Cambridge Studies on the American South : Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South Paperback / softback
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.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 371 pages, Worked examples or Exercises
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Publication Date: 01/05/2019
- Category: Humamities
- ISBN: 9781316635438
- Hardback from £43.65