Michael Blaakman

Michael Blaakman (1)I am an historian of politics, culture, and capitalism in early America. My book project, “Speculation Nation: Land and Mania in the Revolutionary American Republic, 1776-1803,” examines the frantic wave of land speculation that swept across the early republic in the quarter-century after U.S. independence; it focuses particularly on the relationships between revolution, financial interests, state formation, and the origins of U.S. empire. The research for this project has been generously supported by the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, among others. I am also interested in gender history; my microhistorical article—”Martha Bradstreet and the ‘Epithet of Woman‘: A Story of Land, Libel, Litigation, and Legitimating ‘Unwomanly’ Behavior in the Early Republic”—appears in the summer 2015 issue of Early American Studies.

Originally from Rochester, New York, I did my undergraduate work at William & Mary. Between college and graduate school, a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship brought me to a university in Košice, Slovakia, where I taught English and American Studies. In 2016 I received my Ph.D. in history from Yale University. I’m now an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minn., and—during the fall semester of 2016—a postdoctoral fellow at the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Program in Early American Economy and Society.

When not rummaging through monographs and archives, I love teaching about early America, working as a writing advisor at Yale’s Graduate Writing Center, cooking, sailing, choral singing, and taking long drives on historic roads.