The Old South's Modern Worlds: Slavery, Region, and Nation in the Age of Progress

The Old South's Modern Worlds: Slavery, Region, and Nation in the Age of Progress

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The Old South has traditionally been portrayed as an insular and backward-looking society. The Old South's Modern Worlds looks beyond this myth to identify some of the many ways that antebellum southerners were enmeshed in the modernizing trends of their time. The essays gathered in this volume not only tell unexpected narratives of the Old South, they also explore the compatibility of slavery-the defining feature of antebellum southern life-with cultural and material markers of modernity such as moral reform, cities, and industry. Considered as proponents of American manifest destiny, for example, antebellum southern politicians look more like nationalists and less like separatists. Though situated within distinct communities, Southerners'-white, black, and red-participated in and responded to movements global in scope and transformative in effect. The turmoil that changes in Asian and European agriculture wrought among southern staple producers shows the interconnections between seemingly isolated southern farms and markets in distant lands. Deprovincializing the antebellum South, The Old South's Modern Worlds illuminates a diverse region both shaped by and contributing to the complex transformations of the nineteenth-century world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195384024
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 04/06/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

L. Diane Barnes is Associate Professor of History at Youngtown State University, associate editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers, and author of Artisan Workers in the Upper South: Petersburg, Virginia, 1820-1865.

Brian Schoen is Associate Professor of History at Ohio University and author of The Fragile Fabric of Union: Cotton, Federal Politics, and the Global Origins of the Civil War. Frank Towers is Associate Professor of History at the University of Calgary and author of The Urban South and the Coming of the Civil War.

Table of Contents

Introduction Reimagining the Old South- L. Diane Barnes, Brian Schoen, and Frank Towers
Part One: The South in a World of Nations
Ch 1- Antebellum Southerners and the National Idea- Peter S. Onuf (University of Virginia)
Ch 2- A World Safe for Modernity: Antebellum Southern Proslavery Intellectuals Confront Great Britain- Matthew Mason (Brigham Young University)
Ch 3- The Burdens and Opportunities of Interdependence: The Political Economies of the Planter Class- Brian Schoen
Part Two: Slavery in a Modernizing Society
Ch 4- "A Disposition to Work": Rural Enslaved Laborers on the Eve of the Civil War- Larry E. Hudson, Jr. (University of Rochester)
Ch 5- Rethinking the Slave Trade: Slave Traders and the Market Revolution in the South- Steven Deyle (University of Houston)
Ch 6- The Pregnant Economies of the Border South, 1840-1860: Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Possibilities of Slave Labor Expansion- James L. Huston (Oklahoma State University)
Part Three: Material Progress and Its Discontents
Ch 7- The Southern Path to Modern Cities: Urbanization in the Slave States- Frank Towers
Ch 8- "Swerve Me?": The South, Railroads, and The Rush to Modernity- William G. Thomas (University of Nebraska- Lincoln)
Ch 9- Industry and Its Laborers, Free and Slave in Late Antebellum Virginia-L. Diane Barnes
Part Four: The Blurred Boundaries of Southern Culture
Ch 10- Zion in Black and White: African American Evangelicals and Missionary Work in the Old South- Charles F. Irons (Elon University)
Ch 11- The Return of the Native: Innovative Traditions in the Southeast- Andrew K. Frank (Florida State University)
Ch 12- Sex, Self, and the Performance of Patriarchal Manhood in the Old South- Craig Thompson Friend (North Carolina State University)
Part Five: The Long View of the Old South
Ch 13- Counterpoint: What if Genovese is Right? The Pre-Modern Outlook of Southern Planters- Marc Egnal (York University, Canada)
Ch 14- The American Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction on the World Stage- Edward L. Ayers (University of Richmond)
Afterword -Michael O'Brien (University of Cambridge)
Conclusion The Future of the Old South- L. Diane Barnes, Brian Schoen, and Frank Towers

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