The Slave Power by John Elliott Cairnes, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Slave Power

The Slave Power

by John Elliott Cairnes
     
 

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The Slave Power, John E. Cairnes's seminal work on slavery, was widely acclaimed upon publication in 1862 as a brilliant attempt both to explain the essential cause of the American Civil War and to shape European policy concerning the struggle. It remains among the most important works on the political economy of Southern slavery. When Cairnes-one of the nineteenth

Overview

The Slave Power, John E. Cairnes's seminal work on slavery, was widely acclaimed upon publication in 1862 as a brilliant attempt both to explain the essential cause of the American Civil War and to shape European policy concerning the struggle. It remains among the most important works on the political economy of Southern slavery. When Cairnes-one of the nineteenth century's preeminent classical liberal economists-characterized Southern slavery as inefficient and backward, his opinions carried enormous weight, earning him applause in the North and castigation in the slave- holding South. Casting the Civil War as a contest between an economically defunct and politically aggressive Southern slave power and a liberal, capitalist, free-wage-labor North, Cairnes offered an interpretation of the origins of the Civil War that has remained as compelling and controversial as it was when first published

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781570035227
Publisher:
University of South Carolina Press
Publication date:
12/01/2003
Series:
Southern Classics Series
Pages:
502
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt


OUTLINE OF THE ECONOMY OF SLAVE SOCIETIES. 77 CHAPTER V. INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT OF SLAVE SOCIETIES. It may be well here to trace briefly the salient features of the system which in the previous chapters it has been attempted to describe. A race superior to another in power and civilization holds that other in bondage, compelling it to work for its profit. The enslaved race, separated broadly from the dominant one in its leading physical and moral attributes, is further distinguished from it by the indelible mark of colour, which prevents the growth of mutual sympathy and .transmits to posterity the brand of its disgrace. Kept in compulsory ignorance and deprived of all motive for intelligent exertion, this people can only furnish its possessors with the crudest form of manual labour. It is thus rendered unfit for every branch of industry which requires, in any but the lowest forms, the exercise of care, intelligence, or skill, and is virtually restricted to the pursuit of agriculture. In agriculture- it can only be turned to profitable account under certain special conditions in raising crops of a peculiar kind and upon soils of more than average fertility; while these by its thriftless methods it tends constantly to exhaust. The labour of the enslaved race is thus in practice confined to the production of a few leading staples; but, through the medium of foreign trade, these few commodities become the means of furnishing its masters with all the conveniences and comforts of life the product of intelligence and skill in countries where labour is free. Further, it was seen that the defects of servile labour are best neutralized, and such advantages as it possesses best turned toaccount, where the scale of the operations is large, a circumstance, which, by placing a premium ...

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