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Debating Slavery

Debating Slavery
Economy and Society in the Antebellum American South

$24.99 (G)

Part of New Studies in Economic and Social History

  • Date Published: February 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521576963

$ 24.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • Even while slavery existed, Americans debated slavery. Was it a profitable and healthy institution? If so, for whom? The abolition of slavery in 1865 did not end this debate, and it still remains among the most hotly disputed topics in American history. Smith outlines the main contours of this debate, summarizes the contending viewpoints, and weighs the relative importance, strengths and weaknesses of the various interpretations. This book introduces an important topic in American history in a manner that is accessible to students.

    • Focuses specifically on the economic and social aspects of slavery
    • Tackles the central precapitalist-capitalist debate often neglected in other works on this theme
    • Designed specifically for students (A level and above), and written in a clear, accessible manner
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Smith has provided an excellent historiographical guide that can be a start for new approaches to southern economic history. Indeed, his analysis here...suggests the great potential for asking new question to get new answers." Journal of Economic History

    "...Smith does present a well-written and thoughtful narrative...Debating Slavery can provide a valuable overview of some of the most salient historiographical questions about the nature of the slave-plantation South and, hopefully, will stimulate further historical inquiry into the important subjects it addresses." H-Net Reviews

    "...given the enormity of the historiography and the controversy surrounding it, Smith's economical summary is nothing short of remarkable. He has produced a work that will find an eager audience of undergraduate, graduate, and professional readers." Jeffrey Robert Young, The Journal of Southern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521576963
    • length: 140 pages
    • dimensions: 223 x 137 x 9 mm
    • weight: 0.19kg
    • contains: 3 maps 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Author's preface
    1. The contours of the debate
    2. Slaveholders and plantations
    3. Yeoman and non-slave-owners
    4. Slaves
    5. The profitability of slavery as a business
    6. The profitability of slavery as a system
    7. New directions, toward consensus

  • Author

    Mark M. Smith, University of South Carolina

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