The Old Souths Modern Worlds: Slavery, Region, and Nation in the Age of Progress

Paperback | April 26, 2011

EditorL. Diane Barnes, Brian Schoen, Frank Towers

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Before the Civil War, America's slave states were enmeshed in the modernizing trends of their time but that history has been obscured by a deeply ingrained view of the Old South as an insular society with few outward connections. The Old South's Modern Worlds looks beyond this myth of anisolated and backward-looking South to identify some of the many ways that the modern world shaped antebellum southern society. Removing the screen of southern traditionalism turns up new stories about slaves as religious missionaries, Native Americans as hard-driving capitalists, cottoncultivators as genetic scientists, proslavery politicians as nationalists, and planters as experimenters in sexuality. The essays gathered in this volume not only tell these jarringly modern tales of the Old South, they also explore the compatibility of slavery - the defining feature of antebellumsouthern life - and cultural and material markers of modernity such as moral reform, cities, and industry. The Old South emerges from this volume in a new relationship to national and global histories. Considered as proponents of American manifest destiny, antebellum southern politicians look more like nationalists and less like separatists. Southerners' enthusiasm for humanitarian missions and theirdebates with moral reformers across the Atlantic bring out the global currents that cut against the localism of southern life. The roles that cities played in marketing, policing, and leasing slaves counteracted the erosion of slave discipline in urban settings. The turmoil that changes in Asian andEuropean agriculture wrought among southern staple producers show the interconnections between seemingly isolated southern farms and markets in distant lands. Diverse and riddled with contradictory impulses, antebellum southerners encounters with modernity reveal the often discomforting legaciesleft by the Old South on the future of America and the world.

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Before the Civil War, America's slave states were enmeshed in the modernizing trends of their time but that history has been obscured by a deeply ingrained view of the Old South as an insular society with few outward connections. The Old South's Modern Worlds looks beyond this myth of anisolated and backward-looking South to identify s...

L. Diane Barnes is Associate Professor of History at Youngstown State University. Brian Schoen is Assistant Professor of History at Ohio University. Frank Towers is Associate Professor of History at the University of Calgary.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:April 26, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195384024

ISBN - 13:9780195384024

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Table of Contents

L. Diane Barnes, Brian Schoen, and Frank Towers: Introduction Reimagining the Old SouthPart One: The South in a World of Nations1. Peter S. Onuf: Antebellum Southerners and the National Idea2. Matthew Mason: A World Safe for Modernity: Antebellum Southern Proslavery Intellectuals Confront Great Britain3. Brian Schoen: The Burdens and Opportunities of Interdependence: The Political Economies of the Planter ClassPart Two: Slavery in a Modernizing Society4. Larry E. Hudson, Jr.: "A Disposition to Work": Rural Enslaved Laborers on the Eve of the Civil War5. Steven Deyle: Rethinking the Slave Trade: Slave Traders and the Market Revolution in the South6. James L. Huston: The Pregnant Economies of the Border South, 1840-1860: Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Possibilities of Slave Labor ExpansionPart Three: Material Progress and Its Discontents7. Frank Towers: The Southern Path to Modern Cities: Urbanization in the Slave States8. William G. Thomas: "Swerve Me?": The South, Railroads, and The Rush to Modernity9. L. Diane Barnes: Industry and Its Laborers, Free and Slave in Late Antebellum VirginiaPart Four: The Blurred Boundaries of Southern Culture10. Charles F. Irons: Zion in Black and White: African American Evangelicals and Missionary Work in the Old South11. Andrew K. Frank: The Return of the Native: Innovative Traditions in the Southeast12. Craig Thompson Friend: Sex, Self, and the Performance of Patriarchal Manhood in the Old SouthPart Five: The Long View of the Old South13. Marc Egnal: Counterpoint: What if Genovese is Right? The Pre-Modern Outlook of Southern Planters14. Edward L. Ayers: The American Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction on the World StageMichael O'Brien: AfterwordL. Diane Barnes, Brian Schoen, and Frank Towers: Conclusion: The Future of the Old South