Cover, Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-7

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-9

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

These essays were first presented as the Fleming Lectures at Louisiana State University in April 1997. My only excuse for the long lag between oral delivery and printed publication is that I wanted time to flesh out the supporting evidence, update the coverage of the academic literature, and work through the argument...

read more

Introduction: What Was Slavery?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-13

When Abraham Lincoln said, “if slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong,” he neatly epitomized the tendency to think of slavery as an absolute category, a standard by which all other evils are overshadowed. This conception, often implicit, has a powerful hold on Americans down to the present day. It infuses most writing...

read more

1. Slavery, Geography, and Commerce

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 14-47

In recent decades, economic historians have rediscovered both the centrality of African slavery for the eighteenth-century expansion of commerce known as the Rise of the Atlantic Economy, and the importance of overseas markets for the industrial and technological breakthroughs known as the Industrial Revolution...

read more

2. Property and Progress in Antebellum America

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 48-82

For some years debates about the economic character of the antebellum South have fallen into a peculiarly constraining groove. “Was the slave South capitalist?” has been the question, taken to be the same as asking whether typical slaveholders were calculating, acquisitive, and in pursuit of material goals through...

read more

3. Property Rights, Productivity, and Slavery

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 83-122

A more prudent person might decide to leave the argument at just this point. The first chapter made the case that slavery as a form of work organization has been overemphasized relative to slavery as a set of property rights, and the second chapter argued that the broad contours of southern regional economic development...

read more

Epilogue: The Legacy of Slavery

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 123-127

Judging a book by its title, some readers may have expected to find here an account of the contribution of slave labor to American economic growth, a topic that has received much attention from legal scholars and advocates in recent years. It is undeniable that enslaved African Americans supplied a substantial...

Appendix

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 129-134

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 135-151

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 153-162