By Martin Ruef
At the heart of the upheavals introduced by way of emancipation within the American South used to be the industrial and social transition from slavery to fashionable capitalism. In Between Slavery and Capitalism, Martin Ruef examines how this institutional swap affected participants, enterprises, and groups within the overdue 19th century, as blacks and whites alike realized to navigate the shoals among various fiscal worlds. studying trajectories between commonplace Southerners, this is often maybe the main large sociological therapy of the transition from slavery considering that W.E.B. Du Bois's Black Reconstruction in America.
In the aftermath of the Civil struggle, uncertainty used to be a pervasive characteristic of lifestyles within the South, affecting the industrial habit and social prestige of former slaves, Freedmen's Bureau brokers, planters, retailers, and politicians, between others. Emancipation introduced primary questions: How should still emancipated slaves be reimbursed in salary contracts? What occupations and sophistication positions will be open to blacks and whites? What types of agricultural tenure may possibly persist? And what paths to financial progress will be potential? to appreciate the escalating uncertainty of the postbellum period, Ruef attracts on quite a lot of qualitative and quantitative info, together with a number of thousand interviews with former slaves, letters, hard work contracts, memoirs, survey responses, census files, and credits reports.
Through a resolutely comparative technique, Between Slavery and Capitalism identifies profound alterations among the commercial associations of the previous and New South and sheds new gentle on how the legacy of emancipation keeps to impact political discourse and race and sophistication kinfolk today.
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Extra resources for Between Slavery and Capitalism: The Legacy of Emancipation in the American South
The limits of federal intervention and the contention in the transformation of the Southern labor market highlight a more general pattern. Economic transition in the postbellum South did not occur seamlessly, but rather in fits and starts. It is because of these institutional frictions that uncertainty was such a pronounced feature of capitalist transformation in the South. And it is because of the gradual diffusion of capitalist institutions that uncertainty escalated. Uncertainty was not merely in the heads of historical actors, hoping to come to an understanding of life in the New South, but in the progressive conflict between the logics of capitalist and precapitalist institutions.
How many former slaves would remain as laborers in the plantation system? , How much would communities invest in agriculture versus industrial development? , What social positions were possible for blacks and whites during Reconstruction? , What organizational alternatives to plantations were conceivable? , What developmental alternatives to cotton monocropping were conceivable? (Chapters 7 and 8) that categorical uncertainty became more pronounced over time: while the internal hierarchy of slavery clearly predicted the occupations that emancipated blacks would hold after the Civil War, it became largely decoupled from status attainment in the succeeding decades.
1 A fervent Unionist, Yeatman had served in the Western Sanitary Commission during the war, helping to secure medical services for Northern soldiers and wounded ex-slaves in St. Louis. In late 1863, he toured the Mississippi Valley to assess the education and health of Southern blacks who had recently been liberated in Union-occupied territory. Yeatman was impressed by the propensity of freedmen to create independent schools, often with little more than a Bible, a few books, and a classroom of students instructed by a literate ex-slave.
Between Slavery and Capitalism: The Legacy of Emancipation in the American South by Martin Ruef