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Becoming Southern: Evolution of a Way of Life, Warren County and Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1770-1860
     

Becoming Southern: Evolution of a Way of Life, Warren County and Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1770-1860

by Christopher Morris
 

Mississippi represented the Old South and all that it stood for perhaps more than any other state. Tracing its long process of economic, social, and cultural evolution, Christopher Morris takes a close look at one of those "typically" Southern communities, Jefferson Davis's Warren County, the northern-most of the five old river counties located in the

Overview

Mississippi represented the Old South and all that it stood for perhaps more than any other state. Tracing its long process of economic, social, and cultural evolution, Christopher Morris takes a close look at one of those "typically" Southern communities, Jefferson Davis's Warren County, the northern-most of the five old river counties located in the state's southwestern corner. Drawing on wills, deeds, court records, as well as manuscript materials, Morris shows a transformation of a loosely knit, typically Western community of pioneer homesteaders into a distinctly Southern society based on plantation agriculture, slavery, and a patriarchal social order.
Farmers and herders first settled this "western" region around present-day Vicksburg At the turn of the nineteenth century, the wealthiest cattle herders began to acquire slaves and to plant cotton, hastening the demise of the pioneer economy. Gradually, all farmers began to produce for the market, which in turn drew them out of their neighborhoods and away from each other, breaking down local patterns of cooperation. Individuals learned to rely on extended kin-networks as a means of acquiring land and slaves, giving tremendous power to older men with legal control over family property. Relations between masters and slaves, husbands and wives, and planters and yeoman farmers changed with the emergence of the traditional patriarchy of the Old South. This transformation was the "southern" society Warren County's white residents defended in the Civil War.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In Becoming Southern Christopher Morris has produced an excellent example of the 'new local history.'...he inevitably engages many historiographical issues that have dominated studies of the South for the past thirty years....this book is full of creative insights and manages to synthesize a variety of parts into a convincing portrait of a society and its people in the midst of change.—Georgia Historical Quarterly

"This is a noteworthy book."—Journal of American History

"This thoughtfull, well-written study doubtless will be widely read and deservedly influential."—American Historical Review

"Morris's research is prodigious, his presentation captivating."—New Orleans Review

"This is a fascinating and illuminating book."—Canadian Journal of History

Robert Martin
F....[P]rovides a coherent and illuminating...analysis of the patterns of economic, political, and social evolution in one antebellum county....by elucidating the expanding and ever more complex web of relationships in Warren County it also conveys something of the diversity and uniquely local charcter of antebellm Southern life (Robert F. Martin) is a professor at University of Northern Iowa).
Mississippi Quarterly
Robert F. Martin
...[P]rovides a coherent and illuminating...analysis of the patterns of economic, political, and social evolution in one antebellum county....by elucidating the expanding and ever more complex web of relationships in Warren County it also conveys something of the diversity and uniquely local charcter of antebellm Southern life (Robert F. Martin) is a professor at University of Northern Iowa). -- Mississippi Quarterly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195083668
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
06/28/1995
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.99(d)
Lexile:
1420L (what's this?)

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