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Masters, Slaves, & Subjects: The Culture of Power in the South Carolina Low Country, 1740-1790 by Robert OlwellThe slave societies of the American colonies were quite different from the "Old South" of the early-nineteenth-century United States. In this engaging study of a colonial older South, Robert Olwell analyzes the structures and internal dynamics of a world in which both masters and slaves were also imperial subjects. While slavery was peculiar within a democratic republic, it was an integral and seldom questioned part of the eighteenth-century British empire.Olwell examines the complex relations among masters, slaves, metropolitan institutions, officials, and ideas in the South Carolina low country from the end of the Stono Rebellion through the chaos of the American Revolution. He details the interstices of power and resistance in four key sites of the colonial social order: the criminal law and the slave court; conversion and communion in the established church; market relations and the marketplace; and patriarchy and the plantation great house. Olwell shows how South Carolina's status as a colony influenced the development of slavery and also how the presence of slavery altered English ideas and institutions within a colonial setting. Masters, Slaves, and Subjects is a pathbreaking examination of the workings of American slavery within the context of America's colonial history.
Call Number: Stacks Upper Level E445.S7 O46 1998
New Directions in Slavery Studies: Commodification, Community, and Comparison by Jeff Forret (Editor)In this landmark essay collection, twelve contributors chart the contours of current scholarship in the field of slavery studies, highlighting three of the discipline's major themes -- commodification, community, and comparison -- and indicating paths for future inquiry. New Directions in Slavery Studies addresses the various ways in which the institution of slavery reduced human beings to a form of property. From the coastwise domestic slave trade in international context to the practice of slave mortgaging to the issuing of insurance policies on slaves, several essays reveal how southern whites treated slaves as a form of capital to be transferred or protected. An additional piece in this section contemplates the historian's role in translating the fraught history of slavery into film. Other essays examine the idea of the "slave community," an increasingly embattled concept born of revisionist scholarship in the 1970s. This section's contributors examine the process of community formation for black foreigners, the crucial role of violence in the negotiation of slaves' sense of community, and the effect of the Civil War on slave society. A final essay asks readers to reassess the long-standing revisionist emphasis on slave agency and the ideological burdens it carries with it. Essays in the final section discuss scholarship on comparative slavery, contrasting American slavery with similar, less restrictive practices in Brazil and North Africa. One essay negotiates a complicated tripartite comparison of secession in the United States, Brazil, and Cuba, while another uncovers subtle differences in slavery in separate regions of the American South, demonstrating that comparative slavery studies need not be transnational. New Directions in Slavery Studies provides relevant and distinct examinations of the lives and histories of enslaved people in the United States.
Call Number: Stacks Upper Level E441 .N48 2015
Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery by Calvin SchermerhornWritten as a narrative history of slavery within the United States, Unrequited Toil details how an institution that seemed to be disappearing at the end of the American Revolution rose to become the most contested and valuable economic interest in the nation by 1850. Calvin Schermerhorn charts changes in the family lives of enslaved Americans, exploring the broader processes of nation-building in the United States, growth and intensification of national and international markets, the institutionalization of chattel slavery, and the growing relevance of race in the politics and society of the republic. In chapters organized chronologically, Schermerhorn argues that American economic development relied upon African Americans' social reproduction while simultaneously destroying their intergenerational cultural continuity. He explores the personal narratives of enslaved people and develops themes such as politics, economics, labor, literature, rebellion, and social conditions.
Call Number: Stacks Upper Level E441 .S34 2018
Empire of Cotton: A Global History by Sven BeckertThe epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism. Cotton is so ubiquitous as to be almost invisible, yet understanding its history is key to understanding the origins of modern capitalism. Sven Beckert's rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the world's most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in the 1780s, these men captured ancient trades and skills in Asia, and combined them with the expropriation of lands in the Americas and the enslavement of African workers to crucially reshape the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia, and how industrial capitalism gave birth to an empire, and how this force transformed the world. The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.
River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom by Walter JohnsonRiver of Dark Dreams places the Cotton Kingdom at the center of worldwide webs of exchange and exploitation that extended across oceans and drove an insatiable hunger for new lands. This bold reaccounting dramatically alters our understanding of American slavery and its role in U.S. expansionism, global capitalism, and the upcoming Civil War.
Call Number: Stacks Upper Level E449 .J695 2013 and eBook
Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South by Adam RothmanSlave Country tells the tragic story of the expansion of slavery in the new United States. In the wake of the American Revolution, slavery gradually disappeared from the northern states and the importation of captive Africans was prohibited. Yet, at the same time, the country's slave population grew, new plantation crops appeared, and several new slave states joined the Union. Adam Rothman explores how slavery flourished in a new nation dedicated to the principle of equality among free men, and reveals the enormous consequences of U.S. expansion into the region that became the Deep South. Rothman maps the combination of transatlantic capitalism and American nationalism that provoked a massive forced migration of slaves into Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. He tells the fascinating story of collaboration and conflict among the diverse European, African, and indigenous peoples who inhabited the Deep South during the Jeffersonian era, and who turned the region into the most dynamic slave system of the Atlantic world. Paying close attention to dramatic episodes of resistance, rebellion, and war, Rothman exposes the terrible violence that haunted the Jeffersonian vision of republican expansion across the American continent. Slave Country combines political, economic, military, and social history in an elegant narrative that illuminates the perilous relation between freedom and slavery in the early United States. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in an honest look at America's troubled past.
The North Carolina Runaway Slave Advertisements project provides online access to all known runaway slave advertisements (more than 2300 items) published in North Carolina newspapers from 1751 to 1840. These brief ads provide a glimpse into the social, economic, and cultural world of the American slave system and the specific experience within North Carolina. Working from microfilmed copies of these rare publications, the project team scanned the ads to provide digital images, create full-text transcripts and descriptive metadata, and develop a searchable database. The NCRSA website includes digital scans of the ads, contextual essays to address their historical research value, full text transcripts, an annotated bibliography to aid researchers, and a searchable database.
Edward Baptist discusses his book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism-how slavery in the 100 years after American independence drove the rise of the United States to a world power. From WVPT.