Cathy Matson, Richards Professor Emerita of American History in the History Department at the University of Delaware
Richards Professor Emerita of American History
University of Delaware
Cathy Matson teaches courses in the early modern Atlantic World, colonial North America, the Revolutionary Atlantic, and material life in early America. She is currently completing a study of Philadelphia’s Revolutionary and early national economic culture and material networks with the Atlantic world down to 1815. A second book in progress is about the economy of color during the eighteenth century. Another long-term project compares the regional economies of New York City and Philadelphia from roughly 1720 to 1820. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1985. Publications include A Union of Interests(1990; repr. Ppb. 1997); Merchants and Empire (1998; Ppb. 2002; repr. 2007); editor plus chapter 1 of The Economy of Early America: Achievements and New Directions (2005, 2007); The American Experiment (2001; 2nd ed., 2005; 3rd ed. 2008), and numerous articles on American economic culture and political economy. Dr. Matson is also the director of the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company in Philadelphia.
- The American Experiment: A History of the United States, Volume 2: Since 1865 With Steven M. Gillon (Cengage Learning, 2001; 2nd ed., 2005; 3rd ed. 2008)
- Merchants and Empire: Trading in Colonial New York (Johns Hopkins University Press,1998; Ppb. 2002; repr. 2007))
- A Union of Interests: Political and Economic Thought in Revolutionary America With Peter Onuf (University Press of Kansas, 1990; repr. Ppb. 1997)
- The Economy of Early America: Historical Perspectives and New Directions (Penn State University Press, 2011).
Articles and Book Chapters
- “Mathew Carey’s Learning Experience: Commerce, Manufacturing, and the Panic of 1819,” in Early American Studies, 11 (Fall 2013), 455-485.
- “Imperial Political Economy: An Ideological Debate and Shifting Practices,” William and Mary Quarterly (Jan. 2012), 35-40, part of a special forum on “Rethinking Mercantilism. ”
- “A Port in the Storm: Philadelphia’s Commerce During the Atlantic Revolutionary Era,” in Thomas Bender, et al., eds., Revolution: The Atlantic World Reborn (New York and London: N-Y Historical Society, 2011), pp. 65-90.
- "Flimsy Fortunes: Americans’ Fascination with Paper Speculation and their Familiarity with Panics,” in Special Issue of Common-Place, Michael Zakim, ed., (April, 2010), Vol. 10, #3.
- “Permeable Empires: The Commercial Exchanges of New York with Spanish Possessions Before 1800,” for Nueva York, 1613-1945, ed. Edward Sullivan, (Yale, 2010), chapter 2, 82-95.
- “Economic Networks of Dutch traders and the British Colonial Empire, 1624-1783,” in Willem Frijoff and Jaap Jacobs, ed., Four Centuries of Dutch-American Relations, 1609-2009 (Amsterdam and New York, 2009).
- “Accounting for War and Revolution: Philadelphia Merchants and Commercial Risk, 1774-1811,” in Margaret Jacobs, ed., The Self Perception of Early Modern Capitalists (Palgrave, 2008), chap 8.
- “Philadelphia in the Early Republic: Qualified Recovery,” in Ann Wagner and Donald Fennimore, eds., Silversmiths to the Nation, Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner, 1808-1848 (Winterthur Museum Publications, 2007), chapter 1.
|The American Experiment: A History of the United States, Volume 2: Since 1865||Matson, Cathy||Steven M. Gillon||Cengage Learning||2008||http://college.cengage.com/history/us/gillon/am_exp/3e/student_home.html||<p>Approaching the American history survey
course in an innovative way, this mid-length text features a more
expansive definition of political history that includes all forms of
politics, not just electoral politics, while simultaneously
incorporating cultural history. With the specific aim of expanding
history beyond elite actors, The American Experiment emphasizes everyday
work, family life, customs, and objects of cultural history to address
its four themes: the role of government, American identity, the broad
concept of "culture," and America and the world. The Third Edition
features an enhanced thematic approach that helps students understand
America's development as an experiment in politics, culture, and
identity, within a global context.</p>|
|The Economy of Early America Historical Perspectives and New Directions||Matson, Cathy||The Pennsylvania State University Press and the Library Company of Philadelphia||2006||http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/0-271-02711-8.html||<p>In recent years, scholars in a number of disciplines have focused their
attention on understanding the early American economy. The result has
been an outpouring of scholarship, some of it dramatically revising
older methodologies and findings, and some of it charting entirely new
territory—new subjects, new places, and new arenas of study that might
not have been considered “economic” in the past.</p><p><em>The Economy of Early America</em>
enters this resurgent discussion of the early American economy by
showcasing the work of leading scholars who represent a spectrum of
historiographical and methodological viewpoints. Contributors include
David Hancock, Russell Menard, Lorena Walsh, Christopher Tomlins, David
Waldstreicher, Terry Bouton, Brooke Hunter, Daniel Dupre, John Majewski,
Donna Rilling, and Seth Rockman, as well as Cathy Matson.
|Merchants and Empire: Trading in Colonial New York||Matson, Cathy||Johns Hopkins University Press||1998||https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/content/merchants-and-empire||<p>n <em>Merchants and Empire</em>, Cathy Matson examines the economic ideas
and behavior of New York City's commercial wholesalers, especially the
middling merchants who, as a majority of active traders, affected the
character of city commerce over its colonial years. Although less
prominent in transatlantic dry goods commerce than the great traders,
this middling majority spread dissenting economic ideas and flouted
political authority time and again when the benefits to their interests
were clear. Indeed, middling or lesser merchants fashioned a plausible
alternative to mercantilism, and contributed significantly to the
challenges Americans offered to British rule in the final colonial
|A Union of Interests: Political and Economic Thought in Revolutionary America||Matson, Cathy||Peter Onuf||University Press of Kansas||1997||https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj1jeiT8KHeAhWtY98KHT2fB9IQFjABegQIBRAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fkansaspress.ku.edu%2F978-0-7006-1110-2.html&usg=AOvVaw3DJpv5JbSzt2-Zx57NFx6m||<p>From the onset of the Revolution in 1776 to the inauguration of the
federal government in 1789, the American political culture was
transformed. The movement for an effective continental republic is here
linked to the groundswell for development and economic freedom set off
by the Revolution. A Union of Interests reconstructs the discourse of
American federalism, a discourse grounded in the debate over the role of
government in the regulation of the economy. </p><p>Cathy Matson and
Peter Onuf integrate analyses of economic ideas and interests with many
of the critical problems facing the union after the war—such as
jurisdictional disputes, threats of secession, and new prospects for
frontier settlement. The revolutionary ideology that had justified the
creation of sovereign states under the Articles of Confederation seemed
increasingly "artificial" in light of the pressing need to create a
"natural," extended republic that would be truer to the changing
circumstances of the American people. The authors demonstrate that the
movement for the Constitution drew upon increasingly popular
political-economic ideas that sought to reconcile the apparent conflicts
between a national interest and the "enlightened" self-interest of
citizens. A pivotal chapter argues that the Constitutional Convention
was itself both a product of this broad public discussion about
America's future and a contribution to it in which the founders debated
the limits to which they should compromise their distinct goals to fit
this emerging vision.</p>|
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