Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Preface

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pp. vii-ix

This book began as a study of historical continuity, but it ended up emphasizing change as well as persistence—in other words, it turned out truly to be a history. It is a history of a region of early America that has been little examined. Compared to other portions of English-speaking North America, only frontier areas have drawn less scholarly attention than the Lower South. The antebellum history of the...

Contents

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pp. xi-xii

Illustrations and Tables

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pp. xiii-xiv

Abbreviations

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p. xv

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Chapter 1. Perspectives on the Development of a Plantation Region

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pp. 1-20

In 1768, Frederick George Mulcaster, a young Scottish planter in East Florida, described to a correspondent the most important attributes of the new British settlement at an early stage in its English-speaking history. "There is a certain some thing in the Air of St. Augustine or some curs'd power," Mulcaster claimed, "which actually turns the Brain." To justify his hyperbole, he recounted a recent dream. "...

ONE: CONSIDERING MODERNΙΤΥ

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Chapter 2. The Fate of Progress in the Early Lower South

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pp. 23-65

Arguments for the gradual improvement of human society abounded in the eighteenth century and set the stage for much of the modern era's social thought. Though some scholars have modified the old view that residents of southern North America were always reluctant to entertain these modern ideas, many still stress how southerners gradually came to suspect that theories of progress were inimical...

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Chapter 3. Being Exotic

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pp. 66-91

Residents of the Lower South realized that, by the early eighteenth century, their society had entered an uncertain stage of development. Their region had acquired attributes of a Western and even cosmopolitan society like that in the mother country, yet still it had a recognizably provincial culture, one not entirely made over in the image of the Old World. External opinion reinforced natives' unease...

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Chapter 4. The Local Work Ethic

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pp. 92-130

The energetic whites whom travelers exempted from their critical assessments agreed with yet protested against travelers' stereotypes. Whites resented any Stereotypie summation of their society, but their unease manifested itself in two ways: as indignation against the stereotypers and as fear that their society might actually fit the caricature if they and others did not actively work to prevent...

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Chapter 5. Projects and Power

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pp. 131-184

The local work ethic proffered a potential welcome to struggling newcomers but also stigmatized those who did not defer to it. These terms of inclusion and exclusion, which tended also to divide those who already had wealth and power from those who did not, characterized the earliest innovatory schemes. The division over innovations—and more importantly the reasons for it—reveals the...

TWO: REALIZING MODERNΙΤΥ

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Chapter 6. Crisis and Response: Indigo and Cotton

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pp. 187-226

Innovators were a minority of the lowcountry's population; most planters simply continued to grow rice. Only during commercial crises could projectors recruit fellow experimenters. In a crisis, the white population fell into two categories, innovative and responsive. The former group had always looked for ways to alter...

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Chapter 7. Crisis and Response: Tidal Rice Cultivation

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pp. 227-276

Rice remained the coastline's distinctive crop, outlasting the crises that led whites to experiment with cotton and indigo and surviving even the Civil War and Reconstruction.1 The continued cultivation of rice gave the lowcountry a superficial appearance of continuity even through the Revolution, one paralleled by coastal planters' determination to maintain the institution of slavery despite the...

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Chapter 8. Creating a Cotton South

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pp. 277-329

Rice planters' musings over their intensively used environment reflected the maturity of a region with a high level of social complexity. Within the interior of South Carolina and Georgia, society was newer and simpler. Differing from coastal areas in degree rather than in kind, the upcountry was passing through a stage the coast had experienced several decades earlier. Settlers of this area did...

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Chapter 9. Factories and Fields

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pp. 330-355

Commercial agriculture, which would reach its peak in antebellum production of rice and cotton for an international market, was a culmination of the ways in which free residents had long exploited the region's resources. By the 18205, certainly, they had the archetypal southern economy: it discouraged diversification in goods produced...

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Epilogue: Slavery, Progress, and the "Federo-national" Union

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pp. 356-366

If the Lower South seemed on the verge of further economic development as it moved toward manufacturing, it was a temporary phenomenon. Factories disappeared after peace in 1815 reopened markets for rice and raw cotton; manufactures served as temporary outlet for capital and labor during the war but did not permanently...

Statistical Method

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pp. 367-368

Bibliography

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pp. 369-396

Index

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pp. 397-411