Ariel Ron

ron ariel

Glenn M. Linden Associate Professor of the U.S. Civil War Era



Office: Dallas Hall Room 56
Phone: 214-768-4043
Email: aron[@]
Professional website:

Educational Background

University of California-Berkeley, Ph.D. (2012) & M.A. (2007), University of Maryland-College Park, B.A., 2000


I’m a historian of nineteenth-century U.S. politics and economics, with particular interest in agriculture, energy and development.

My book, Grassroots Leviathan: Northern Agricultural Reform in the Slaveholding Republic, came out in 2020 with Johns Hopkins University Press and won best-book awards from the Agricultural History Society and the Center for Civil War Research. Publisher info is here. A general audience review is here.

I’ve held fellowships at the Library Company of Philadelphia, Yale University’s Center for the Study of Representative Institutions, Cornell University’s Society for the Humanities, and, most recently, at the Library of Congress’s Kluge Center.

I also occasionally serve as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working toward a viable protein future.


The Civil War and Reconstruction

The Energy History of the United States

The Intellectual History of Capitalism

The United States as a Developing Country


King Hay: Energy History and Economic Nationalism in the American Civil War Era

The Great Government Giveaway: The Land-Grant Era in American Capitalism

Toward a History of the Associative-Developmental State in America


Grassroots Leviathan: Northern Agricultural Reform in the Slaveholding Republic (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020)

  • Theodore Saloutos Memorial Award for the best book on agricultural history in the United States from the Agricultural History Society
  • Wiley Silver Prize for Best First Book in Civil War History from the Center for Civil War Research

“When Hay Was King: Energy History and Economic Nationalism in the Nineteenth-Century United States,” accepted by the American Historical Review.

“The Money War: Taxes, Inflation and Democracy in the American Civil War,” accepted by the Cambridge Journal of Economics (with Sofia Valeonti). SSRN working paper version.

“Taking Stock of the State in Nineteenth-Century America,” Journal of the Early Republic 38 (Spring 2018): 61-66 (with Gautham Rao, an introduction to a special forum in the journal). Link (no paywall).

“Summoning the State: Northern Farmers and the Transformation of American Politics in the Mid-Nineteenth Century,” Journal of American History 103 (Sep 2016): 347-374. Link (no paywall).

“Scientific Agriculture and the Agricultural State: Farmers, Capitalism, and Government in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 14 (Jul 2016): 294-309. Link (no paywall).

“Henry Carey’s Rural Roots: ‘Scientific Agriculture’ and Economic Development in the Antebellum North,” Journal of the History of Economic Thought 37 (Jun 2015): 263-275. Link (no paywall).


In 2022 I wrote a white paper for the Good Food Institute, co-authored with Alex Smith of the Breakthrough Institute, entitled, “American National Competitiveness and the Future of Meat: Why the United States Needs to Build Up a Domestic Alternative Proteins Industry” (link). A shorter and slightly updated version of our key points appeared as “Meat without Animals” in Noema Magazine (link).

On the first anniversary of January 6, I wrote a piece comparing how changes to the structure of the media in the present and in the antebellum era have had some analogous political consequences.

This page last updated August 2022