Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations, and the Political Culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country / Edition 1

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In this innovative study of the South Carolina Low Country, author Stephanie McCurry explores the place of yeomanry in plantation society--the complex web of domestic and public relations within which they were enmeshed, and the contradictory politics of slave society by which these small-holdings landowners achieved status from the region's powerful planters. 320 pp.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Masters of Small of interest not only for the local matter of South Carolina, but as one test of whether 'race, class, and gender' can...make a history and not just a battlecry....McCurry offers an abundance of insight, information and anecdote. She is a gifted historian, engaging large questions."—The Times Literary Supplement

"...a well-researched and detailed study....Masters of Small Worlds is an extremely valuable work....a bold and convincing history...that will clearly be required reading for Southern historians, women's historians, and American social historians."—Southern Historian

"The subtlety and texture of her interpretations offer a model for future studies of this class elsewhere in the antebellem South."—American Historical Review

"Masters of Small Worlds is a strikingly original work, one which manages to say important new things about subjects that have attracted the attention of generations of scholars—the foundations of proslavery thought and the road to the Civil War. It is difficult to think of a work of American history that more successfully integrates the 'public' and 'private' realms of life, or that demonstrates more persuasively the centrality of gender as a category for understanding American political thought."—Eric Foner, Professor of History, Columbia University

" a well-conceived, well-crafted volume that belongs on the shelf of every serious student of the American South. Those who read [the book] will be richly rewarded with a broader, deeper understanding og the world of southern yeomen."—The Alabama Review

"...Will surely enrich the debate over its role in the antebellum South for some time to come."—International Labor and Working Class History

"This is an important, potentially pathbreaking book...fascinating and provocative...exciting, original, and intricate...No other historian has analyzed the links between public and private life so fully."—The North Carolina Historical Review

"This is a bold thesis, and it is vigorously argued. There is much to admire in this book: the clarity of the writing, the depth of research in some sources, and the attempt to integrate gender into political history."—Journal of Social History

"...An engrossing, original, and nuanced account of the political culture of the state's Low Country yeomanry."—The Historian

"...McCurry has written an imaginative and fascinating interpretation of antebellum politics in the South Carolina lowcountry...McCurry's arguments, asserted in bold and uncompromising prose, are unique, highly revisionary, and very much her own."—The Journal of Southern History

"An important book that greatly enriches our understanding of households, religion, and political culture and their relationship to one another in the antebellum South. Stephanie McCurry's carefully researched and gracefully written volume is certain to win well-deserved praise from fellow historians in her field."—The Journal of American History

"Masters of Small Worlds is social history at its best, opening up new conceptual ground through an exhaustive reading of archival sources."—Reviews in American History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195117950
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 669,298
  • Lexile: 1510L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie McCurry is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego.

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Table of Contents

1 Boundaries of Power 5
2 Producing Independence 37
3 Unequal Masters 92
4 "Like a Great Family": Nullification Revivals and the Making of Popular Religion in the Low Country 130
5 "Households of Faith": Gender, Power, and Proslavery Christianity 171
6 Slavery, Gender, and the "Social Fabrick" 208
7 Manly Resistance, Slavish Submission, and the Political Culture of the Low Country 239
8 "To Repel the Invaders at the Threshold" 277
Appendix 305
Index 313
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