Those Who Stayed Behind: Rural Society in Nineteenth-century New England

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In a departure from the longstanding emphasis on the frontier in American historical writing, Hal Barron employs a range of sources to reconstruct the social and economic history of a nineteenth-century rural community - Chelsea, Vermont -which was profoundly affected by population loss and economic stagnation at a time when most of the country was experiencing geographical expansion and economic growth. The author's lucid, accessible account explores the hard choices faced by the people of Chelsea as the economic vitality drained out of their community and shows how they dealt with these choices. Using new methods of social history to place Chelsea in the larger context of nineteenth-century American culture and society, this book provides an innovative contribution to the history of rural America.