The Origins of the Southern Middle Class, 1800-1861 / Edition 1

The Origins of the Southern Middle Class, 1800-1861 / Edition 1

3.0 2
by Jonathan Daniel Wells
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807855537

ISBN-13: 9780807855539

Pub. Date: 09/20/2004

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

With a fresh take on social dynamics in the antebellum South, Jonathan Daniel Wells contests the popular idea that the Old South was a region of essentially two classes (planters and slaves) until after the Civil War. He argues that, in fact, the region had a burgeoning white middle class—including merchants, doctors, and teachers—that had a profound

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Overview

With a fresh take on social dynamics in the antebellum South, Jonathan Daniel Wells contests the popular idea that the Old South was a region of essentially two classes (planters and slaves) until after the Civil War. He argues that, in fact, the region had a burgeoning white middle class—including merchants, doctors, and teachers—that had a profound impact on southern culture, the debate over slavery, and the coming of the Civil War.

Wells shows that the growth of the periodical press after 1820 helped build a cultural bridge between the North and the South, and the emerging southern middle class seized upon northern middle-class ideas about gender roles and reform, politics, and the virtues of modernization. Even as it sought to emulate northern progress, however, the southern middle class never abandoned its attachment to slavery. By the 1850s, Wells argues, the prospect of industrial slavery in the South threatened northern capital and labor, causing sectional relations to shift from cooperative to competitive. Rather than simply pitting a backward, slave-labor, agrarian South against a progressive, free-labor, industrial North, Wells argues that the Civil War reflected a more complex interplay of economic and cultural values.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807855539
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
09/20/2004
Edition description:
1
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue : the symbolism of national unity : the New England society of Charleston1
Pt. 1Cradle of the southern middle class : cultural connections between the antebellum north and south17
Ch. 1Travel and migration between the North and the South19
Ch. 2Southern interest in northern intellectual culture41
Pt. 2The making of the southern middle class67
Ch. 3Religion, dueling, and honor69
Ch. 4Voluntary associations and intellectual culture89
Ch. 5Women, families, and gender roles111
Ch. 6Education reform133
Pt. 3The American middle classes and the crisis of the union151
Ch. 7The origins of a New South155
Ch. 8The formation of the southern middle class179
Ch. 9The northern and southern middle classes and the coming of the Civil War207
Conclusion : the New South and the triumph of the southern middle class231
Epilogue : the New England society and the New South creed235
AppCommercial and professional occupations based on the 1850 and 1860 U.S. census categories239

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The Origins of the Southern Middle Class, 1800-1861 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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