Planters, Merchants, And Slaves: Plantation Societies In British America, 1650-1820 by Trevor BurnardPlanters, Merchants, And Slaves: Plantation Societies In British America, 1650-1820 by Trevor Burnard

Planters, Merchants, And Slaves: Plantation Societies In British America, 1650-1820

byTrevor Burnard

Hardcover | October 27, 2015

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As with any enterprise involving violence and lots of money, running a plantation in early British America was a serious and brutal enterprise. Beyond resources and weapons, a plantation required a significant force of cruel and rapacious men—men who, as Trevor Burnard sees it, lacked any better options for making money. In the contentious Planters, Merchants, and Slaves, Burnard argues that white men did not choose to develop and maintain the plantation system out of virulent racism or sadism, but rather out of economic logic because—to speak bluntly—it worked.

These economically successful and ethically monstrous plantations required racial divisions to exist, but their successes were always measured in gold, rather than skin or blood. Burnard argues that the best example of plantations functioning as intended is not those found in the fractious and poor North American colonies, but those in their booming and integrated commercial hub, Jamaica. Sure to be controversial, this book is a major intervention in the scholarship on slavery, economic development, and political power in early British America, mounting a powerful and original argument that boldly challenges historical orthodoxy.
Trevor Burnard is professor in and head of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire and Creole Gentlemen, as well as coeditor of The Routledge History of Slavery.
Title:Planters, Merchants, And Slaves: Plantation Societies In British America, 1650-1820Format:HardcoverDimensions:360 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:October 27, 2015Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022628610X

ISBN - 13:9780226286105

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Plantation Worlds

1          The Rise of the Large Integrated Plantation
2          Violence, White Solidarity, and the Rise of Planter Elites
3          The Wealth of the Plantations
4          “A Prodigious Mine”: Jamaica
5          The American Revolution and Plantation America

Epilogue: Slaves and Planters

Appendix: An Essay on Sources


Editorial Reviews

“Planters, Merchants, and Slaves is a masterful synthesis of decades of scholarship on the development of plantation societies, integrating original research on the immense wealth created, the relationship of those societies to nonplantation sectors, the extreme violence required to sustain them, and the reasons for their eventual collapse, despite their continuing profitability, from forces arising outside the system. Anyone interested in the significance of slavery and the plantation system for the rise of early modern capitalism; patterns of social, political, and economic development in slave societies; or the widespread violence required to sustain that system will find much to admire in this insightful contribution to Atlantic World history.”