In this Book

Masters of the Big House
summary
William Kauffman Scarborough has produced a work of incomparable scope and depth, offering the challenge to see afresh one of the most powerful groups in American history—the wealthiest southern planters who owned 250 or more slaves in the census years of 1850 and 1860. The identification and tabulation in every slaveholding state of these lords of economic, social, and political influence reveals a highly learned class of men who set the tone for southern society while also involving themselves in the wider world of capitalism. Scarborough examines the demographics of elite families, the educational philosophy and religiosity of the nabobs, gender relations in the Big House, slave management methods, responses to secession, and adjustment to the travails of Reconstruction and an alien postwar world.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xvii-xviii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-17
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  1. 1. Social and Demographic Characteristics
  2. pp. 18-51
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  1. 2. Religious and Cultural Characteristics
  2. pp. 52-89
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  1. 3. Wives, Mothers, and Daughters: Gender Relations in the Big House
  2. pp. 90-121
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  1. 4. Agrarian Empires: Acquisition, Production, Profits, Problems, and Management
  2. pp. 122-174
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  1. 5. Toiling for Old "Massa": Slave Labor on the Great Plantations
  2. pp. 175-216
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  1. 6. Capitalists All: Investments and Capital Accumulation Outside the Agricultural Sector
  2. pp. 217-237
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  1. 7. Political Attitudes and Influence: The Response of the Elite to the First Sectional Crisis
  2. pp. 238-274
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  1. 8. The Road to Armageddon: The Role of the Planter Elite in the Secession Crisis
  2. pp. 275-315
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  1. 9. Days of Judgment: The Demise of a Slave Society
  2. pp. 316-372
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  1. 10. Postwar Adjustment: The Legacy of Emancipation and Defeat
  2. pp. 373-405
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  1. 11. Lords and Capitalists: The Ideology of the Master Class
  2. pp. 406-426
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  1. Appendix A: Slaveholders with 500 or More Slaves, 1850
  2. pp. 427-430
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  1. Appendix B: Slaveholders with 500 or More Slaves, 1860
  2. pp. 431-438
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  1. Appendix C: Elite Slaveholders by State of Residence, 1850
  2. pp. 439-455
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  1. Appendix D: Elite Slaveholders by State of Residence, 1860
  2. pp. 456-484
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 485-502
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 503-521
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