The Old South's Modern Worlds

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 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 162.56 x 241.3 x 30.48mm | 566.99g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195384016
  • 9780195384017

Review quote

Students and specialists alike will find this collection extraordinarily helpful in placing the Old South within the modernizing world of the nineteenth century. Engaging, insightful and provocative, these essays will become a familiar landmark in the historiography of the South. * John Majewski, University of California, Santa Barbara * The contributors comprise some of the leading younger scholars in the field, and they engage with the subject and with each other in genuinely original and innovative ways that reflect the most recent research questions, and answers, relating to slavery and the South. Absolutely ideal for teaching purposes. * American Nineteenth Century History * A provocative collection of original essays. * The Journal of Southern History * This is a volume of insight, learning, and intellectual verve, sure to spark wide discussion. * Journal of American History *show more

About L. Diane Barnes

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 more

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 Towersshow more

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