Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations, and the Political Culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low by Stephanie Mccurry

Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations, and the Political Culture of the…

byStephanie Mccurry

Paperback | November 1, 1997

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In this innovative study of the South Carolina Low Country, author Stephanie McCurry explores the place of the yeomanry in plantation society--the complex web of domestic and public relations within which they were enmeshed, and the contradictory politics of slave society by which that classof small farmers extracted the privileges of masterhood from the region's powerful planters. Insisting on the centrality of women as historical actors and gender as a category of analysis, this work shows how the fateful political choices made by the low-country yeomanry were rooted in the politicsof the household, particularly in the customary relations of power male heads of independent households assumed over their dependents, whether slaves or free women and children. Such masterly prerogatives, practiced in the domestic sphere and redeemed in the public, explain the yeomanry's deepcommitment to slavery and, ultimately, their ardent embrace of secession. By placing the yeomanry in the center of the drama, McCurry offers a significant reinterpretation of this volatile society on the road to Civil War. Through careful and creative use of a wide variety of archival sources, she brings vividly to life the small worlds of yeoman households, and thelarger world of the South Carolina Low Country, the plantation South, and nineteenth-century America.

About The Author

Stephanie McCurry is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego.

Details & Specs

Title:Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations, and the Political Culture of the…Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.91 inPublished:November 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195117956

ISBN - 13:9780195117950

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In this innovative study of the South Carolina Low Country, author Stephanie McCurry explores the place of yeomanry in plantation society--the complex web of domestic and public relations within which they were enmeshed, and the contradictory politics of slave society by which these small-holdings landowners achieved status from the region's powerful planters.

Editorial Reviews

"...An engrossing, original, and nuanced account of the political culture of the state's Low Country yeomanry."--The Historian