Cambridge Studies on the American South : Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South, Paperback / softback Book

Cambridge Studies on the American South : Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South Paperback / softback

Description

Analyzing land policy, labor, and legal history, Keri Leigh Merritt reveals what happens to excess workers when a capitalist system is predicated on slave labor.

With the rising global demand for cotton - and thus, slaves - in the 1840s and 1850s, the need for white laborers in the American South was drastically reduced, creating a large underclass who were unemployed or underemployed.

These poor whites could not compete - for jobs or living wages - with profitable slave labor.

Though impoverished whites were never subjected to the daily violence and degrading humiliations of racial slavery, they did suffer tangible socio-economic consequences as a result of living in a slave society.

Merritt examines how these 'masterless' men and women threatened the existing Southern hierarchy and ultimately helped push Southern slaveholders toward secession and civil war.

Information

  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 371 pages, Worked examples or Exercises
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Humamities
  • ISBN: 9781316635438

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