.D. Program, History of Technology & Industrialization
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
John Sharpe is a 1993 distinguished graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in English, and emphases in political thought and history. Upon graduation he was awarded the Van Dyke Prize for standing highest in courses required to complete an English major, and received the Nancy R. Wicker Award for his Honours Essay on T. S. Eliot’s The Wasteland.
Following graduation from Annapolis, he graduated from Naval Nuclear Power School (Orlando, Fla.), Naval Prototype Training (Charleston, S.C.), and Naval Submarine School (Groton, Conn.). He then served aboard the Los Angeles class nuclear-powered submarine USS Atlanta (SSN 712), where he filled various officer duties, and obtained certification as a Nuclear Engineer Officer. Having completed tours of duty in Italy, at the Pentagon, and in other major naval and joint headquarters, Sharpe returned to academic work in 2007, became a University of Delaware Hagley Fellow in 2009, and completed an M.A. in History at Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.) in 2010.
In May 2011, Sharpe was advanced to doctoral candidacy, having completed his comprehensive exams; the same year he successfully defended his dissertation prospectus. Currently engaged in research and writing, he hopes to complete a substantive study on the activism and advocacy of small proprietorship in the English-speaking world from 1800 to 1940.
U.S. Naval Academy, B.S., English, 1993; Old Dominion University, M.A., History, 2010
Anti-industrial social criticism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (with a focus on England and the United States), interwar Catholic social and political movements in the English-speaking world, anti-Marxist socio-economic alternatives to liberal capitalism, and the evolution of the idea of property ownership in Western political and economic thought since ca. 1750.
“For the Re-Union of Labor and Capital: Motives, Men, and Movements Behind the Insurgency of Small Proprietorship Against Industrial Capitalism from 1800 to 1940”
In every nation where rationalist economic thought and economic modernization separated laborers from capital in the historical phenomenon eventually (if imprecisely) known as capitalism, small proprietors, artisan producers, labor agitators, and economic and social thinkers reacted contemporaneously to urge the reunion of the laborer with productive property. This dissertation reviews the writings, activism, archival records, and personal papers of several dozen of the key English-speaking individuals and associations to tell a portion of their story. Combining intellectual with social and cultural history, it aims to follow the thread of small-proprietor advocacy and action from early American republicans, to the producers of early industrialism, to late nineteenth-century wage-system opponents, and on to the prolific owner-operator apologists and activists of the inter-war years. Beginning with the 1840 missive of Orestes Brownson ("The Laboring Classes") and looking back to artisan, agrarian, and Revolutionary republicanism, and forward to the Distributists, Southern Agrarians, School of Living adherents, Catholic popes and bishops, and other unsung torch-bearers of an old, persistent ideal, “For the Re-Union of Labor and Capital” will offer an understanding of and appreciation for a unique and surprisingly consistent non-Marxist reaction to proletarianization that characterized the development of industrial capitalism.
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