Dr Tom Cutterham

Dr Tom Cutterham

Department of History
Senior Lecturer in United States History

Contact details

Arts Building, Room 235

Tom Cutterham is a historian of Revolutionary America and the late eighteenth-century Atlantic world. He teaches the history of North America from the first English colonisations to the end of the nineteenth century, including courses on women in the American Revolution and the meaning of freedom in American history. Following his first book, Gentlemen Revolutionaries: Power and Justice in the New American Republic (Princeton University Press, 2017), he is currently working on a biography of Angelica Schuyler Church. His work explores the roles of class, commerce, and culture in the Age of Revolutions, and the emergence of capitalism in a world of empires.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2016
  • DPhil (Oxford) 2014
  • MSt (Oxford) 2010
  • BA (Oxford) 2009


Before arriving at Birmingham in 2016, Tom spent ten years at the University of Oxford. He took his undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees at St Hugh’s College, followed by three years as the Sir Christopher Cox Junior Fellow at New College. His studies were supported by the Rothermere American Institute, where he co-convened the US History graduate seminar and the seminar in Atlantic World history. He also hosted the RAI’s 2013 international conference, “Charles Beard, Economic Interpretation, and History.” Since reaching Birmingham, Tom has presented at a joint session of the Modern & Contemporary History and Reformation & Early Modern History seminars, organised a one-day symposium on “History and Public Policy,” hosted Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian Alan Taylor, and participated in the BRIHC political economy work-in-progress seminar. He also writes for a variety of venues, including Times Higher EducationThe Nation, and the early American history blog The Junto. You can find out more on his personal website, www.tomcutterham.com


  • (American & Canadian Studies) Foundations of American History to 1890
  • Making of the Modern World: lectures on the Age of Revolutions
  • (Practicing History A) “Remember the Ladies”: Women and the American Revolution
  • (Group Research) The Worlds of the Founders: Revolutionary America, 1750-1826
  • Give Me Liberty: The Meaning of Freedom in American History, 1776-1890
  • MA Historical Methods: lecture on “Class and Marxist History”

Tom has also supervised undergraduate dissertations on a range of American topics, from twentieth-century economic ideas to nineteenth-century slavery, loyalism in the American Revolution, and the depiction of the American west in scholarship and film.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Cutterham is able to co-supervise post-graduate work in many areas of Atlantic and American history, from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. He is particularly interested in projects which address the eighteenth-century transformations of the British Atlantic world, including the American Revolution, and in work which seeks to grapple with the history of commerce, capitalism, and/or political thought in this period.

Find out more - our PhD History  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


Tom’s current work focuses on the Atlantic World in the late-eighteenth century Age of Revolutions. He is writing a biography of Angelica Schuyler Church, which explores the processes of bourgeois class-formation in this period through the lens of her ideas, exploits, and transatlantic voyages. This project has benefited from the support of the International Center for Thomas Jefferson Studies at Monticello, Virginia. He is also working on a number of articles about merchants, finance, and commerce in the 1780s.

Other activities

Alongside regular teaching and research, Dr Cutterham writes frequently in the public sphere in the United States and United Kingdom, for venues such as Times Higher Education, The Nation, and The New Republic. He is a founding member of the early American history group blog The Junto, and a contributor to other blogs, including Notches and Age of Revolutions. Tom is also interested in public engagement and the interactions between history and policy. In spring 2017 he hosted a symposium on “History and Public Policy”. In November 2017, as part of Being Human Festival, he will chair a public debate titled “Must Bankers Be Bad?” at Birmingham Impact Hub. He also gave a keynote talk at this year’s “Life Beyond the PhD” conference, at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor.


Recent publications


Cutterham, T 2017, Gentlemen revolutionaries: power and justice in the new American republic. Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford. <https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691172668/gentlemen-revolutionaries>


Cutterham, T 2023, '“A Wife and a Mother Has No Business to Be So Well Dressed”: Gender, Class, and Dynasty in the Revolutionary Republic', Journal of the Early Republic.

Cutterham, T 2018, '“A very promising appearance”: credit, honor, and deception in the emerging market for American debt, 1784-92', William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 75, no. 4, pp. 623-650. https://doi.org/10.5309/willmaryquar.75.4.0623

Cutterham, T 2017, 'The Revolutionary Transformation of American Merchant Networks: Carter and Wadsworth and Their World, 1775–1800', Enterprise and Society, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 1-31. https://doi.org/10.1017/eso.2016.6

Cutterham, T 2016, '‘What ought to belong to merit only’: Debating Status and Heredity in the New American Republic', Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. https://doi.org/10.1111/1754-0208.12409

Cutterham, T 2014, 'The International Dimension of the Federal Constitution', Journal of American Studies, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 501-515. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0021875813001503, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021875813001503

Cutterham, T 2013, 'Charles Beard and the Politics of Radical Public History', American Political Thought, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 308-316. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/673136>


Cutterham, T 2013, History Out of Time: Fallout's Ironic America. in M Kapell & A Elliott (eds), Playing With the Past: Digital Games and the Simulation of History. Bloomsbury Academic, London, pp. 312-326.

View all publications in research portal



  • Civil society 
  • Financial regulation
  • Financial ethics
  • Trust 
  • Democratic governance