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.

About The Author

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.

Details & Specs

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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Extra Content

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

Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Burnard’s new book is a response to Russell R. Menard’s challenge to scholars to historicize three things: the development of large-scale British colonial sugar, rice, and tobacco plantations; the gang labor system of slavery they generally employed; and the dominance of the planter class in the colonies with such systems. That is, rather than assume an almost natural evolution of small farms into ever-larger colonial staple plantations, historians need to investigate when, how, and why large plantations were brought into existence. Burnard, like Menard, brings to this exploration of the causes and consequences of the plantation system a broad background of research in the archival sources of both the colonial Caribbean and southern mainland colonies. The result is a provocative book that is about both more and less than its title suggests. . . . The book provides a survey of the social history of Britain’s plantation complex that is as much about culture as economics.”